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Marine bioactive peptides from digestion and their relation to cardiovascular health promotion


*Corresponding authors

University of Tromsø, Norwegian College of Fishery Science,
Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway


Seafood, such as fish, shellfish and echinoderms, contains substantial amounts of protein, and has been recognized as rich sources of bioactive peptides with great potential as nutraceuticals and dietary supplements. During gastrointestinal digestion, or by enzymatic digestion ex vivo, proteolytic gut enzymes hydrolyze ingested proteins into peptides that may have totally different biological effects compared to the initial protein source. Isolated peptides or crude hydrolysates produced from marine resources have been shown to exhibit antioxidative and antihypertensive properties, both relevant for management and treatment of cardiovascular disease.


The health benefits of seafood consumption are well documented and an increased seafood intake is known to counteract development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD); coronary heart disease (CHD) and CHD mortality in particular (1-4). As recently reviewed by Larsen et al (5), an increased intake of seafood also offers protection against several other diseases and medical conditions, such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases, beneficial outcomes in foetal and infant development and psychological disorders. These beneficial health effects have mainly been linked to the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Previously neglected components in seafood may, however, also contribute to the observed health effects, synergistically with n-3 PUFA or through separate mechanisms. Seafood contains all essential amino acids, is easily digestible and is considered an excellent protein source (6). Recently, increased attention has been given to the potential health benefits of marine peptides that may add to the effects of n-3 PUFA. Different peptides have been found to exhibit antioxidat ...

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