Study title and authors:
The value of serum albumin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in defining mortality risk in older persons with low serum cholesterol.
Volpato S, Leveille SG, Corti MC, Harris TB, Guralnik JM.
Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry Program, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11559371
The objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between low cholesterol, albumin and death rates in older people. The study included 4,128 participants age 70 and older at (average age 78.7 years, range 70-103) who were followed for nearly five years.
Albumin is a protein in your bloodstream that helps transport a variety of important substances, including calcium, hormones, the protein bilirubin and important nutrients called fatty acids. Albumin also helps your blood maintain its osmotic pressure, which helps keep its water content from leaking through your blood vessels into surrounding tissue.
The study found:
(a) Those with low cholesterol had significantly higher death rates than those with normal and high cholesterol.
(b) Among participants with low cholesterol, those with albumin levels below 38 g/L had a 43% increase in death rates compared to those with albumin levels above 38 g/L.
(c) Among participants with low cholesterol and high albumin (above 38 g/L), those with levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol below 47 mg/dL (1.2 mmol/l) had a 32% reduction in death rates compared to those with abumin below 38 g/L.
(d) Among participants with low cholesterol and high albumin (above 38 g/L), those with levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol above 47 mg/dL (1.2 mmol/l) had a 62% reduction in death rates compared to those with abumin below 38 g/L.
The results of the study demonstrate that low cholesterol is significantly associated with higher death rates and that higher levels of albumin and HDL cholesterol are associated with lower death rates.
The best way to raise your albumin levels is to eat quality protein such as beef, pork, fish, chicken and eggs.
Eating a diet rich in saturated fat raises levels of HDL cholesterol the most. See here.