Poster Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Safety of emu oil for intestinal applications (#P30)

Suzanne Mashtoub 1 2 , Ker Y Cheah 1 , Kerry A Lymn 3 4 , Gordon S Howarth 1 3
  1. Gastroenterology Department, Women’s & Children’s Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia
  2. School of Medicine & Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, Murdoch, Western Australia
  3. School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy, South Australia
  4. Women’s & Children’s Health Research Institute, North Adelaide, South Australia

Background/Aims: Previously, we have reported that Emu Oil (EO) lengthens intestinal crypts, a feature of intestinal growth, in experimental colitis (2012) and mucositis (2013). However, it remains unclear whether the crypt lengthening represents normal or aberrant intestinal growth. We aimed to determine if crypt depth measurements in EO-treated rats returned to normal levels following withdrawal of EO therapy.

Methods: Dark Agouti rats (n=8/group) were gavaged daily for 10 days with Water, Olive Oil (OO) or EO (1ml) or 0.5ml EO (0.5EO). Rats were euthanized on day 10 or day 17. Intestinal weights, lengths, villus height (VH) and crypt depth (CD) were quantified. p<0.05 was considered significant.

Results: On day 10, jejuno-ileum (JI) weight was increased by OO (26%) and EO (0.5ml: 15%; 1ml: 29%; p<0.01), which was normalised by day 17. On days 10 and 17, JI length was greater in OO- (12%) and EO-treated rats (0.5ml: 8%; 1ml: 12%; p<0.05), relative to water controls. On day 10, OO and EO increased ileal VH (OO: 32%; 0.5EO: 22%; EO: 35%; p<0.01) and CD (OO: 17%; 0.5EO: 13%; EO: 22%); importantly however, after withdrawal of all oils, VH and CD returned to normal levels. Moreover, the VH:CD ratio (a feature of dysplasia) was unaffected in all oil-treated rats compared to normal controls.

Conclusion: The restoration of normal intestinal growth following cessation of Emu Oil therapy supports its safety for intestinal conditions.

 Funding Source(s): N/A