Abstract of article published in peer review journal “Nutritonal Research” By Dr Nicolosi

Dietary Emu Oil Decreases Plasma Cholesterol Concentrations Similarly to Olive Oil in Hypercholesterolemic Hamsters

Thomas A. Wilson, Subbiah Yoganathan, Timothy Kotyla, and Robert J. Nicolosi

Department of Health and Clinical Science, Center for Health Sciences, Department of Health and Clinical Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA 01854, USA

Abstract
Due to the high concentration of oleic acid and linoleic acid in emu oil, we wanted to test the hypothesis that emu oil would lower plasma cholesterol concentrations and decrease early aortic atherosclerosis equal to or greater than olive oil compared to an hypercholesterolemic control diet and, if so, what are the possible mechanisms. To test this hypothesis, 32 hamsters were fed a nonpurified, hypercholesterolemic diet (HCD) containing 10% coconut oil and 0.05% cholesterol (wt/wt) for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the hamsters were bled, following an overnight fast, and plasma cholesterol measurements were performed. Based on similar plasma cholesterol concentrations, the hamsters were divided into 4 dietary treatments (n = 8) and fed the treatment diets for 8 weeks. Group 1 remained on the HCD. Group 2 was fed the HCD containing 10% olive oil in place of coconut oil. Group 3 was fed the HCD containing 10% crude emu oil in place of coconut oil. Group 4 was the HCD containing 10% refined emu oil in place of the coconut oil. The hamsters fed the olive oil, crude emu oil, and refine emu oil diets had significantly lower plasma total cholesterol (-31, -21, and -25%; P < 0.05, respectively) and very low- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (nonHDL-C) (-50%, -39%, and -41%; P < 0.05, respectively) concentrations compared to the control-fed hamsters, with no differences in plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) or triacylglycerols (TAG) concentrations. However, only the olive oil diet produced a significant lowering in aortic cholesterol ester concentrations compared to the control-fed hamsters (-60%, P < 0.05). The present study suggests that compared to a hypercholesterolemic diet containing coconut oil, emu oil reduces plasma TC and nonHDL-C concentrations similarly to olive oil, however, only olive oil diet produced an reduction on the development of early aortic atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. Keywords: monounsaturated fatty acids, emu oil, olive oil, plasma lipoprotein cholesterol, aortic cholesterol