Adelaide researchers have found that emu oil has therapeutic potential, not only for the treatment of various common bowel diseases, but for intestinal damage caused by chemotherapy.
New research from the University of Adelaide not only supports emu oil’s claimed anti-inflammatory properties, but has also shown that it can help repair damage to the bowel.
Experiments revealed repair was accelerated by stimulating growth of the intestinal crypts, the part of the intestine that produces the villi that absorbs food.
Research leader professor Gordon Howarth confirmed that longer crypts and villi meant a healthier bowel that was able to absorb food more effectively.
“We have done sufficient studies in the laboratory to show that emu oil has the potential to reduce the debilitating symptoms of these conditions and to enhance intestinal recovery,” he said.
Howarth said the next step will be to conduct further work looking at emu oil dosages, and whether the beneficial effects can be reproduced in clinical trials.
Physiology PhD candidate Suzanne Mashtoub, who conducted the laboratory experiments, believes that between 40–60 per cent of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience symptoms of mucositis - inflammation and ulceration of the bowel lining.
“The variable responsiveness of treatments to these diseases shows the need to broaden approaches, to reduce inflammation, prevent damage and promote healing,” she said.
She confirmed there are currently no effective treatment options.Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]