Send to

Choose Destination
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2019 Mar;54(3):273-280. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2019.1581253. Epub 2019 Mar 23.

Emu Oil reduces disease severity in a mouse model of chronic ulcerative colitis.

Author information

a Discipline of Physiology, Adelaide Medical School , The University of Adelaide , Adelaide , South Australia.
b Gastroenterology Department , Women's and Children's Hospital , North Adelaide , South Australia.
c School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences , The University of Adelaide , Roseworthy , South Australia.
d School of Medicine , The University of Western Australia , Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch , Western Australia.
e Centre for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , Saint John of God Hospital , Subiaco , Western Australia.
f Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research , Murdoch , Western Australia.


Objective: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is characterized by mucosal inflammation and ulceration of the large intestine. Emu Oil (EO) has been reported to protect the intestine against mucositis, NSAID-enteropathy, UC-associated colorectal cancer and acute UC. We aimed to determine whether EO could reduce the severity chronic UC in mice. Methods: Female C57BL/6 mice (n = 10/group) were orally administered (gavage) water (Groups 1-2) or EO (Groups 3: low dose-80 µl and 4: high dose-160 µl), thrice weekly. Group 1 mice consumed plain drinking water throughout the trial. Groups 2-4 mice underwent two cycles [each consisting of seven days dextran sulfate sodium (DSS; 2% w/v) and 14 days water], followed by a third DSS week. All mice were euthanized two days later (day 51). Bodyweight, disease activity index (DAI), burrowing activity, myeloperoxidase activity, crypt depth and histologically assessed damage severity were assessed. p < .05 was considered significant. Results: DSS decreased bodyweight and increased DAI compared to normal controls (p < .05), which was partially attenuated by both EO doses (p < .05). Burrowing activity was impaired in DSS-controls compared to normal controls (days 27 and 40); an effect prevented by both EO doses (p < .05). DSS increased colonic myeloperoxidase activity and crypt depth compared to controls (p < .05), with no significant EO effect. Moreover, DSS increased colonic damage severity compared to normal controls (p < .001). Importantly, both EO doses decreased distal colonic damage severity compared to DSS-controls (p < .001). Conclusions: Emu Oil attenuated clinically- and histologically-assessed disease severity in a mouse model of chronic UC. Emu Oil demonstrates promise as an adjunct to conventional treatment options for UC management.


Emu Oil; Ulcerative colitis; chronic; inflammatory bowel disease; mice

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center