Calprotectin

Optimal Result: 0 - 50 mcg/g.

Calprotectin, a member of the S100 calcium- and zinc-binding protein family, is a protein released by a type of white blood cell called neutrophil. When there is inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, neutrophils move to the area and release calprotectin, resulting in an increased level in the stool.

The amount of calprotectin reflects the number of participating neutrophils in this inflammation. Calprotectin is most frequently used as part of the diagnostic evaluation of patients with suspected inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

For the individuals already diagnosed with IBD, it can be used to monitor the level of inflammation.

What does it mean if your Calprotectin result is too high?

Calprotectin is a member of the s100 calcium and zinc-binding protein family. It is a complex of S100A8 and A100A9 and is released by neutrophils. Neutrophils migrate to the site of inflammation and release AMPs there. While calprotectin can be used to determine the degree of inflammation, it cannot determine the source or the exact cause of inflammation.

Elevated fecal calprotectin levels have been seen in IBD, colon cancer, and NSAID enteropathy, thus calprotectin is a sensitive but not specific marker of intestinal inflammation.

This marker is often used as part of diagnostic workup in IBD, but it is not definitively diagnostic on its own. Calprotectin can also be used clinically to differentiate IBS from IBD, or to monitor degree of inflammation in someone already diagnosed with IBD.

Follow diet, lifestyle, and phytonutrient recommendations to lower inflammation. Always work to determine root causes of inflammation.

Calprotectin can be elevated with chronic NSAID use, GI infections (bacterial or parasitic), malignancy, or obesity. 

Repeat calprotectin levels in 4-8 weeks. Assess next to other makers of inflammation on Vibrant Gut Zoomer. Refer to GI specialist for further workup if calprotectin remains persistently elevated.

Five polyphenols in particular have evidence of benefit in treating gut inflammation:

- resveratrol,

- epigallocatechin,

- curcumin,

- quercetin,

- and Boswellia.

Sleep, diet, exercise and stress management should be evaluated.

Be cautious with medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, especially in children.

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