Proteins form the building blocks for all body cells and tissues. The structural part of most organs in the body is made up of proteins. They also make up hormones and enzymes, which regulate the functions of body. Proteins act as energy reserves in the body and they provide energy to tissues and muscles when you are taking sufficient amounts of proteins. Albumin and globulin form the two major kinds of proteins that are present in blood serum.
Globulin proteins consist of antibodies, enzymes and other types of proteins. Globulins are helpful in fighting infections and enhancing the blood clotting process. They also serve as hormone carrier and transport the hormones to different parts of the body. There are close to sixty different proteins in globulin including gamma globulins, which are basically antibodies, beta, alpha-1, and alpha-2 globulins.
The globulin proteins also consist of lipoproteins, which are carrier or transport proteins. The normal concentration of globulins in blood is between 2 to 3.5 grams per deciliter. Gamma globulins or antibodies are produced by mature B-lymphocytes known as plasma cells but other globulin proteins in the alpha and beta fractions are produced in the liver.
The normal range for alpha-1 globulin is 0.1 to 0.3 grams per deciliter, alpha-2 is globulin is 0.6 to 1.0 grams per deciliter, and beta globulin is 0.7 to 1.2 grams per deciliter while gamma globulin range is between 0.7 to 1.6 grams per deciliter. Protein electrophoresis (SPEP) is a process that separates the different proteins based on their charge and size and is used to determine the specific globulin profiles such as gamma globulins, beta, alpha-1, and alpha-2 globulins.
The largest portion of globulin is the gamma globulins and since this is an antibody, it means that if a person has low globulin levels, then there is antibody deficiency. Serum globulin electrophoresis is a test that checks the amount of globulin proteins in the blood. High levels of globulin may indicate chronic inflammatory disease such as tuberculosis and syphilis. It may be also be a marker for bone marrow disorder such as the multiple myeloma.
Other conditions that could elevate the levels of globulin proteins are leukemia, autoimmunity disorder like collagen disease, and systemic lupus. Liver disease including obstructive jaundice and biliary cirrhosis also contribute to high levels of globulin. Rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, carcinoid syndrome, kidney disease or nephrosis, and chronic infections such as bacteria and virus also cause the levels of globulins to increase passed the normal ranges.
On the other hand, low levels of globulin may indicate celiac disease, hepatic dysfunctions, poor absorption, or indigestion of proteins as well as inflammatory bowel disease. Neoplasms conditions, hypogammaglobulinemia, and acute hemolytic anemia also contribute to low levels of globulins. Renal disease where the kidneys do not sufficiently filter proteins in blood resulting to leakages to the urine is another condition that may cause low levels of globulins.
A decrease in albumin globulin- A/G ratio is an indication for overproduction of globulins as witnessed in conditions like autoimmune disease and multiple myeloma. The decrease in A/G ratio may be due to decreased production of albumin as witnessed in liver cirrhosis. Low levels of albumin in blood may also lead to decreased albumin globulin ratio as seen in kidney diseases.
A/G ratio is a proportion of the albumin and globulin in blood specifically the albumin to globulin ratio. It is a marker of the proteins that are being utilized at any one given time by the body. Any condition that would decrease globulins, it would also increase the A/G ratio and the same applies to any condition that would increase albumin, since it could also increase the A/G ratio.
The A/G ratio will increase if there is high protein or high carbohydrates in diet and poor nitrogen retention. Hypothyroidism will also cause the ratio to increase. Similarly, decreased production of immunoglobulins as witnessed in some types of leukemia and genetic disorders may cause elevated levels of the A/G ratio. Medications with cortisone effects and overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal gland may lead to excess glucocorticoid, which may in turn lead to increased albumin to globulin ratio.
Serum blood protein test measure the total number of protein in blood alongside the albumin and globulin parts or concentrations. These are the two profound proteins in the body although there are many others. Usually globulin and albumin levels are checked to establish and evaluate liver function. If there are notable differences in the levels of globulin, prompt medical attention is needed, and then followed by proper treatment. Both serum globulin and serum albumin are a measure of nutrition.
Protein test including serum albumin and globulin helps in monitoring the course or progression of disease in certain cancers. It is also used to detect kidney and intestinal protein waste. The protein test can also be used to diagnose immune disorder, kidney dysfunction, liver dysfunction, and find out the cause for impaired nutrition and edema.