Appendix: Useless Organ?

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Appendix is Useful

Recent articles in the press describes the appendix as useful.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/17/your-appendix-is-useful-after-all.aspx

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21153898/ns/health-health_care/t/scientists-may-have-found-appendixs-purpose/#.UEJ13iLmWCk

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/mar/04/appendix-store-beneficial-bacteria

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/10/08/30907.aspx

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JamesBenjaminJrMD 7 years ago from USA Author

Please comment. Also play the lady in red at the bottom as you go through this article.

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    When I was in training...

    When I was in training we were taught that the appendix was a useless organ. It was believed to be used to digest raw meat and now serves no function. It was thought to be a potential problem , acute appendicitis, and was high on the differential diagnosis list when ever someone complained of abdominal pain. Now it appears to have many functions.

    This is not the first time this has happened. When I was a child it was believed that the tonsils were not essential. The problem was life threatening tonsillitis. Current knowledge shows that the tonsils provide many benefits to the immune system.

    Science continues to advance. You will find sources that still describe the appendix as useless. Mayo Clinic- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/appendicitis/DS00274

    Please comment on this article. Thank you.

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