Sesamin, known for its liver protection and sleep-regulating effects, is popular among fatigued and socially active office workers. On the other hand, Fish Oil’s cardiovascular maintenance benefits have made it a popular dietary supplement in recent years. As a result, formulas that combine Sesamin and Fish Oil have emerged on the market. But does this supplementation method really yield dual benefits, or do Sesamin and Fish Oil lose their intended effects due to interaction? Below, we’ve compiled relevant information for your reference.
The Eight Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are mainly divided into two categories: omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6). An excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids can lead to a stronger inflammatory response in the body, while omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory functions .
Fish Oil is rich in omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, serving as a primary source of EPA and DHA. It has immune-regulating and anti-inflammatory functions. Current research highlights several major benefits of Fish Oil for the human body, including :
- Improving cardiovascular diseases and related risk factors (such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia)
- Supporting infant development and neurodevelopment
- Preventing cancer (such as breast and colorectal cancer)
- Reducing the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease)
- Preventing age-related macular degeneration
- Preventing dry eye syndrome and alleviating symptoms
- Serving as an adjunctive therapy for rheumatoid arthritis
- Assisting in alleviating symptoms of depression
The Eight Benefits of Sesamin
Sesame seeds have long been regarded as a traditional health food in East Asia, and sesame oil is an important component in natural Indian remedies and traditional Chinese medicine for boosting vitality and preventing aging .
Sesame seeds and sesame oil are rich in various physiologically active phenolic compounds, collectively known as lignans. Among them, the highest content is sesamin, which possesses immune-regulating, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Based on studies conducted on animals and humans, the potential benefits of sesamin include the following :
- Regulating endothelial function in blood vessels, improving cardiovascular diseases and related risk factors (such as atherosclerosis and blood clot formation)
- Protecting against liver damage caused by alcohol or carbon tetrachloride
- Enhancing the bioavailability of vitamin E in the body
- Exerting anticancer effects (metabolites generated from sesamin metabolism exhibit protective effects against breast cancer)
- Assisting in lowering blood pressure
- Inhibiting cholesterol absorption and synthesis, reducing blood lipid levels
- Improving blood sugar and obesity
- Enhancing sleep quality and alleviating daily fatigue
The Relationship Between Fish Oil and Sesamin
Currently, there are only a few animal studies examining the relationship between sesamin and fish oil (containing DHA and EPA), and the results are not yet consistent:
Sesamin and EPA
In animal trials, it was observed that among two groups of rats receiving diets rich in EPA, the group that additionally consumed sesamin showed a significant increase in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies compared to the group that did not consume sesamin . Although the mechanism is not fully understood, it is possible that sesamin affects the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids, and this effect is greater than its inhibition of omega-6 fatty acid metabolism .
Another study also yielded similar results, indicating that sesamin increases beta-oxidation enzyme activity, leading to the degradation of EPA, which results in a decrease in EPA concentration in the livers of rats .
Sesamin and DHA
DHA is susceptible to oxidation. In an animal study, rats receiving a diet rich in DHA were given additional sesamin and vitamin E. The results showed that sesamin can increase the concentration of DHA in the blood .
Correct Way to Take Fish Oil and Sesamin
Based on the research summarized above, the effects of sesamin on fish oil can be summarized as follows:
- Decreases EPA concentration in the liver
- Increases DHA concentration in the blood
Currently, there is no clear evidence regarding the extent of mutual influence when taking sesamin and fish oil together. If the intention is to supplement EPA for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and anti-inflammatory purposes, it’s recommended to consider separating the intake of sesamin and fish oil.
Sesamin and its metabolites reach their highest blood concentration around 5 hours after consumption, and their concentration rapidly decreases thereafter, with a half-life of 2.4 hours. The average half-life of EPA is around 1.97 days .
As the extent of interaction between the two is not clear, to minimize potential effects, it’s suggested to space out the intake by 3 to 5 hours . Aligning with daily routines, one could consider taking fish oil after breakfast and then taking sesamin before bedtime.