What is Albumin?

Albumin is a type of protein that your body makes in the liver. It's one of the most common proteins in your blood and serves various critical bodily functions. One important role it plays is to carry hormones (testosterone, for example), vitamins, and enzymes throughout the body, but albumin levels can also indicate liver and kidney health.

Why is it included in Hormone+?

SiPhox Health includes albumin in the male Hormone+ panel because of its significance to testosterone transport. Albumin-bound testosterone accounts for the majority (50 - 68%) of the total testosterone in males. The quantity of albumin in the bloodstream is important because free testosterone (not bound) is biologically active. If albumin concentrations are high, there is less free testosterone, and thus less biologically active testosterone available.

Albumin testing can provide the following information:

  1. Nutritional Analysis: If your albumin levels are low, it could mean that you're not getting enough protein in your diet, or your body is not absorbing food properly.

  2. Liver Health: Because albumin is primarily made in the liver, if levels are low, it could mean your liver isn't working well. Low albumin levels can be a marker of liver dysfunction, as conditions like cirrhosis or acute liver failure can significantly impair the liver's ability to produce albumin. Chronic liver diseases affect albumin levels due to either decreased production by damaged liver cells or increased loss through the kidneys when liver disease leads to kidney dysfunction. Check with your provider regarding further information. 

  3. Kidney HealthThe kidneys filter blood, removing waste products while retaining essential proteins like albumin. Healthy kidneys typically prevent large molecules like albumin from being filtered out of the blood and excreted in the urine. Elevated levels of albumin in the urine, a condition known as albuminuria or microalbuminuria (when the levels are lower but still above normal), can be an early sign of kidney disease. Monitoring albumin levels in the urine helps in the early detection and management of kidney disease. Ask your provider for more information. 

  4. Hormonal Balance: One of the most important functions of Albumin is to carry hormones such as testosterone around the body. If your doctor wants to run tests on your Free/Bioavailable testosterone levels, they will typically analyze your albumin count. 

How can I better understand my results?

Low levels can be a sign of malnutrition, due to a lack of protein and calories. Lack of Albumin may also be caused by burns or infections. In some cases, it is the cause of pre-existing health conditions, but it could also be a sign of a more serious health issue. For information about these, talk to your doctor about your albumin levels. 

High levels are fairly uncommon and may mean that your body is dehydrated. Just as low levels could be a sign of little protein, high levels might indicate an abundance of it. It can also be caused by the use of anabolic steroids and other supplements.

Normal range: 3.5 - 5.5 g/dL

UNC Kidney Center defines 4 g/dL as the optimal concentration of albumin. If you are concerned with any of your results, please consult with your physician.

If your albumin levels are low, you can try:

If your albumin levels are high, you can try:

Where can I learn more?

MedlinePlus - Albumin Blood Test

Doctor O'Donovan (video) - Doctor Explains Albumin Blood Test