Your Appendix Is Not Useless

May 14th, 2015 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, BCTN, CN, CH, HHP

Your Appendix Is Not Useless

Ask almost anyone which body organ they believe is basically useless, and likely a high percentage of people will say the appendix. And, of course, that’s precisely what the medical community has told us to believe. When we hear that someone is getting their appendix out, most of us think something like, “at least they don’t need their appendix. However, your appendix is not useless, and let’s see why.

It’s really time to rethink the health importance of the tiny worm-like organ located on the right side of the lower abdomen. It’s the organ that no one pays too much attention to until it becomes infected, painful, and must be surgically removed.

Those who believe in Darwinism have theorized that the appendix is an archaic organ that became useless millions of years ago as diet changed. In my opinion, we are naïve to believe that the appendix has absolutely no purpose. Why would our Creator place an organ in the body that is useless?

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Your Appendix is Not Useless: A Natural Reserve for Beneficial Bacteria

Researchers at Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina believe after an individual experiences a severe bout of cholera or dysentery, which can purge the gut of good bacteria essential for digestion, the appendix acts as a reserve for good bacteria to emerge.

Professor Bill Parker, a professor of surgery at Duke, suggests that the appendix could be helpful to the ‘good’ bacteria in our intestinal system by helping to ensure that it works correctly. The body contains trillions of cells and houses around ten times that number of micro-organisms, most of which are found in the digestive tract. Our body has a symbiotic relationship with these organisms; they use our energy by digesting our food, and in return, these ‘good’ bacteria help to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria — vital to the health of our digestive tract, where 75-80% of our immune system is located. It is also important to note that the intestines have also been called the body’s second brain.

Professor Parker believes that the appendix may be vital in protecting the intestines ‘good’ bacteria from the ‘bad’ bacteria that often try to overtake the intestines. We can think of the appendix as a reserve or sanctuary for these vital microbes. This good bacteria can use the appendix as an area of rest from the severe and harsh environment in the gut. When bacteria stores in the gut become depleted, good bacteria can then be released from the appendix to fill their place.

Although Parker’s theory sounds like good science, there has not been much in the way of supporting data. Until now.

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Your Appendix is Not Useless: The Appendix & Intestinal Infections

James Grendall, chief of the Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition division at Winthrop University-Hospital, led a study that seemingly backs-up Professor Parker’s theory. Grendall’s study included 254 patients, each of whom had a history of intestinal infections caused by Clostridium difficile, a deadly pathogen (often encountered in hospitals), mainly when these patients were treated by prolonged courses of antibiotic therapy. C. diff., as it is commonly called, does not seem to compete well with the native friendly eco-system of most people’s intestinal tracts; however, when the native friendly eco-system is depleted (which can happen after several rounds of antibiotic therapy), C. diff. will try to take over. Patients who remain on antibiotic therapy for extended periods usually suffer from depletion of the good bacteria in their intestinal tract, making it more difficult for the immune system to fight off invading harmful bacteria.

So let’s go back to Professor Parker’s theory. According to his theory, patients who still have their appendix should have a much better chance of fighting off the C.diff by producing and sending more good bacteria into the intestinal tract. On the other hand, those who have had their appendix removed should be unable to release more protective bacteria stored in the appendix to replenish the gut, allowing the harmful bacteria can take over.

What actually happened was amazing. Out of the 254 patients in the study, those who did not have an appendix and consequently the bacteria stored there were two times as likely to have a recurrence of the Clostridium difficile. Recurrence was likely to occur in 45% of cases with no appendix, compared to only 18% recurrence in individuals with one.

Many do not know that the lining of the appendix is also rich in infection-fighting lymphoid cells that accumulate shortly after birth, rise in our 20s and 30s, and then begin to decrease during the aging process. This lymphatic tissue encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Even though it is reasonable to suggest that the appendix plays a vital role in protecting and aiding good bacteria in the intestinal tract, Professor Bill Parker says that this does not mean we should cling to our appendices at all costs. “It’s vital for people to understand that if their appendix gets inflamed, just because it has a function does not mean they should try to keep it in,” he explained. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies indicate that around 300 to 400 Americans die from appendicitis every year.

How to Naturally Keep Your Appendix Healthy

1. Healthy Diet

While there is no surefire way to prevent appendicitis, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that eating fresh or frozen green vegetables and tomatoes may reduce your risk of developing appendix concerns. Processed tomato products, such as tomato sauce may also reduce your risk. The fiber found in fruits and vegetables also changes the consistency of waste matter, making it less likely to break apart and block the appendix opening. I highly suggest choosing organic produce since tomatoes tend to be highly sprayed.

2. Drink Plenty of Purified Water

Consuming plenty of water throughout the day is vital for a healthy appendix. Prepare a cup of ginseng tea and have it twice daily, as it can help with inflammation of the appendix.

3. Parasite Cleansing

Appendicitis may be caused by various infections such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites, in your digestive tract. Sometimes tumors can cause appendicitis. Performing an effective harmful organism cleanse two to three times yearly can help with harmful organisms.

4. Deal with Constipation Naturally

Appendicitis may also be caused when the tube that joins your large intestine and appendix is blocked or trapped by stool. Constipation is currently a widespread concern for many people. It worsens as our health deteriorates from a poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and other bad habits. Unfortunately, constipation is more than just a nuisance or inconvenience. When waste is not regularly and efficiently eliminated from the bowel, it exposes your body to toxins, leading to severe conditions like colon cancer and other potentially life-threatening diseases. The good news is that regularity is a by-product of a wellness lifestyle, and one can eliminate constipation, in most cases, through digestive tract cleansing, a healthy diet, proper hydration, and getting plenty of exercise — things we should be doing anyway.

5.  Exercise

Although exercise is not known to prevent the appendix from becoming infected or blocked, it can positively impact the appendix. Optimum health is vital for maintaining a healthy appendix. Try to perform cardiovascular exercises for at least 20-30 minutes, four or five days per week. In addition, adding strength-training activities to your routine is encouraged. Regular exercise will help power up your immune system, which will be very important should your appendix become unhealthy.

And Finally…

Good health, happiness, and contentment in life are encouraged more by employing simple everyday habits. Just remember, this is not a race but slowly implementing practices that support your total health and well-being. By creating healthy habits, you can accomplish big things in your life. Prevention is always more beneficial than dealing with disease or surgery – practice it daily.


Duke Medicine News and Communications. Appendix Isn’t Useless at All: It’s a Safe House for Bacteria. Duke Medicine.

Im GY, Modayil RJ, Lin CT, et al. The appendix may protect against Clostridium difficile recurrence. Clin Gastroenterol and Hepatol 2011; 9:1072–1077.

NBC News. Scientists may have found appendix’s purpose. NBC Health News.

Loretta Lanphier is a Naturopath Practitioner, Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner, and Certified Clinical Herbalist as well as the CEO / Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness in The Woodlands TX. She studies and performs extensive research in health science, natural hormone balancing, anti-aging techniques, nutrition, natural medicine, weight loss, herbal remedies, and non-toxic cancer support. She is actively involved in researching new natural health protocols and products.  A 22-year stage 3 colon cancer survivor, Loretta can relate to both sides of the health coin as a patient and practitioner when it comes to health and wellness. “My passion is counseling others about what it takes to keep the whole body healthy using natural and non-toxic methods.” Read Loretta’s health testimony, Cancer: The Path to Healing. Loretta is a Contributor and Editor of the worldwide E-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician of choice.





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