Cod protein powder lowered serum nonesterified fatty acids and increased total bile acid concentrations in healthy, lean, physically active adults: a randomized double-blind study

  • Iselin Vildmyren
  • Alfred Halstensen
  • Åge Oterhals
  • Oddrun A. Gudbrandsen
Keywords: lipid metabolism; protein supplement; residuals; fish protein


Background: Fish fillet consumption is associated with beneficial health effects; however, little is known about whether consuming other parts of the fish such as head, backbone, skin, cut-offs, and entrails (collectively known as residuals) will provide comparable effects.

Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate if daily supplementation with cod residual protein powder would impact lipid metabolism in healthy adults.

Methods: Forty healthy, lean, physically active participants (18 women, 22 men) with normal body mass index consumed 8.1 g of proteins daily from cod residual protein powder (Cod-RP) or placebo (control) for 8 weeks.

Results: Cod residual protein powder supplementation lowered fasting serum nonesterified fatty acids and increased serum total bile acid concentrations significantly when compared with control supplementation. Fasting serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein (Apo) B concentrations, as well as the total cholesterol:high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and ApoB:ApoA1 ratios, were significantly decreased within the Cod-RP group, but these changes were not different from the control group. Fasting serum concentrations of triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and ApoA1 were not changed within or between groups.

Conclusion: Eight weeks of daily supplementation with 8.1 g Cod-RP seems to be sufficient to affect lipid metabolism in healthy, lean, physically active adults.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. The GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators. Health effects of overweight and obesity in 195 countries over 25 years. N Engl J Med 2017; 377: 13–27. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1614362

  2. Kromhout D, Bosschieter EB, de Lezenne Coulander C. The inverse relation between fish consumption and 20-year mortality from coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med 1985; 312(19): 1205–9. doi: 10.1056/nejm198505093121901

  3. Whelton SP, He J, Whelton PK, Muntner P. Meta-analysis of observational studies on fish intake and coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol 2004; 93(9): 1119–23. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2004.01.038

  4. Van Horn L, McCoin M, Kris-Etherton PM, Burke F, Carson JAS, Champagne CM, et al. The evidence for dietary prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. J Am Diet Assoc 2008; 108(2): 287–331. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2007.10.050

  5. Blair SN, Kohl HW, III, Paffenbarger RS, Jr, Clark DG, et al. Physical fitness and all-cause mortality: a prospective study of healthy men and women. JAMA 1989; 262(17): 2395–401. doi: 10.1001/jama.1989.03430170057028

  6. Warburton DER, Nicol CW, Bredin SSD. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Can Med Assoc J 2006; 174(6): 801–9. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.051351

  7. Torris C, Molin M, Cvancarova MS. Lean fish consumption is associated with lower risk of metabolic syndrome: a Norwegian cross sectional study. BMC Public Health 2016; 16: 347. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3014-0

  8. Torris C, Molin M, Smastuen MC. Lean fish consumption is associated with beneficial changes in the metabolic syndrome components: a 13-year follow-up study from the Norwegian Tromso Study. Nutrients 2017; 9(3): 247–65. doi: 10.3390/nu9030247

  9. Vikoren LA, Nygard OK, Lied E, Rostrup E, Gudbrandsen OA. A randomised study on the effects of fish protein supplement on glucose tolerance, lipids and body composition in overweight adults. Br J Nutr 2013; 109(4): 648–57. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001717

  10. Aadland EK, Lavigne C, Graff IE, Eng O, Paquette M, Holthe A, et al. Lean-seafood intake reduces cardiovascular lipid risk factors in healthy subjects: results from a randomized controlled trial with a crossover design. Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 102(3): 582–92. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.112086

  11. Karlsson T, Rosendahl-Riise H, Dierkes J, Drevon CA, Tell GS, Nygard O. Associations between fish intake and the metabolic syndrome and its components among middle-aged men and women: the Hordaland Health Study. Food Nutr Res 2017; 61(1): 1347479. doi: 10.1080/16546628.2017.1347479

  12. Hagen IV, Helland A, Bratlie M, Brokstad KA, Rosenlund G, Sveier H, et al. High intake of fatty fish, but not of lean fish, affects serum concentrations of TAG and HDL-cholesterol in healthy, normal-weight adults: a randomised trial. Br J Nutr 2016; 116(4): 648–57. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516002555

  13. Zhang X, Beynen AC. Influence of dietary fish proteins on plasma and liver cholesterol concentrations in rats. Br J Nutr 1993; 69(3): 767–77. doi: 10.1079/BJN19930077

  14. Drotningsvik A, Mjos SA, Hogoy I, Remman T, Gudbrandsen OA. A low dietary intake of cod protein is sufficient to increase growth, improve serum and tissue fatty acid compositions, and lower serum postprandial glucose and fasting non-esterified fatty acid concentrations in obese Zucker fa/fa rats. Eur J Nutr 2015; 54(7): 1151–60. doi: 10.1007/s00394-014-0793-x

