Get to Know Total Proteins

Get to Know Total Proteins

I’m sure on more than one occasion you’ll have done a blood analysis, looked at the results, and seen that one of the parameters measure was total protein. And it’s more than likely you’ll also have wondered what they are exactly.

If so, make sure you’re paying attention, because in this article we’re going to look into the subject. As well as defining it, we’re also going to tell you what certain values may be due to, and what you should do if you’re the one who presents them.

Total proteins 1

What are the total proteins?


This is what proteins are: macromolecules that enter the body through the diet.

In fact, they’re present in all foods of animal origin and in almost all plants, vegetables and pulses. Once inside the body, it proceeds to break the peptide bonds it has to separate the aminoacids and, in this way, to be able to create new types of proteins from them (protein synthesis) that serve to develop your functions.

This process is known as protein synthesis.

AminoacidPrimary structure

What are total proteins? Proteins with a very high molecular weight and which, being formed by amino acids, bind to each other by peptide bonds.

In general terms, the sequence with which these amino acids are chained to each other, and the number of chains they form, are the elements that determine what the primary structure of the proteins will be.

Protein Fractions

Total proteins come from the result of adding up all the protein components that can be found inside the body. For example: albumin, beta-gamma globulin, Alpha 1 and Alpha 2.

Similarly, the term protein fraction is used for those measuring the specific amount of each type.

In any case, both values are extremely useful when carrying out blood tests aimed at determining the presence of any potentially damaging conditions.

What is the Purpose of a Total Protein Analysis?

It’s an approximate measurement of all the proteins present in the liquid part of the blood. From it, conclusions can be drawn and recommended can be made in cases of certain symptoms.

Amongst them:

  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Fatigue and tiredness.
  • Appearance of oedema.
  • Kidney problems.


A total protein test measures the total amount of protein in the blood and specifically looks for the amount of albumin and globulin.

Factors that alter the Total Protein Test

Amongst the medical treatments and drugs that can alter levels and therefore results are:

  • Steroids.
  • Androgens.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Insulin.
  • Progesterone.
  • Oestrogens.
  • Contraceptives.

Test Results

The result of this test aims to detect certain nutritional problems, as well as possible kidney and liver diseases. If the values obtained are too high or too low, further tests will be necessary to identify the specific problem being suffered.

Renal disease

Albumin Globulin Ratio

Normally, this value is higher than one. If it’s much higher or lower, additional tests should be performed to determine the cause.

If it’s much lower, there might be:

  • Autoimmune problems
  • Cirrhosis.
  • Kidney damage.

If, on the other hand, it’s high, the reason may be genetic or even leucimia deficiencies.

Interpretation of Total Blood Protein Values

Normal Values

The values considered as normal for blood proteins are between 6 and 8 grams per decilitre. In this sense, it should be noted that, at this time, any routine blood test will measure this parameter.

High Values

If total blood protein values are very high, the most often caused by dehydration, for example, through excessive sweating during prolonged physical activity.

Similarly, these values are usually present after any illnesses related to the digestive system that give rise to episodes of vomiting or diarrhoea.

They can be a indication of the onset of diabetes or even a warning of organic collapse or Waldenstrom’s disease. This is also known as macroglobulemia and involves the infiltration of lymphoplasmocytic lymphoma into the bone marrow.

Low Values

On the other hand, when total protein values are considerably low, the answer is usually found in a nutritional deficiency due to an unbalanced diet, or problems preventing the correct absorption of nutrients present in the food.

To a lesser extent, they may also be indicative of heart failure or liver or kidney disorders.

Low values of albumin are considered to be below 3.4 g / dL. It is associated with decreased effectiveness of drugs used for ulcerative colitis. Low albumin levels may cause complications during or after surgery.

Nutrient absorption

What to do about Abnormal Values in Total Blood Protein?

As soon as abnormal levels of total proteins are detected in the blood, it is essential to make some lifestyle changes.

Without a doubt, the first thing is to avoid excessive sweating, which is often the result of too much physical effort. Exercise is very healthy, but in certain cases it can be counterproductive.

So, if you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to moderate the intensity of the exercise you do. Avoid exercising in high temperatures.

As you’re also likely to be dehydrated, it’s best to check with your doctor or a nutritionist on how to rebalance your body’s fluid levels.

Eating habits

At the same time, healthy eating habits need to become a priority

Illnesses related to Total Protein Values

We’ve already commented on some causes that can lead to abnormal total protein values in the blood. However, there are certain conditions that can also cause this to happen, and it’s important to have accurate information about them.

In any case, the analysis in which they are determined must be complemented with serum albumin, liver function and protein electrophoresis tests.


It consists of an excessive number of total proteins in the blood and is often caused by dehydration, increased concentration of specific proteins or haemoconcentration.


The opposite of hyperproteinemia, i.e. produced by an excessively low number of total proteins in the blood as a result of the poor performance of the protein synthesis process, excessive protein catabolism or losses caused by one or more haemorrhages.


In short, this is all you need to know about the total proteins found in your body and whose value is reflected in any blood analysis.

In any case, if you have any doubts about it or have identified with any of the symptoms we have described in this section, we strongly recommend that you contact your family doctor and tell them about the situation. They are the only person qualified to diagnose whether or not you have a disorder and to advise you on how to remedy it.

We hope this article’s been helpful and that, from now on, you’ll be clearer about what the term total protein refers to, a concept to which you should pay close attention.

Related Entries:

Review of Total Proteins

What they are - 100%

Analysis - 100%

Interpreting values - 100%

Conclusions - 100%


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About Melanie Ramos
Melanie Ramos
Melanie Ramos uses the HSN Blog to share the latest information and content, so that all those readers who want to learn.
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