Laboratory experiments by physiology PhD student Suzanne Abimosleh at the University of Adelaide found that emu oil - rendered from the fat of emu - accelerates the repair process by stimulating growth of the intestinal crypts - part of the intestine that produces the villi which absorb food, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Longer crypts and villi mean a healthier bowel, which can better absorb food.
Abimosleh said that disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, like inflammatory bowel diseases and chemotherapy-induced mucositis, are associated with malabsorption of food together with inflammation and ulceration of the bowel lining.
She said that the variable responsiveness of treatments to these diseases shows the need to broaden approaches, to reduce inflammation, prevent damage and promote healing.
Lead researcher Gordon Howarth said that the next step in the use of emu oil included clinical trials, possibly with patients, who are suffering from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.