As far as many are concerned, the appendix serves no purpose beyond causing appendicitis. It medical jargon, it is refereed to as a small organ on the right side of the abdomen, connected to the cecum, and containing lymphoid tissue. Darwin, the father of thetheory of evolution, suggested that it is an archaic organ. The theory asserts that it served a role in digesting cellulose rich “tough food” like tree-bark and leaves. As the human diet shifted to more digestible foods, the appendix shrunk to how we know it today. The organ can be removed and the patient goes on with their life just fine without it. It seems though that not all would agree that the appendix is just the carcass of an old neglected organ, hanging out unnoticed until it causes trouble.
Archives for November 2015
In 1989, Strachan first theorized what we now know as the hygiene hypothesis. It states that a lower incidence of infection in early childhood could explain the recent and rapid rise of allergic diseases. In recent years, the hygiene hypothesis has also grown to include autoimmune diseases. There is a growing amount of published research pointing to infectious agents, especially those that have co-evolved with us, as being able to offer protection against a large spectrum of immune-related disorders such as type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis.