What Does a Low Protein Level Indicate?

Written by gemma argent
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What Does a Low Protein Level Indicate?
Protein in the bloodstream (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Andrew Mason)

The main protein in the bloodstream is albumin, an antioxidant made by the liver. Since albumin is vital for transporting nutrients to the cells of the body, a low protein level in the blood can indicate several conditions or diseases.

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A low protein level in either young children, the old or the poor can indicate malnutrition. When the body does not get enough protein, such as meat, dairy, nuts or beans, the blood levels will be low.

What Does a Low Protein Level Indicate?
Malnutrition (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jakob Montrasio)


The kidneys are designed to filter out waste from the bloodstream and keep beneficial nutrients, such as protein; if the kidneys are not functioning correctly, proteins can be flushed out with the waste, an indication of kidney disease.

Protein in the Urine

When high protein levels are detected in the urine, low protein levels are expected in the blood; the filtration system of the kidneys is not working as it should and protein is being flushed from the body in the urine.


When blood protein levels are low in children sickened by poor sanitation or contaminated water supplies, the body uses up nutrients and protein in order to fight the infection.

What Does a Low Protein Level Indicate?
(Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Nathan McCurley)


Adding protein-rich foods to your diet will increase the levels of protein in the blood. If kidney disease or infection is the cause, then treating the disease or infection with antibiotics is imperative.

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