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What is Albumin?

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asked Apr 23, 2012 in Glossary by LarryEitel (1,360 points)
retagged Jun 4, 2012 by LarryEitel

1 Answer

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Human Albumin is the most prevalent protein found in the plasma component of blood. A protein manufactured in the liver.

What does Albumin do?
Albumin performs many functions including maintaining the "osmotic pressure" that causes fluid to remain within the blood stream instead of leaking out into the tissues. It is also called albuminate, plasbumin, buminate, albutein and albuminar.

What is the normal level of Albumin?
The normal value depends on the laboratory running the test. Most labs consider roughly 3.5 to 5 grams per deciliter to be normal.

What happens if it gets too low?
In a healthy person with normal nutrition, the liver will simply manufacture more and the level will normalize. If Albumin gets very low, swelling can occur in the ankles (edema) and fluid can begin to accumulate in the abdomen (ascites) and in the lungs (pulmonary edema).

How is it prepared?
Plasma is collected and pooled by domestic fractionators such as Aventis Behring Corporation, Alpha Therapeutic Corporation, Baxter Corporation and the American Red Cross Organization. These companies use the Cohn fractionation process (steam heat under pressure) to separate albumin from plasma. Albumin is prepared as a sterile solution, contains no preservatives and is treated to prevent transmitting viruses. (treated for at leat 10 hours at 60 degrees Centigrade or 140 degrees Fahrenheit) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates its preparation, distribution and use.

Patient Considerations:
Albumin is constituted as a protein fraction derived from a primary component of blood. The acceptable use of this fraction is a personal choice.

See also:
Watchtower, June 15, 2000 pages 29-31
http://www.atlanticmedical.net/albumin.htm

Custom Google Search for albumin

 

answered Apr 23, 2012 by LarryEitel (1,360 points)

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