Salmon-derived bioactive peptides may support gut health: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© PeopleImages / Getty Images
© PeopleImages / Getty Images

Related tags bioactive peptides Salmon Sustainability upcycled foods Upcycling Gut health Anti-inflammatory

Researchers from Stanford University and Hofseth BioCare report that the bioactive peptides contained in salmon-derived ProGo may help restore a healthy balance within the gut immune system.

Data published in Biomolecules also indicated that dietary supplementation may also markedly improve gut health in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The potential benefits are linked to upregulation of protective, antioxidant gene pathways including HMOX1. HMOX1 is a gene that encodes heme oxygenase (HO), an enzyme system important for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.

“The peptides that constitute ProGo are proven to not only deliver nutritional benefits, such as collagen for skin health, but also a myriad of important health benefits, including antioxidant effects to support gut health and immunity and to sustain overall health,”​ said Dr Crawford Currie, Head of Medical R&D at Hofseth BioCare (HBC).

“This latest Stanford University study underpins ProGo’s reputation as a patented product possessing properties, claims and health benefits unique to the market. Further clinical studies are in the pipeline to explore the efficacy of ProGo as a functional and targeted tool in IBD management and we look forward to discovering the full potential of this truly transformative innovation.”


HBC has spent about a decade honing its proprietary processes and building the clinical substantiation for its ingredient portfolio, which includes ProGo (bioactive peptides); OmeGo (salmon oil); and CalGo (collagenic hydroxyapatite calcium).

ProGo does not contain iron, but has been shown to support healthy ferritin and hemoglobin levels by upregulating a gene called FTH1. The iron-boosting activity was reported in a 2015 paper in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences​, which compared ferritin and hemoglobin levels following consumption of salmon protein hydrolysate tablets or whey protein hydrolysate powder in 48 iron-deficient adults.

Sixteens grams per day of ProGo led to an increase in hemoglobin levels of 14% after six weeks, compared to only 2% in the whey group. In addition, ferritin levels increased by 140% in the ProGo group, but increased by less than 20% in the whey group.

Other papers published in peer-review journals support the ingredient’s potential for weight management and leucine increases for sports nutrition applications.

The ingredient successfully achieved New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) status from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Study details

The new study supports the potential gastrointestinal benefits of the ingredient. Led by Stanford’s University’s Karl Sylvester, MD, the researchers investigated the impacts of the salmon-derived bioactive peptides on gastrointestinal injury in a mouse model of colitis.

The data showed that ProGo was associated with significant reductions in colon tissue injury by alleviating inflammatory cell infiltrates and oxidative stress.

“This suggests that the peptides in [ProGo] have a potential immunomodulatory action through the upregulation of protective, antioxidant gene pathways including HMOX1,” ​wrote the researchers. “These effects limited macroscopic colonic damage and supported general health assessed by weight loss.”

Prior research undertaken by HBC and Stanford also demonstrated that gene systems which protect the gastrointestinal tract against oxidative stress and inflammation are upregulated in human cells exposed to ProGo.

“This latest discovery bolsters ProGo’s position as a fresh, effective innovation and presents a prime opportunity for nutraceutical manufacturers looking to disrupt the gut health and immunity markets,” ​said HBC in a press release.

Source: Biomolecules
2022, 12​(9), 1287; doi: 10.3390/biom12091287
“Soluble Protein Hydrolysate Ameliorates Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Injury in 2,4,6-Trinitrobenzene Sulfonic Acid-Induced Colitis in Mice”
Authors: J. Wei et al.

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