The Mesentery – the 79th Organ of the Human Body

Traditionally there are 78 organs of the body which are grouped to form different organ systems. Recently, a new organ has been discovered, called the mesentery. It is going to be the 79th organ. The discovery of the mesentery as the 79th organ was published in “The Independent” with the title “Mesentery: New Organ Discovered by Scientists”on Tuesday, January 03, 2017. Originally, the research was published in the medical journal, The Lancet. The new finding opens up a whole new era of biological sciences.

Historical Background

Do you know the newly discovered organ has been hiding in plain sight in your body? It was previously believed that the mesentery consists of a few fragmented structures in your digestive system. Now the latest research has brought to light that it is in reality a single, continuous structure.

J. Calvin Coffey enjoys the distinction of being the first researcher to discover mesentery at the University Hospital Limerick. According to him, as the research on the newly discovered structure is in its juvenile stages, the real function of the 79th organ is still unclear. However, it has opened up a “whole new era of scientific discoveries in the field of human biology or more precisely the mesenteric science”.

Here it is quite interesting to note that the structure was initially described as early as 1508 by the Italian polymath Leanardo da Vinci. But, unfortunately, no further research was done and the organ has been ignored throughout these centuries, until now.

Level of Acceptability

After the reclassification of the mesenteric structures as a single, continuous organ, the educational institutions have started teaching the students that mesentery is a distinct organ. At the same time, the world’s most famous medical textbook, the Gray’s Anatomy has also been updated to include the new definition of the organ.

Level of Acceptability

Fig. 1: Level of Acceptability

Future Prospects

Presently, the medical students and researchers are trying to investigate what part the mesentery can play in the abdominal diseases. It is expected that the new findings will ultimately lead to the establishment of new treatment methodologies.

Future Prospects

Fig. 2: Future Prospects


Regarding its structure, the mesentery organ is actually a double fold of peritoneum or the lining of the abdominal cavity that holds your intestine to the wall of the abdomen.


Fig. 3: Structure

Summing Up

With the addition of this new structure, the total number of organs in the human body has now reached the figure of 79. Among the 79 organs of the body, the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and liver are the vital organs whereas the other 74 organs play an important role to keep you healthy.

About the Author

Posted by: M. Isaac / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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