Biological Activity of Emu Oil
Nicolosi, Subbiah Yoganathan,
Thomas Wilson, Jajime Sasaki
and the Forsyth Institute
AOCS, May 2001
Emu Oil is derived
from the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), which originated in Australia.
While many therapeutic benefits have been attributed to emu oil ranging
from wound healing, anti-inflammation as well as anti-bacterial and
anti-viral activity, there have been no published reports of these
benefits. This presentation will report of the cholesterol lowering,
anti-inflammatory and transdermal delivery properties of emu oil.
cholesterol-lowering studies, hamsters were fed chow-based diets containing
either 10% coconut oil or emu oil with 0.05% cholesterol for 4 weeks.
Compared to coconut oil, hamsters fed emu oil had 25% lower levels of
plasma non-HDL-C and a 27% increase in HDL-C (p<0.05).
anti-inflammation studies, the auricular areas of mice were treated with
either 2% croton oil (pro-inflammatory oil) or emu oil. Auricular thickness
and ear plug weights were significantly reduced 42% and 71%, respectively,
in the emu oil treated mice. The cytokines IL-1 and TNF-alpha from
homogenates of ear tissue were also significantly reduced 83% and 66%,
respectively relative to the croton oil.
trans-dermal delivery system studies, five topical applications of emu oil
containing delta tocopherol at ratios of 1:1, 5:1, and 10:1 were applied to
the shaved dorsal surface of hamsters. The 1:1 ratio of delta tocopherol to
emu oil was also compared to stripped corn oil. At one hour, 1,2,3, and 7 days post-application, blood samples were
taken for plasma analyses of delta tocopherol by HPLC. The different dilutions
of delta tocopherol with emu oil applied topically showed a dose response
reduction in plasma delta tocopherol. Compared to stripped corn oil, plasma
from hamsters topically treated with emu oil had 2-4 times greater plasma
levels of delta tocopherol suggesting more efficient trans-dermal delivery
with emu oil. The active components of emu oil responsible for these
biological activities remain to be determined.
Antioxidants Be used in Emu Oil? (study may be purchased via the AEA
of fats and oils contained in products result in undesirable chemical
changes affecting product color, taste, odor and/or texture. This autoxidative process is complex, but can be explained
by a simple series of reactions.