Salmon roe benefit for overall body maintenance and skin vibrancy by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
March 15 2016

Salmon eggs are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals with anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as free amino acids and lipids documented to be beneficial for skin and most likely acne reduction.

Mature salmon roe lipids consist of triacylglycerols (60%), phospholipids (30%), sterols (4%), steryl esters (0.7%), and other minor components. Much of the fatty acids are believed to be EPA and DHA. See also caviar.

The roe of hake, lumpsucker and salmon is the best dietary source of omega 3, according to researchers at the University of Almería (UAL). The scientists analysed the eggs, or roe, of 15 marine animals, and found all of these contained high levels of these fatty acids. "We have classified these eggs as unequivocal sources of Omega 3, and have proven that this appears at high concentrations in all the species studies", says José Luis Guil Guerrero, director of this study and a researcher in the Food Technology Department of the UAL Omega 3 fatty acids are present in all fish roe, but especially in the eggs of Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda), mackerel (Scomber scombrus), squid (Loligo vulgaris), cuttlefish (Sepia sp.), lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus), hake (Merluccius merluccius) and salmon (Salmo salar). More than 30% of the fatty acids found in these eggs were EPA and DHA. Small consumption of lumpsucker, hake or salmon roe satisfies the human body's Omega 3 essential fatty acid requirements, because of its levels of EPA and DHA. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, December 2009.

Definition of triacylglycerols : Triacylglycerols (triglycerides) are the most abundant dietary lipids. They are the form in which we store reduced carbon for energy. Each triacylglycerol has a glycerol backbone to which are esterified 3 fatty acids. Most triacylglycerols are "mixed." The three fatty acids differ in chain length and number of double bonds.

Benefits of fish eggs, roe
My personal experience indicates consuming salmon roe, smelt roe, or caviar helps with mental alertness and eyesight.

Side effects
I am not sure yet but I think if I eat too much salmon eggs I have trouble sleeping at night. The insomnia may be from overstimulation caused by the omega-3 fatty acids. I am not sure, though.

Brain health, stroke prevention
Nucleoprotamine diet derived from salmon soft roe protects mouse hippocampal neurons from delayed cell death after transient forebrain ischemia.
Neurosci Res. 2003. Department of Anatomy, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.
The nutritional benefits of nucleoprotamine (NP), the main component of fish soft roe, have been rarely addressed. In the present study, the preventive effect of oral supplements of nucleoprotamine and its derivatives, DNA and protamine (PT), extracted from salmon soft roe, on survival rate and hippocampal cell death induced by transient brain ischemia, was evaluated in mice. Artificially formulated nucleoprotamine-free (NF) diet with/without nucleoprotamine, DNA or protamine was fed orally. One week after commencement of respective diets, animals were subjected to transient brain ischemia, which was performed by common carotid artery (CCA) occlusion for 25 (severe) or 15 min (mild). After severe ischemia, the survival rate of the NF group was lower than that in the group fed standard diet or NP. Morphological changes in the hippocampal CA1 region were estimated 48 h after mild ischemia. The NP and PT groups significantly decreased the neuronal damage compared with the NF group. The number of cell death in the DNA group, however, was affected similar to that of the NF group. Our data suggests that the nucleoprotamine content in salmon roe could be a useful nutritional resource for the prevention of cell damage caused by ischemia such as those occurring with cerebral and/or heart infarction.

Liver disease, hepatitis
Beneficial effect of salmon roe phosphatidylcholine in chronic liver disease.
Curr Med Res Opin. 1999. Department of Internal Medicine, Yokohama Red Cross Hospital, Japan.
Phosphatidylcholine (PC), especially dilinoleoyl-PC, has been reported to be effective in preventing hepatic fibrosis in chronically alcohol-fed baboons. Continuous hepatic inflammation predisposes the structure of the liver to fibrosis. Since n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been shown to exhibit an anti-inflammatory effect, we tested the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA PC as a dietary supplement has a beneficial effect on chronic liver disease susceptible to fibrosis. Salmon roe phospholipids, 90% of which are PC, were extracted and encapsulated. Almost a third of the PC fatty acids were docosahexaenoic acid (22:6 n3) and 10% were eicosapentanoic acid (20:5 n3). About 1600 mg/day of the phospholipids was administered for six months to six chronic liver disease patients, four with hepatitis B infection (three with cirrhosis, one with chronic hepatitis), one with hepatitis C virus cirrhosis and one with alcoholic cirrhosis. There was no change in the results of blood chemistry studies related to liver function, except in globulin, which decreased from 3.80 g/dl to 3.67 g/dl. Among the lipid parameters, HDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I and apolipoprotein E increased significantly. Although this was a small trial, n-3 PUFA PC may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic liver diseases.

Tumor prevention, cancer
J Agric Food Chem. 2011. Purification and characterization of a rhamnose-binding chinook salmon roe lectin with antiproliferative activity toward tumor cells and nitric oxide-inducing activity toward murine macrophages. In this study, a rhamnose-binding lectin from the roe of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) was purified and characterized, and its biological activities were examined in several model systems. Chinook salmon roe lectin had a molecular mass of 30 kDa and agglutinated rabbit and bovine erythrocytes. The hemagglutination activity of the lectin was not affected by metal ions. Chinook salmon roe lectin did not exert antifungal activity toward the fungal species tested and did not exhibit mitogenic response toward mouse splenocytes up to a concentration of 5 mg/mL. The lectin had selective antiproliferative activity toward human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and hepatoma Hep G2 cells. It also induced the production of nitric oxide from mouse peritoneal macrophages. This is the first report that demonstrates these biological activities from chinook salmon roe lectin.

Vision, visual acuity, better eyesight
I have not seen studies with salmon egg ingestion and visual acuity improvement, but I suspect that fish roe, which have plenty of epa and dha fatty acids, are good for the retina and good for vision.

Pediatr Int. 20138 .Intussusception secondary to anaphylactic reaction to salmon roe (ikura). Anaphylactic food reaction often involves gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting and abdominal pain, but to date, there have been no publications documenting the association between food hypersensitivity and intussusception. Herein is reported the case of a 2-year-old boy with intussusception accompanied by anaphylactic food reaction. The patient without known allergies complained of severe abdominal pain following ingestion of salmon roe for the first time. Dyspnea, wheezing and generalized urticaria also developed.

Smelt roe or smelt eggs
I have not seen much research with smelt roe but I suspect similar benefits to salmon roe such as improved vision and better mental function.