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Blood Urea Nitrogen: Biomarker of Health and Longevity

By Thegenaboveme @TheGenAboveMe

Blood Urea Nitrogen: Biomarker of Health and Longevity

Photo by Neeta Lind.

As a gerontologist, people sometimes ask me about life expectancy.
While large data sets yield clear averages, anticipating the life expectancy of ONE person is nearly impossible.
This post is part of a series on biomarkers
Nevertheless, there are some biomarkers of health and longevity that people should monitor.
Blood Urea Nitrogen is one of them.
[Note: This post does not convey medical advice. It only raises awareness. Please see a licensed medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about your health.]
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) measures one area of the body's waste elimination. Ingested proteins are processed by the liver into ammonia and then converted into a less toxic form, urea. The kidneys eliminate the urea through urine.
Values are found by testing a person's blood, usually in a panel that is testing for other biomarkers, such as creatinine clearance.
"Normal human adult blood should contain between 6 and 20 mg of urea nitrogen per 100 ml (6 - 20 mg/dl) of blood." (Source).
If the BUN values are too high or too low, this may indicate problems such as under/over hydration, poor liver function, poor kidney function, heart problems, pancreas problems, nutrition problems (level of protein intake), etc.
Here is a very good video that gives a brief overview (1:41) of BUN:

For more information about this process, diagrams of the "path" proteins take through the body, and causes for high or low BUN count, see this post and this post.


Biomarkers of Longevity and Health
Creatinine Clearance

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