Salmon Eggs: Are They Good for You?

Salmon roe are the developed eggs of salmon. Salmon eggs are red-orange in color and are taken from the inside of the fish. Eating fish roe provides many of the same healthy vitamins and minerals as eating fish meat. 

Fish roe, research shows, may help with improving or preventing the following health conditions:

Nutrition Information

One serving of raw fish roe (1 table spoon.) has the following nutrients on average:

  • Calories: 20
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugars: 0 grams 

Salmon eggs are a good source of:

Potential Health Benefits of Salmon Eggs

Salmon eggs are rich in essential nutrients, low in calories, and recommended as part of a healthy diet. Including salmon in a balanced diet can help decrease the chances of heart disease, ease inflammation, and more.

Studies have shown a number of potential health benefits to seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which include salmon eggs. The potential health benefits to salmon eggs include the following.

Decreased Chances of Heart Disease  

Because salmon eggs are full of omega-3 fatty acids, some studies have shown that eating roe or similar seafood at least once a week can significantly lower your chances of developing heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Healthy Fetal Development

The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon eggs can also help provide important support for healthy fetal brain and nervous system development. Doctors recommend that pregnant women consume eight to 12 ounces per week from a variety of seafood types to reap the most benefit.

Reduction of Inflammation

Some studies have shown that the regular consumption of roe or other seafood rich in omega-3 can help moderately reduce inflammation. People with arthritis have reported improvements in mobility after taking fish oil. 

Arthritis Relief 

A large 2012 study concluded that the benefits of roe include arthritis relief. The omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce stiffness, joint pain, and the need for medication. 

Continued

Potential Risks Salmon Roe

The potential risks of consuming salmon eggs are usually considered to be the same risks associated with eating salmon filet.

However, a 2016 study found that roe have higher levels of many pollutants on average than the typical fish filet. Researchers recommended updating health advisories to reflect a lower recommended intake for roe than filets.

The high levels of pollutants found in salmon roe may be linked to the following potential health risks.

Possible Link to Prostate Cancer

Studies have been inconclusive as to whether there is a relationship between consuming fish eggs and prostate cancer. Further research on the role of omega-3 fatty acids in prostate cancer development may help provide more definitive answers.

Mercury Poisoning

Most types of seafood run the risk of containing some level of mercury. However, mercury levels in salmon are lower than in other types of fish on average.

As a result, the mercury content of salmon roe should be proportionately smaller than eggs from most other types of fish.

Mercury poisoning can cause a wide range of serious issues, especially to a developing fetus. Consuming high levels of mercury can lead to nervous system or brain problems.

Multiple studies have concluded that the low level of mercury found in salmon makes eating roe of low risk, including to pregnant women in small quantities. Research shows that the benefits of the vitamins and minerals found in seafood outweigh the potential risks of consuming trace pollutants.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 03, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:  

British Journal of Nutrition: “Impact of low v. moderate intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids on risk of coronary heart disease.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Deaths and Mortality.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Fish eggs, raw.”

Harvard School of Public Health: “Fish: Friend of Foe?”

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Persistent Organohalogens in Paired Fish Fillet and Eggs:

Implications for Fish Consumption Advisories.”

Journal of American Medical Association: “Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits.”

Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology: “Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant, and Antimicrobial of Underutilized Fish Protein Hydrolysate.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “7 Things To Know About Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”

Science Direct: “Fish roe - An overview.”

U.S. Food & Drug Administration: “Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2012).”

Washington State Department of Health: “Health Benefits of Fish.” 

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