What is Globulin?

Globulins are a group of proteins that help transport nutrients and fight infections.

Globulin proteins include carrier proteins, enzymes, antibodies (immunoglobulins), and other proteins. Most globulins are made by the liver, while others are made by the immune system. They help transport nutrients and fight infections. Measuring your globulin levels can help diagnose whether or not you have an inflammatory disorder or infection, because increased antibody production can signal these diseases [R].

Normal Range of Globulin

  • 2.0-3.9 g/dL
  • 20-39 g/L

Globulin in the normal range means you have a normal balance of carrier proteins, enzymes, and antibodies that are needed for many biological processes. It also probably means that you do not have a viral infection or an inflammatory or immune disorder [R].

However, some of the normal range for globulin is not ‘optimal’, since ranges within normal can be associated with the higher risk of death from all causes [R].

High Globulin

High globulin increases the risk of death from all causes [R].

Causes of High Globulin

The most common cause of high globulin is:

  • Dehydration [R, R]

High globulin can also be caused by:

  • Viral and bacterial infections [R, R]
  • Liver disorders [R]
  • Heavy chain disease [R]
  • Cancers, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma or multiple myeloma [R, R, R]
  • Drugs, such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone), used to treat and prevent heartbeat [R]

Symptoms of high globulin

  • Inflammation [R]

Recommendations for High Globulin:

Exercise more often. Both aerobic and strength exercise can help significantly decrease globulin levels in people [R].

In both men and women, more days per week of either aerobic or strength exercise were significantly associated with lower globulin [R].

You should stop taking protein supplements, as these may be causing higher protein and globulin levels [R].

Drink more water to prevent dehydration [R, R]. Also limit alcohol intake, because alcohol can worsen dehydration [R].

Try to reduce stress, since acute stress can increase various types of globulins [R].

Supplements that can help:

  • Zinc can prevent dehydration due to diarrhea [R]
  • Electrolytes like magnesium can also help with dehydration due to diarrhea [R]

Suggested Tests if You Have High Globulin

Albumin, total serum protein, sodium (Na), chloride (Cl), cortisol, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), alanine aminotransferase (AST), aspartate aminotransferase (ALT), total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), calcium, serum gastrin, IgA, IgM, IgG, HCT (hematocrit), HGB (hemoglobin)

Low Globulin

The most common cause of low globulin is:

  • Malnutrition or lack of nutrients from your diet, which decreases globulin production [R]

Low globulin can also be caused by:

  • Inborn (Congenital) immune deficiency, which decreases globulin production [R]
  • Oxidative stress [R]
  • Kidney disease (nephrotic syndrome), which can cause protein loss [R]
  • Liver disease [R, R]
  • Acromegaly, a disorder which results from excess growth hormone [R]
  • Lung cancer [R]

Symptoms of low globulin include:

  • Swelling due to fluid buildup (edema) [R]
  • Susceptibility to infectious diseases [R]
  • Symptoms of liver disease, which include yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice), nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and fluid buildup [R, R]

Low Globulin Recommendations

Eating a diet with enough nutrients will prevent malnutrition and prevent your protein levels from becoming too low. Eating lean protein, such as fish and turkey, can help improve your total protein levels [R].

Also, you should increase your consumption of foods that help with liver and kidney detoxification. These include asparagus, beets, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, and onions [R].

Probiotic supplements (Lactobacillus plantarum and Bacillus polyfermenticus) can also help increase globulins, specifically immunoglobulins [R, R].

Suggested Tests If Your Globulin is Low

Albumin, total serum protein, sodium (Na), chloride (Cl), cortisol, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), alanine aminotransferase (AST), aspartate aminotransferase (ALT), total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), calcium, serum gastrin, IgA, IgM, IgG, HCT (hematocrit), HGB (hemoglobin)

Abnormal Globulin?

People go to their doctor to get their Globulin tested as part of a standard panel. Almost always, the results are not scrutinized, even though we know that you can be healthier and live longer when your results lie within optimal ranges. When I used to go to doctors and tried to discuss my results, they had no clue what these meant from a health perspective. All they cared about was whether they could diagnose me with some disease. This is why we created Lab Test Analyzer, a tool that easily lets you know which lab results you need to be concerned about, and how to bring these within the optimal range.

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