According to Charles Darwin, an appendix is a rudimentary organ for modern humans, just like our wisdom teeth and tailbone at the end of our spinal cord.
What Is an Appendix?
It is a worm-shaped sac protruding from our cecum at the beginning of the large intestine.
Researchers have found that it provided extra digestion power in our ancestors, who relied on a leaf diet a million years ago. It still plays an essential role in mammals that consume leaf predominantly.
Why Is It Important?
Modern-day doctors stress the importance of having a healthy appendix for a healthy body. Here is why human evolution cannot lead to the disappearance of the organ.
Researchers have found that there is a high accumulation of lymphoid tissues in this organ. These tissues are known to manufacture white blood cells in the human body.
White blood cells protect our body from the invasion of germs and other microbes that lead to illness, and the appendix has been discovered to consist of these lymphocytes in large quantities. This can help make new white blood cells when the existing partitions are lost due to medication or other health complications.
These tissues are found not only in humans but also in other mammals irrespective of their diet or habitat and have evolved 32 times in the past.
Researchers have discovered that apart from lymphoid tissues, the appendix also stores good bacteria known as the gut microbiome that are necessary for maintaining a healthy gut.
In the event of the entire gut microbiome colony being destroyed due to serious ailments or medication, the appendix can provide the body with a new colony of good bacteria to sustain our gut health that supports our entire body.
Doctors state that fecal transplantation is the solitary means to introduce good bacteria into the gut in the absence of the said organ.
The worm-like shape helps retain the good bacteria during our gut’s medical flush and resupply the same later. This very same feature makes it untreatable when harmful bacteria enter the sac.
Furthermore, this leads to inflammation and pus formation, generally termed appendicitis, and removal is the only way to treat it.
Thus, researchers conclude that the organ’s non-existence can cause frequent illness and an acute rise in antibiotics consumption regularly.