What is globulin in a blood test?

May 13, 2010

Proteins are the building blocks of all cells and tissues and form the structural part of most organs and make up enzymes and hormones that regulate body functions. Serum proteins are present in the blood and help in proper functioning of the vital body processes. Certain proteins protect the body against various infections and ensure a healthy immune system. The two main proteins in the blood are albumin and globulin which is produced by the liver, while others are made by the immune system. Globulin carries essential metals through the bloodstream and carries them to the various parts of the body and helps the body to fight infections. Globulin proteins include enzymes, antibodies and more than 500 other proteins. The protein electrophoresis (SPEP) determines the profile of the globulins. This separates the proteins in accordance to its charge and size. Based on this there can be four major groups one would be able to identify: gamma globulins, beta globulins, alpha-2 globulins, and alpha-1 globulins. The normal concentration in blood is 2 to 3.5 g/dl. Globulin is the 'antibody' protein important for fighting disease.

The levels of the serum proteins, globulin and albumin in the bloodstream increase due to severe dehydration. So, you must ensure that you drink adequate amounts of water and drink plenty of fluids to regulate the protein levels in the blood. You must also avoid consumption of alcohol as these elevate the protein levels in the blood.

Total protein levels are often elevated in persons with serious infections because of abnormally increased production of antibodies. It is vital that the total protein level lies within the normal range as both high and low protein levels indicate certain infections or underlying diseases. The calculated ratio of albumin to globulins is termed as the A/G ratio. Normally, the albumin is slightly more than the globulins, giving a normal A/G ratio of slightly over 1. The optimal range of A/G ratio is 1.7-2.2. Globulin and albumin levels indicate the quantity and kind of protein that is present in the blood. They give a general picture of overall nutrition and health.

A low A/G ratio reflects overproduction of globulins, due to chronic infections, liver and kidney disease, fatty necrotic liver, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, multiple myelomas, increased amount of nonspecific protein, and autoimmunity disorders such as collagen diseases and systemic lupus. On the other hand, a high A/G ratio suggests under production of immunoglobulin; this is seen in genetic deficiencies and in cases of nephrosis, liver dysfunction, acute hemolytic anemia, and hypogammaglobulinemia / Agammaglobulinemia.

Submitted by N on May 13, 2010 at 07:59

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