Monday, August 10, 2009

What? The spleen is important?

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have shown that the spleen actually has an important purpose -- it's a significant source of monocytes, which are a type of white blood cell that serves as part of the body's immune system. These cells are major players in helping the body recover from a heart attack, removing dead muscle cells, rebuilding stable scar tissue, and generating new blood vessels. The spleen also serves to filter blood to remove things such as parasites and aging blood cells. When the spleen ruptures during an accident, it has to be removed to prevent excessive hemorrhaging, since it is a highly vascularized organ. While we can survive without a spleen, previous studies have suggested that there is a greater risk of early death for people who have lost their spleens. So, take care of your spleen!

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