Background: It is well-known that albumin is synthesized in the liver; serum albumin is a major component of serum proteins. However, it has not been well elucidated how dietary protein intakes are associated with serum albumin levels in general populations without extreme malnutrition. We cross-sectionally investigated in the representative Japanese the association between dietary protein intake and serum albumin levels. Methods: A total of 7715 subjects (3220 men and 4495 women, aged 30 years or more) with measurement of serum albumin who participated in both the National Survey on Circulatory Disorders in 1990 and the National Nutrition Survey in 1990 were analyzed in the present analysis. Multiple-adjustments were performed with linear regression models to estimate the association between serum albumin levels and animal or vegetable protein intake adjusting for age and body mass index. Results: The very weak positive association between animal protein and serum albumin levels was observed. On the other hand, there was no clear association observed between vegetable protein and serum albumin levels. Regardless of sex and models, age was inversely associated with serum albumin levels with statistically significance, and standardized coefficients of age were considerably larger in both sexes than other variables. Adjustment for body mass index hardly altered the coefficients of animal or vegetable protein intake, but adjustment for total cholesterol clearly attenuated the relationship between animal protein intake and serum albumin levels. Conclusions: Present analysis indicated the possibility that animal protein intake was related with serum albumin levels, while vegetable protein intake was not related.
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