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Vaclav Kosar

Vaclav Kosar is a senior software developer. This blog is focused on interesting technology, tips and news.

Fish Roe vs Fish Oil

12 Aug 2017


Fish oil is popular supplement. It’s production was optimized for maximum content of popular fatty acids DHA and EPA. Fish roe is food of salty taste produced from egg masses of fish known to be good source of omega-3 fatty acids. With this article I am trying to compare the two in terms of price and health improvement. This article may be updated in future.

EPA Gram Price Comparison

EPA estimates are based on fatty acid composition and referenced studies and package fat contents. Content estimates are per common container size of 50g.

Fish Fat Content (g) Estimated EPA Content (g) Price ($) $/g EPA
Salmon 5 0.85 8.3 9.76
Lumpfish 1.75 0.34 3.6 10.58
Capelin 1.95 0.37 1.5 4.05
Herring 0.75 ? 0.08 ? 1.5 18.75 ?

For comparison, Now Foods Omega-3, 180 EPA/120 DHA, 200 Softgels:

  • Serving of 2 capsules contains EPA grams: 0.36
  • $/g EPA: 0.18

Thus fish oil EPA is 22 times cheaper.


Although I expected that thanks to refrigeration and natural encapsulation of fish roe, it will be heathier than oil there are potential issue.

A redditor to pointed me to potential concerns about fish roe - oxidised cholesterol content reported in [5].

Product COP content
oil average 7.52
fresh salmon roe 6.23
salted lumpfish roe 37.56
smoked cod roe 93.06

Fish roe oxidized cholesterol products content is 5 times higher.

Other Contents

Again a redditor pointed me to content of likely dangerous Neu5Gc reported in roe in [6], also I found study [7] reporting natural occurence of this acid.

Fish roe contains higher amount of Neu5Gc than even meat while fish oil doesn’t contain any.


Fish oil EPA is more than 20 times cheaper and contains 5 times less oxidized cholesterol products and doesn’t contain very high amount of Neu5Gc.


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