Albumin is one of the most important and sensitive factors on a blood test. It is made almost entirely in the liver. If low, it can correlate with blood pressure irregularities, as well as nutrient deficiencies. Albumin is a nutrient transport. It “delivers the goods” to the cells. Albumin transports hormones, antioxidants such as glutathione and essential lipids, minerals and nutrients. If serum albumin is low (<4.1) there will necessarily be deficiencies in these critical factors.
Albumin is the primary protein in plasma. A low albumin level will have a grave effect on how the body is able to function.
Albumin transports numerous hormones to cell receptor sites. T4 uses albumin as its carrier, as well as other blood proteins such as globulin fractions. Steroidal hormones can use albumin as its carrier to receptor sites.
Albumin is also a carrier of the body’s most ubiquitous, endogenously produced antioxidant: Glutathione. Low blood levels of albumin will necessarily minimize circulating glutathione. Glutathione of course is critical for cellular and liver detoxification.
Albumin is also critical for colloid osmotic pressure balance. When there is a low albumin level, it is common for there to be edema, as well as aberrant blood pressure.
A low albumin level correlates with catabolic activity.
The overwhelming majority of albumin is produced by the liver. So low levels of this critical blood protein could be reflective of liver toxicity and dysfunction, as well as free radical activity and oxidative stress.
Sufficient Dietary Protein Is Critical For Albumin Synthesis
Dietary protein is essential for healthy liver function. This is especially true for the sulphur-rich amino acids methionine, taurine and cysteine. Vegetarian sources of protein lack significant amounts of these critical amino acids. Protein is the key macro-nutrient that initiates the liver detoxification pathways. The lipotrophic amino acid L-methionine is essential in liver function.
Studies have shown that albumin synthesis diminishes with the consumption of vegetarian diets.
Range For Albumin
Laboratory reference ranges are based upon statistical averages and are therefore poor representations of “healthy” laboratory values. The reference range many clinicians use for serum albumin is 4.1-5.1. A 1/10th of a movement is significant.
Low albumin levels correlates with many possibly nutrient deficiencies, liver distress and poor handling of toxicity. High albumin levels can correlate with dehydration.