  15. Hosomi R, Maeda H, Ikeda Y, Toda Y, Yoshida M, Fukunaga K. Differential effects of cod proteins and tuna proteins on serum and liver lipid profiles in rats fed non-cholesterol- and cholesterol-containing diets. Prev Nutr Food Sci 2017; 22(2): 90–9. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2017.22.2.90

  16. Vikoren LA, Drotningsvik A, Bergseth MT, Mjos SA, Austgulen MH, Mellgren G, et al. Intake of baked cod fillet resulted in lower serum cholesterol and higher long chain n-3 PUFA concentrations in serum and tissues in hypercholesterolemic obese Zucker fa/fa rats. Nutrients 2018; 10(7): 840–55. doi: 10.3390/nu10070840

  17. Ween O, Stangeland JK, Fylling TS, Aas GH. Nutritional and functional properties of fishmeal produced from fresh by-products of cod (Gadus morhua L.) and saithe (Pollachius virens). Heliyon 2017; 3(7): e00343. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00343

  18. Vildmyren I, Cao HJV, Haug LB, Valand IU, Eng O, Oterhals A, et al. Daily intake of protein from cod residual material lowers serum concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids in overweight healthy adults: a randomized double-blind pilot study. Mar Drugs 2018; 16(6): 197–212. doi: 10.3390/md16060197

  19. Wergedahl H, Liaset B, Gudbrandsen OA, Lied E, Espe M, Muna Z, et al. Fish protein hydrolysate reduces plasma total cholesterol, increases the proportion of HDL cholesterol, and lowers acyl-CoA: cholesterol acyltransferase activity in liver of Zucker rats. J Nutr 2004; 134(6): 1320–7. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.6.1320

  20. Drotningsvik A, Mjos SA, Pampanin DM, Slizyte R, Carvajal A, Remman T, et al. Dietary fish protein hydrolysates containing bioactive motifs affect serum and adipose tissue fatty acid compositions, serum lipids, postprandial glucose regulation and growth in obese Zucker fa/fa rats. Br J Nutr 2016; 116(8): 1336–45. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516003548

  21. Richardsen R, Nystøyl R, Strandheim G, Marthinussen A. Report: analysis of marine residual raw material. SINTEF. 2016.

  22. Lewis GF, Carpentier A, Adeli K, Giacca A. Disordered fat storage and mobilization in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Endocr Rev 2002; 23(2): 201–29. doi: 10.1210/edrv.23.2.0461

  23. Kahn SE, Hull RL, Utzschneider KM. Mechanisms linking obesity to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Nature 2006; 444(7121): 840–6. doi: 10.1038/nature05482

  24. Klop B, Elte JW, Cabezas MC. Dyslipidemia in obesity: mechanisms and potential targets. Nutrients 2013; 5(4): 1218–40. doi: 10.3390/nu5041218

  25. Boden G. Obesity, insulin resistance and free fatty acids. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 2011; 18(2): 139–43. doi: 10.1097/MED.0b013e3283444b09

  26. Chiang JY. Bile acids: regulation of synthesis. J Lipid Res 2009; 50(10): 1955–66. doi: 10.1194/jlr.R900010-JLR200

  27. Werling M, Vincent RP, Cross GF, Marschall HU, Fandriks L, Lonroth H, et al. Enhanced fasting and post-prandial plasma bile acid responses after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Scand J Gastroenterol 2013; 48(11): 1257–64. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.833647

  28. Liaset B, Madsen L, Hao Q, Criales G, Mellgren G, Marschall HU, et al. Fish protein hydrolysate elevates plasma bile acids and reduces visceral adipose tissue mass in rats. Biochim Biophys Acta 2009; 1791(4): 254–62. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.01.016

  29. Liaset B, Hao Q, Jorgensen H, Hallenborg P, Du ZY, Ma T, et al. Nutritional regulation of bile acid metabolism is associated with improved pathological characteristics of the metabolic syndrome. J Biol Chem 2011; 286(32): 28382–95. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.234732

  30. Patti ME, Houten SM, Bianco AC, Bernier R, Larsen PR, Holst JJ, et al. Serum bile acids are higher in humans with prior gastric bypass: potential contribution to improved glucose and lipid metabolism. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2009; 17(9): 1671–7. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.102

  31. Mazidi M, Rezaie P, Karimi E, Kengne AP. The effects of bile acid sequestrants on lipid profile and blood glucose concentrations: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int J Cardiol 2017; 227: 850–7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.10.011

  32. Balk EM, Lichtenstein AH, Chung M, Kupelnick B, Chew P, Lau J. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on serum markers of cardiovascular disease risk: a systematic review. Atherosclerosis 2006; 189(1): 19–30. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.02.012

  33. Mozaffarian D, Wu JH. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: effects on risk factors, molecular pathways, and clinical events. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011; 58(20): 2047–67. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.06.063

How to Cite
Vildmyren I, Halstensen A, Oterhals Åge, Gudbrandsen O. Cod protein powder lowered serum nonesterified fatty acids and increased total bile acid concentrations in healthy, lean, physically active adults: a randomized double-blind study. fnr [Internet]. 2019Mar.11 [cited 2019Mar.20];630. Available from:
Original Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)