What is Masago? Benefits and Downsides?


Masago is a popular name for smelt, edible eggs from the smelts Mallotus Villus Capelin fish family. Sometimes, it uses to decorate the exterior of sushi rolls and during the preparation of sushi fillings. It’s usually in green, orange, or red. However, it is a pale yellow hue.

Despite their dimensions, these tiny orange balls can turn an ordinary sushi dish into something much more luxurious and classy. Aside from being exceedingly crunchy, they are also salty-sweet with a touch of bitterness. Masago is high in nutrients and offers numerous health advantages.

What is Masago?

Masago (smelt roe) from capelin fish inhabits the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Arctic oceans. The meat of the capelin isn’t a popular food item; however, Masago Roe is, on the other hand, an ingredient utilized in many traditional Japanese recipes.

The little eggs are a delicious addition to various foods because of their sweet and salty flavor. They are often used in sushi masago and seafood dishes.


Masago has a unique nutritional profile, as well as being extremely adaptable. In addition to having a low-calorie content, every serving has an abundance of protein, vitamin B12, magnesium, and selenium, along with a range of other vital nutrients.

Health Benefits of Masago

Although massage generally uses in small amounts, it offers an extensive nutrient profile that boosts your intake of essential nutrients, including selenium, vitamin B12, and magnesium. It’s also a high-nutrient meal, which contains the highest concentration of these vital minerals and vitamins to help you maintain an extremely low-calorie intake.

1. High-Quality Protein Intake

A single 1-ounce (28-gram) serving packed with 6 grams of high-quality protein, approximately equal to an enormous (50-gram) egg of a chicken. Protein is the most satisfying and reduces appetite compared to fat and carbs, which are the other macronutrients.

High-Quality Protein Intake

Including protein-rich food items like masago into your diet keep you fuller, reduce your cravings for food, and aids in losing weight.

2. Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) and Selenium

Masago has a significant amount of selenium. It is a highly effective antioxidant for your body. It can help reduce oxidative stress and boost the immune and thyroid systems.

masago contain Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) and Selenium

Numerous studies have proven that eating foods rich in selenium boosts the immune system and prevents mental decline. Masago has also been proven to be a fantastic food source for Vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is essential in the production of energy and nerve protection.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Masago is a source of omega-3 fatty acids at high levels. It plays a role in cell functions, such as communication, cell membrane fluidity, and structural maintenance.

It also regulates the nervous system’s blood pressure, hematologic blood clotting, glucose tolerance, and other inflammatory processes that can benefit all inflammation conditions.

omega-3 fatty acid

In addition, studies on humans reveal that it does not just alter the metabolic response to exercise of the skeletal muscle but also the functional response that occurs during the exercise-training cycle.
In addition, due to their higher production of reactive oxygen, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can offer health benefits and performance enhancement, particularly in those who perform sports activities.

This study highlights how vital n-3 PFAs are in our diet and focuses on their potential positive health effects in sports.

4. Low Level of Mercury

Compared to larger fish like mackerel and swordfish, capelin’s mercury concentration is much lower because of its role as a feeder fish. Mercury is both a natural and an anthropogenic pollutant.

Depending on the specific chemical and the route of exposure, a wide range of hazardous effects can result from mercury poisoning.

Methylmercury (MeHg) is most commonly absorbed by humans when they eat fish, shellfish, and wildlife infected by eating contaminated lower-level species.

Low Level of Mercury

Damage to the adult nervous system and stunted neurological growth in children link to MeHg toxicity. Bioaccumulating mercury from oral exposure can lead to high tissue levels over time.

This analysis examines the pathophysiology of mercury poisoning across multiple organ systems. Toxicity from mercury can affect numerous body systems, including those involved in reproduction, development, and immune response.

Downsides of Masago

1. High Level of Sodium(Na+)

One tablespoon of masago contains about 10 percent of the daily requirement for salt. Those who have had a heart attack or struggle with high blood pressure should reduce their sodium consumption to help maintain their blood pressure normal. Problems, including stomach cancer and bone loss, have been linked to excessive salt consumption.

2. Allergic Reaction

People with seafood allergies should not eat masago. Vellellogenin, a protein in fish egg yolks has been labeled as a possible allergy and is present in fish roe.

Allergic Reaction due to masago

And even if you don’t usually have a problem with seafood allergies, you can have one after eating fish roe. Allergic reactions, bronchial constriction, and hypotension all fall into this category.

3. Ecological Concern

Research suggests a link between saw consumption and ecological concerns. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed in a recent announcement that capelin stocks dropped by 70 percent between 2015 and 2018, with environmental causes being blamed more than excessive fishing for the decline.

Ecological Concern

Fisheries target egg-bearing fish, disrupting the fragile ecology and causing capelin populations to decline. It destroys the next generation of capelin and lowers the food source for giant predatory fish.


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