Herring roe supplements, a new source of omega-3 fatty acids
We saw them on the shelves, and had no idea what they were. Supplements with Herring Roe. Sounds fishy – and they were, professor Google was able to tell us. Herring Roe Oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids from the eggs of the herring. According to a human study, Herring Roe is as good as regular fish oil.
Herring roe as a supplement
In herring roe, omega-3 fatty acids are not bound in the form of a triglyceride, as they are in regular fish oil, but as a phospholipid, just like in krill oil. When fishermen process herring, herring roe is released as a residual product. Food companies realize that the amounts are large enough to extract valuable functional nutritional ingredients from them. And so gradually more and more supplements with herring roe oil or caviar oil [different names, same thing] appear in the web stores.
You can also use the eggs of salmon, coalfish, cod or another fish as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, according to the patent literature. [United States Patent Application Publication US 2008/0089999 A1] Supplements with those extracts will pop up sooner or later in stores.
The researchers gave 32 adults a daily supplement for two weeks with herring roe oil, which was good for 628 milligrams of EPA, 1810 milligrams of DHA and 137 milligrams of DPA. The supplement was Romega30, a product from the Norwegian Arctic Nutrition. [arcticnutrition.no]
In 2019, Arctic Nutrition patented the use of extracts from herring roe as a source of DHA. [United States Application US2019/0015433 A1] Arctic Nutrition also paid for the study, and three Arctic Nutrition employees cooperated in the study.
During the first 12 hours of the experiment, the researchers measured how much EPA and DHA appeared in the test subjects’ blood. After 2 weeks of supplementation, they looked again at how many omega-3 fatty acids they could find in the test subjects’ blood.
The researchers repeated the experiment on another occasion. This time the subjects received a supplement with regular fish oil for 2 weeks. This supplement delivered about as much EPA, DHA and DPA as the herring roe extract.
During the first 12 hours of the experiment, herring roe [Romega 30] was a better source of omega-3 fatty acids than regular fish oil [Fish Oil].
The researchers do not know exactly how omega-3 fatty acids limit the damage to intervertebral discs. Perhaps the fatty acids inhibit inflammation, they speculate. The researchers base this suspicion on the shift in the arachidonic acid: EPA ratio in blood of the test animals that received fish oil.
Neither regular fish oil nor herring roe oil had side effects, as far as the researchers could ascertain.
“These data demonstrate that phospholipid-rich herring roe is a well-tolerated and bioavailable source of long-chain n-3 PUFA”, the researchers write.
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Omega-3 Fatty Acids