What is the appendix? Does it have a role in our body?Asked on: Sep 27, 2023 03:07 AM
Imagine you're a squirrel, and you've just found the most delicious nut. You want to save it for later, so you put it in a special pocket in your tree. The appendix is sort of like that special pocket, only it's in your body, not a tree, and it doesn't hold nuts - it holds good bacteria!
Now, why would you want to hold onto good bacteria? Well, imagine your body is like a garden. The good bacteria are like the gardeners - they help keep everything running smoothly. But sometimes a storm (like an illness) can come along and wipe out all the gardeners. That's when the appendix comes in handy! It releases the stored good bacteria back into your gut to help get things back on track.
For a long time, scientists thought the appendix was just a useless leftover from our evolutionary past - kind of like wisdom teeth or tailbones. But recent research has shown that it actually plays an important role in our immune system. So even though we can live without it (and some people have their appendix removed due to medical conditions), it's definitely not useless!
So next time someone tells you something is as useless as an appendix, you can tell them they're wrong. And maybe also explain what an appendix does because not everyone knows about its secret life as a bacteria storage unit.Harvard Health: What does the appendix do? Science Daily: Appendix Isn't Useless At All