Liver enzymes: What they are, and how and why to lower them

High levels of liver enzymes can indicate liver problems. The best way to improve liver function is to reduce the levels of these enzymes.

Different enzymes are found in the liver, including alanine transaminase. These enzymes help the body function properly. When these enzymes exceed their normal levels, the liver begins to malfunction, affecting a person’s overall well-being.

You can reduce liver enzymes by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

This article will discuss how to lower liver enzyme levels and what to do if they are too high. It also addresses the major causes of high levels of liver enzymes and their impact on the body.

High liver enzymes can be caused by many things, so it is important that you see a doctor immediately if you feel the symptoms. Other than that, there are many things you can do to lower liver enzymes.


A 2017 reviewIt was found that coffee may lower liver enzymes, which may help protect the liver.

Another study by 2017The study found that drinking one to four cups of coffee daily can lower liver enzymes (especially ALT levels), which lowers the risk of developing liver disease or cancer.

Increase folate intake

Folic acid supplements and folate-rich foods can be helpful in lowering liver enzymes.

One 2016 studyFolic acid was found to reduce liver damage in people with high ALT levels.

Examples of folate-rich foods include:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • bananas
  • nuts
  • Beans
  • Seafood
  • eggs
  • dairy

If a person finds it difficult to get enough folate through their diet, they can also take a folate supplement.

Exercise more

A 2015 studyIt was found that people with nonalcoholicfatty liver disease (NAFLD) had a reduced hepatic fat and increased liver enzymes after 8 weeks of resistance training and aerobic exercise.

Get healthier

A balanced diet can reduce the risk of developing liver disease.

In 2019A clinical trial showed that a low-sugar diet for 8 weeks decreased liver enzymes in NAFLD-afflicted adolescents compared to those who ate a standard diet.

NAFLD can generally be prevented by cutting down on fats, and carbohydrates. commonHigh liver enzymes can be a problem.

Stop smoking

A 2020 studyIt was found that those who smoke had a higher likelihood of developing liver disease and cancer.

Older researchThere are also reports that smoking can cause liver damage by increasing levels of the liver enzymes alkaline phosphatase and gamma glutamyl transferase.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Cutting down on alcohol or giving up alcohol altogether can improve a person’s liver enzyme count, even in the short term.

According to a 2018 studyGGT levels can be significantly reduced by quitting alcohol for as little a month as possible.

Liver enzymes are substances which speed up chemical reactions within the body. These chemical reactions include the release of bile and other substances that help blood clot, the breakdown of toxic chemicals, and the response against infections. These enzymes are examples of liver enzymes are:

  • alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • alkalinephosphatase (ALP).
  • aspartate transaminase
  • gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)

When the liver sustains an injury, it releases its enzymes — mostly ALT or AST — into the bloodstream. An excess of these enzymes can hinder the body’s functioning.

An elevated level of liver enzymes is a higher level than normal.

Although these high levels might be temporary, they could indicate that someone may have underlying medical conditions, such as liver disease or hepatitis. Some drugs, like acetaminophen can cause liver disease. canIncreased liver enzymes

A doctor may check a person’s liver enzyme level if there are signs of a liver injury, disease, or damage. These enzymes are usually checked by a liver function (LFT) test.

An LFT is blood test that screens for liver infections such as hepatitis. It also checks side effects and determines how well a treatment works.

However, LFTs are usually limited to AST, ALT and ALP and do not identify the cause of elevated liver enzymes.

A doctor will investigate the cause of elevated liver enzymes if the LFT results are positive. They may also carry out other tests that give more details on the person’s lifestyle and eating habits.

Research has shown that fatty liver disease is the leading cause for elevated liver enzymes. It affects about 5% of people. 25–51%People who have high liver enzymes.

Other conditions that can cause high liver enzymes are:

High liver enzymes can also be caused by other causes, such as:

High liver enzymes may be caused by some medications, such painkillers (acetaminophen) High liver enzymes can be symptomatic, but the causes could also contribute to the symptoms.

Non-liver causes

Sometimes, elevated liver enzyme counts may be caused by a non-liver condition such as:

  • heart attack
  • hypothyroidism
  • heart failure
  • Polymyositis (inflammation in the muscles)

High levels of liver enzymes can be caused by liver disease, liver injury or side effects of medications. High liver enzymes could also be temporary.

If you have high liver enzyme levels, consult a doctor. Talk to a doctor about the possible causes and how to treat them.

High liver enzyme levels can increase the risk of liver damage and injury. There are many conditions that can affect liver health.

For this reason, doctors use a special blood test — an LFT — to check for signs of elevated liver enzymes.

High liver enzymes are not likely to cause symptoms. This is why doctors may recommend that you check for other conditions that may increase liver enzymes.

If a person’s LFT result is positive, then the doctor will determine the cause and recommend the right treatments for the diagnosis.

Source: Medical News Today

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