C3a: high and low levels

  • C3a is part of the complement system.  Complement proteins are important for the body’s immune function and inflammatory response. The body needs them to respond to injury, bacterial, and viral infections in a balanced way.
  • Nine main complement proteins exist, labeled C1-C9, of which C3 is most frequently measured.
  • C3a is short for Complement Component 3a. It’s a small fragment of the very large and better-known C3. Since C3a is involved in triggering serious, anaphylactic allergic reactions, it is referred to as an “anaphylatoxin”.
  • C3a is most seen as inflammatory, alongside its cousin C5a. Indeed, high C3a, in the long run, does worsen chronic inflammation.

Causes of High C3a Levels

  1. Inflammation in conditions such as asthma, hepatitis, Pancreas Inflammation
  2.  Autoimmune Diseases
  3. Lyme Disease
  4. Smoking
  5. Stroke
  6. Cancer
  7. Pregnancy

Health Effects of High C3a Levels

  • Airway Inflammation and Breathing Problems
  • Hardening of the Arteries and Heart Disease

Causes of Low C3a Levels

  • Hereditary C3 Deficiency: C3a levels are low in hereditary C3 deficiency. People with this rare disorder suffer frequent bacterial infections.
  • Gestational Diabetes


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