The liver is an important internal organ because it performs many functions. It triggers activities in the body’s cells and detoxify many toxins out of the body. Strong liver keeps a man healthy and vice versa. After all, what is the liver enzyme index? What do high liver enzymes warn about the status of your health?
1. What are liver enzymes?
They are special type of protein cells which helps necessary chemical reactions to take place in the body. There are many types of enzymes, and some types should be tested such as:
- SGOT (Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase) or AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase).
- SGPT (Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase) or ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase).
- GGT (Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase)
- Alkaline Phosphatase
» Normal liver enzymes range
Normally these enzymes are mostly contained inside the liver cells, they only leak into the blood stream with a volume of lower than 40U/L when the liver cells are damaged; and this range is a standard for a healthy man:
Liver enzymes are considered normal with testing ranges as below:
• AST: 20 – 40 UI/L
• ALT: 20 – 40 UI/L
• GGT: 20 – 40UI/L
• Alkaline Phosphatase: 30 – 110 UI/L.
» Elevated liver enzymes – what’s health problem?
When liver is damaged, liver enzyme amount in the blood stream shall abnormally increase. Consequently, taking liver enzymes test is compulsory to detect possible causes of liver disease. Compared to normal range, liver enzymes increasing of 1-2 times indicates low- damaged , of 2-5 times means normally- damaged and of over 5 times means heavily-damaged problem. Liver enzymes can raise over 3.000 UI/L in acute viral hepatitis and toxic hepatitis (liver inflammation caused by drugs or toxins). Liver enzymes will rocket up to 5.000 UI/L in acute liver failure/shock case. Liver enzyme elevation correlates with the spread of hepatic cell injury. However, in some serious hepatitis cases, liver enzyme amount in blood only shows mild elevation.
2. Causes of high liver enzymes
» Heavy drinking alcohol
This is the frequent cause of liver inflammation. Alcohol is the main factor of decreasing Glutathione which works as liver cell protector, also contributing to fatty liver issue, acute hepatitis and chronic hepatitis. Especially, unknown and toxic alcohol consumption will heavily damage or destroy liver cells leading to considerable hepatic enzyme elevation.
In alcohol liver disease, the enzyme AST often increases 2-10 times while the ALT rises slightly.
» Viral hepatitis B:
Viral hepatitis B is other cause of elevated liver enzymes. In chronic hepatitis liver enzymes increase midly or averagely while they rise 10-20 times in acute hepatitis. Thus, virus B patients should take a periodic test every 6 months.
» Consumption of drugs:
A variety of medications can cause abnormal liver enzymes levels in some individuals. Examples of some of the common medications with potential liver toxicity include:
Tuberculosisdrugs (INH, rifamycin…)
Fluoquinolon drugs (ciprofloxacin)
Acetaminophen drugs (paracetamol)
In the situation of taking those medications for a long time, patients should be concerned to test liver enzymes and function.
» Other causes:
Other possible causes of high liver enzyme levels include Malaria, gallbladder diseases, disease caused by hemochromatosis, autoimmune hepatitis, and autoimmune disease of the small intestine...
3. Solutions to lower liver enzymes
The liver is the organ responsible for removing toxins from our bodies and helping us digest our food. Through our day- to-day lives, we put our livers through a great deal of strain. Elevated liver enzymes are a symptom of too much strain being put on the liver, and they are a clear indication that changes need to be made. This is how to lower liver enzymes.
Stop drinking alcohol
Consult your physician about types of drugs you are taking.
Limit the amount of fast-food
Stay away from environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke, paint fumes…etc
Add herbal remedies to your diet that support liver health
Drink a lot of water
Keep healthy weight
To support liver health, traditional medicine has used herbal supplements to help liver and enhance liver detoxification such as: Extractum Folium Cynarae, Extractum Glinioppositifoliisiccum, Extractum Semen Pharbitidis.
Binh Dinh Pharmaceutical & Medical Equipment Joint stock Company (Bidiphar) has sucessfully studied and launched the drug named Altamin in soft, oral capsule. In this perfect combination,Extractum Folium Cynarae containing the active element as Cynarin and Polyphenols helps to protect liver cells, detoxify, increase gallexcretion, reduce blood lipids; Inulin helps to lower Blood sugar. Glinioppositifoliisiccum containing such essential oils as Avicularin, Quexetin, Emodin works effectively in diuretics, inflammation and parasiticides treatment. The Powder Semen Pharbitidis contains Phacbitin which really helpful for Laxatives and Carthatics.
›› Treat hepatic disorder, especially due to excessive alcohol drinking
›› Prevent and support in toxic hepatitis treatment
›› Treat hepatitis causing exhaustion, jaundice, urinary retension, constipation
›› Treat allergies, pimples, sores itching, urticaria caused by this illness.
›› Prevent and treat arterosclerosis, high blood fat.