Recommendations and Guidelines
Albumin is a key protein found in the blood. This protein helps to repair and maintain tissues, and plays a key role in keeping fluid in the bloodstream versus in the extracellular spaces in the body (i.e. the legs). The Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) guidelines recommend that albumin levels in the blood be maintained at 4.0 g/dl or higher for optimal health. This is a challenge for ESRD patients, but sharing protein rich food sources with patients is a good step to improving outcomes.
Keep in mind that inflammation and infection can lower albumin levels, and should be considered when advising patients on dietary needs. Additionally, peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients, have higher albumin requirements due to protein loss during treatment.
Useful links for patients and providers: