Unadulterated emu oil can vary widely in colour and viscosity anywhere from an off-white creamy texture to a thin yellow liquid, depending on the diet of the emu and the refining method(s) used. It is composed of approximately 70% unsaturated fatty acids. The largest component is oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Emu oil also contains roughly 20% linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and 1-2% linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid).
Emu oil has been fraudulently promoted as a dietary supplement with the claimed ability to treat many human ailments, including cancer and arthritis. However, little is known about its risks and benefits.
Commercial emu oil supplements are not standardized and vary widely in their potency. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration highlighted emu oil in a 2009 article on "How to Spot Health Fraud," pointing out that many "pure emu oil" products are unapproved drugs.
- American Emu Association FAQ
- Devantier, Alecia T; Carol, Turkington (2006). Extraordinary Jobs in Agriculture and Nature. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8160-5854-9.
- American Emu Association - Definition of emu oil grades
- Kurtzweil, Paula (April 30, 2009). "How to Spot Health Fraud". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
- Ratini, Melinda (31 December 2012). "Emu Oil". Vitamins & Supplements. WebMD. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Whitehouse MW, Turner AG, Davis CK, Roberts MS (1998). "Emu oil(s): A source of non-toxic transdermal anti-inflammatory agents in aboriginal medicine". Inflammopharmacology 6 (1): 1–8. doi:10.1007/s10787-998-0001-9. PMID 17638122.