Other names : ALB
Albumin refers generally to any protein with water solubility, which is moderately soluble in concentrated salt solutions, and experiences heat coagulation (protein denaturation). Substances containing albumin, such as egg white, are called albuminoids. It has a molecular weight of about 65,000 and consists of 584 amino acids and contains no carbohydrate.
Serum albumin :
The most well-known type of albumin is serum albumin. It is usually found in the blood or serum,but it can also appear in other fluid compartments .
Serum albumin is the most abundant blood plasma protein and is produced in the liver and forms a large proportion of all plasma protein. The human version is human serum albumin, and it normally constitutes about 60% of human plasma protein.
Serum albumins are important in regulating blood volume by maintaining the oncotic pressure (also known as colloid osmotic pressure) of the blood compartment. They also serve as carriers for molecules of low water solubility this way isolating their hydrophobic nature, including lipid soluble hormones, bile salts, unconjugated bilirubin, free fatty acids (apoprotein), calcium, iron (transferrin), and some drugs like warfarin, phenobutazone, clofibrate & phenytoin. Competition between drugs for albumin binding sites may cause drug interaction by increasing the free fraction of one of the drugs, thereby affecting potency.
Low albumin (hypoalbuminaemia) may be caused by liver disease, nephrotic syndrome, burns, protein-losing enteropathy, malabsorption, malnutrition, late pregnancy, artefact, genetic variations and malignancy.
High albumin is almost always caused by dehydration. In some cases of retinol (Vitamin A) deficiency the albumin level can become raised to High-normal values (ex: 4.9 g/dL). This is because retinol causes cells to swell with water (this is also the reason too much Vitamin A is toxic).
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