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.
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|
|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 .
|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.
Beneficial Phospholipid DHA In Roe
Salmon Roe contains DHA in a phospholipid form, which is preferred format for absorbtion.
Potentially Harmful Neu5Gc In Roe
Again a redditor pointed me to content of potentially dangerous Neu5Gc reported in roe in , also I found study  reporting natural occurence of this acid. But it is not clear if Neu5Gc is dangerous as Rhonda Patrick speculates.
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.
-  Comparison of Proximate, Fatty Acid and Amino Acid Compositions of Various Types of Fish Roes
-  Chemical Composition of Fresh and Salted Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) Roe
-  Fatty acids in the roe lipids of common food fishes
-  Analyses of lipids and fatty acids in ripe roes of some Northwest European marine fish
-  Cholesterol oxidation in some processed fish products
-  A red meat-derived glycan promotes inflammation and cancer progression
-  Structural diversity in the alpha 2–>8-linked polysialic acid chains in salmonid fish egg glycoproteins. Occurrence of poly(Neu5Ac), poly(Neu5Gc), poly(Neu5Ac, Neu5Gc), poly(KDN), and their partially acetylated forms.