Is salmon skin safe to eat? (5+ benefits)

In this article, we will discuss whether salmon skin is safe to eat, what are the benefits of consuming the skin of salmon, what is the composition of salmon skin and how can you include salmon skin into your diet.

Salmon is a very appreciated fish in many parts of the world, from which fillets are consumed, while head and skin are rejected. However, fish consumed whole has many benefits for bone and skin health.

Is salmon skin safe to eat?

Yes, salmon skin is safe to eat. Salmon skin, similar to the skin of other fish species, is a source of amino acids and collagen. Salmon skin is used industrially to extract collagen, a protein with many applications in the medical and pharmaceutical areas (1, 2, 3).

According to studies, small fish and fatty fish can be eaten whole. Consuming fish as a whole and not only their fillets can improve the intake of certain micronutrients in the diet (4).

In many parts of the world, not only the fillet of the fish is consumed, but also the head and skin, contributing to a balanced and healthy diet of the population (4).

What is the composition of salmon skin?

Salmon skin is composed mainly of proteins. The proteins in the salmon skin correspond to 35 % (5), having the main amino acid the glycine (3). The nutritional profile is given in the table below (5):

Nutrient g in 100 g of skin
water 58.5
proteins 35.2
fat 1.6
ash 0.4

Amino acids in salmon skin

The composition of amino acids in salmon skin is given in the table below (5):

Amino acid g in 100 g of skin
glycine 19.5
isoleucine 11.1
arginine 11.5
histidine 4.9
methionine 4.8
threonine 3.2
phenylalanine 4.8
leucine 2.0
glutamine 3.0
serine 3.2
alanine 4.8
proline 6.2
hydroxyproline 5.2

What are the benefits of eating salmon skin?

The benefits of eating salmon skin are the proteins and amino acids in its composition. Proteins are essential for the human diet for the growth, maintenance of the body and repairment of body tissues and bones (6).

Protein from fish sources is considered to have a high quality due to its good digestibility and composition. 

Salmon skin is composed of a diversity of essential and non-essential amino acids and collagen and has a main amino acid glycine, which can be used as an ingredient in diabetes type-2 treatment (2).

Collagen extracted from marine sources has many health benefits and many applications in the pharmaceutical and medical industries, as a drug delivery vehicle, in cosmetics and bone regeneration (1).

What are the benefits of consuming marine collagen?

There are many benefits of consuming collagen extracted from marine sources, including (1):

  • Help improve bone density and aid disorders of bone density reduction 
  • Help in the treatment of degenerative joint diseases
  • Help thicken hair and nails
  • Help improve the moisture absorption in the skin
  • Help reduce the UV-induced skin damage

In addition to these benefits, collagen from marine sources, including salmon skin, has been shown to have antioxidant properties, reducing oxidative stress in the body.

Reactive oxygen species that in the body cause inflammatory processes and lead to diseases are neutralised by amino acids from salmon skin collagen (1). In this way, consuming salmon fish can help in the prevention of diseases.

How to include salmon skin into your diet?

To include salmon skin into your diet, cook the salmon without removing the skin (7). You can prepare and then pan-fry, boil, bake or grill the salmon fillet and consume it as usual.

Choose a fresh salmon fillet with skin, with a pleasant smell and colour and no signs of spoilage. Cook the salmon till a temperature of 145 °F and the flesh has turned firm (8).


In this article, we discussed the safety of eating salmon skin and the benefits of consuming salmon skin, the composition and the amino acids present in salmon skin.

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