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Omentum: ‘Policeman of Abdomen’ is an Important Organ to be studied

The Omentum is the least familiar organ to the scientists as well as to the public.

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Obese man
An Obese man. The omentum is like an apron shaped sheet of fat stretching from the liver. Wikimedia
  • The omentum is a large sheet of fat stretching protecting the stomach, intestines and the liver
  • The research published in the Journal ‘Trends in Immunology’ highlights that the immune organ is actually a nursery for cancer cells
  • Also called the ‘Policeman of Abdomen’, the omentum is central to our body’s immune system

June 06, 2017: 

What is the Omentum?

The omentum is like an apron shaped sheet of fat stretching from the liver, intestines to the stomach. White patches that are known as ‘milky spots’ cover the surface of the omentum. The milky spots gather information from cells, antigens, and bacteria in order to deduce what really is going on. Accordingly, the omentum decides what immune reaction is required by the abdomen. It fights against infections and toxins.

The Good Part:

The omentum is a doctor within your body. It takes reports of the status of your abdomen well-being and acts accordingly. Scientists believe that omentum may have answers on how to stop the rapid growth of aggressive tumors in the human body. The organ is now under scrutiny as most of the things about the omentum are still unknown.

Also Read: Gene Therapy: Scientists may have found a way to “turn off” asthma

The Bad Part: 

The omentum sometimes provides tolerance and not immunity to the tumor cells. Thus cancer cells are pushed towards the milky spots and they stick there. Cancer cells sometimes prompt a tolerant response from the omentum. Scientists fear that this fact of the omentum makes it a nursery for the breeding ground of more cancer cells. As the study says, omentum “sometimes makes wrong decisions”.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

Next Story

Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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smoking
The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)