What liver doctors will not tell you: ALT is the key
Whether you have fatty liver, NASH, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, drug related liver damage, or alcohol liver disease, ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase / SGPT) level is the primary indicator of liver health. As long as your ALT level remains normal, liver health is ensured. Other liver function test results such as AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase / SGOT) are only secondary.
This is because ALT is an enzyme that is mainly found in the liver. ALT enzymes are normally contained within the liver cells when the liver is healthy, but when the liver cells are injured or damaged by whatever reasons, the ALT enzymes are released into the bloodstream, causing levels to go up. Therefore, we can measure the concentration of ALT enzymes in the blood to determine the degree of liver damage.
On the other hand, although AST is a liver enzyme, it can also be found in other organ tissues such as the heart, muscle, kidney, and brain. Therefore, when compared with ALT, AST is less specific to liver injury. AST alone is not able to effectively reflect the health status of the liver, they are usually used in conjunction with ALT to detect liver injury.
Therefore, whether you have fatty liver or hepatitis, the main concern is not how much fat is in your liver or how high your viral load is. Instead, the KEY is to ensure your ALT level is kept within the normal range as normal ALT level indicates that the liver is healthy.
Having a small amount of ALT in the bloodstream is normal for healthy individuals. The normal values are around 10-40 units per litre. This range might vary according to different countries or laboratories, but the upper limit is usually between 35~45. A higher than normal level of ALT indicates the liver is damaged or inflamed, thus it is important to always maintain a normal ALT level.
More about lowering ALT level:
Blood Test Report :: YHK improves ALT level and liver function for hepatitis C cirrhosis patient
- What is ALT: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/alanine-aminotransferase-alt (accessed 2016-02-16)
- ALT blood test: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003473.htm (accessed 2016-02-16)
- ALT and AST different: http://www.hepatitiscentral.com/hcv/labs/liverenzymes/ (accessed 2016-02-16)
- * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.