Serum albumin has long been accepted as a useful marker of nutritional status in the chronic kidney disease (CKD) population. Yet a more detailed examination reveals that it is in fact a poor nutritional measure. Animal and human studies using healthy and CKD models confirm that protein consumption must be negligible for serum albumin levels to be affected, and even then they are influenced only modestly. Such a severe level of protein restriction cannot explain the persistently low levels of serum albumin (e.g. 3.2 g/dl) observed in the US dialysis population, especially when obesity rates have been climbing. Moreover, the literature does not consistently support the premise that protein supplementation leads to increased serum albumin levels. In fact, serum albumin is an excellent marker of illness. Clinicians should take advantage of this fact by using serum albumin to identify and treat occult illnesses.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Issues in Dialysis|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2012|
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