And God Created …

The "Cinderella" Organ Of The Body"

David Everson

When God created the human body, he created many exceptional organs.The most of which stretch the imagination when we try to figure out how they function and could come about without the knowledge of a supreme creator.Among these that we would normally list if asked about the marvelous organs of the body is one that very few people would know about, and fewer still would list it as a major organ of the body.There is, indeed, a body organ that has been called by some anatomists the “Cinderella” of body organs and the “wonder organ.”This organ is the omentum.I would like to explore this largely unknown organ and see why it is so important to the body. 

The omentum is actually two separate organs, the greater omentum and the lesser omentum.They have very similar functions and differ only in location and where they are attached.They are found in the abdominal cavity, covering most of the internal organs.The greater omentum is found hanging like an apron over the intestines and lower abdominal organs.The lesser omentum attaches to the stomach and liver and is much more delicate in its structure.Both are very similar in appearance.They have been described as a thin, membranous bag that is “quilted” into little pockets.These pockets can be filled as a storage reservoir with superfluous fatty materials and other nutritional elements that are not needed immediately by the body but must be available quickly during times of stress and challenge. 

The omentum is, indeed, a place of storage for fatty material, and, in many individuals with a “middle age spread,” the omentums would be expected to have large quantities of fat stored within them.This storage of fat is necessary and valuable because the body needs stored fats (but maybe not as much as most of us have) to serve as a “shock absorber” for surrounding and protecting the internal organs.The omentum also serves as the producer of “oily” secretions that help to lubricate the surfaces of the abdominal organs which are in constant motion so they do not damage each other.This fatty storage area also helps with temperature control of the other organs of the abdominal cavity.

Beyond these “simple” functions, the omentum works in other marvelous ways at the will of the creator.It had been suspected for hundreds of years, but it is now known for sure that the omentum can contain and fight infections and inflammation in the abdomen.They have “milky spots” that are capable of generating macrophages that are important in destroying bacteria in the body.Besides having immune cells that facilitate healing, they even have stem cells that can become any type of cell that the body might need to heal itself. 

The omentum has been described as the “brain” of the gut, as it contains numerous nerves that help control various organs and functions in this area of the body.It is rich in growth factors that cause the growth of new nerve tissues.It is an abundant source of neurotransmitters, including serotonin and other nerve growth factors that support growth of new nerve cells and axon regeneration.The omentum may be an area of communication in the abdomen since it has connections with many other vital organs in this area. 

The lymphatic cells of the omentum have a huge capacity to absorb fluids secreted into the abdominal cavity.This can remove metabolic wastes, destroy toxic substances, and, by moving this fluid out of the body, fight infections.The omentum is rich in angiogentic factors that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and repair those that are damaged.While it helps to form new tissues of one type, it helps to prevent fibrosis and adhesion formation of other damaged tissues. 

There is another interesting observation that has been made by surgeons.When doing surgery on patients with an infection or injury of the abdominal cavity, the omentum is, many times, found surrounding the infected area or has moved into an area of injury.It is not always the case, but is a frequent occurrence that, when surgeons reenter an abdomen to remove objects inadvertently left after a surgery, the objects will be found enclosed by the omentum.In experiments, the omentum has been shown to have the ability to “migrate” to areas where there is a need for special attention.This is most unusual!Where did the greater and lesser omentum get the knowledge to know where an infection or injury is – let alone what mechanism to use to move into that area?Many questions remain about this amazing organ. 

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:18, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”Each part has an amazing responsibility and serves to prove “there is a God in heaven.”Let us continue to marvel because we “are fearfully and wonderfully made.”-Rt 1 Box 116A, Belington, WV

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