Home » Articles » Newsletter Article » Liver function tests – what do they mean?

Liver function tests – what do they mean?

Liver Function Tests

A blood test for your liver checks the following:
•    The function of the liver, which will show if the liver is manufacturing enough protein for the body to function normally
•    The amount of bile pigment in the blood – this can be elevated if there is a blockage in the bile ducts or if there is a deficiency of a liver enzyme that processes bile; bile pigment is known as bilirubin
•    The level of your liver enzymes – if these are elevated this means that your liver cells are inflamed or slightly damaged which can be from various causes.

Your blood test for liver function will be processed by an automated multi-channel analyzer and is extremely accurate; it will check the blood levels of the following:

Liver Enzymes

AST – (aspartate aminotransferase), which was previously called SGOT. This enzyme can also be elevated in heart and muscular diseases and is not liver specific.
Normal range of AST is 5-45 U/L.
ALT – (alanine aminotransferase), which was previously called SGPT and is more specific for liver damage.
Normal range of ALT is 5-45 U/L.
AP – (alkaline phosphatase) is elevated in many types of liver disease but also in non-liver related diseases.
Normal range of AP is 30-120 U/L.
GT – (gamma glutamyl transpeptidase) is liver specific. GT is often elevated in those who use alcohol or other liver toxic substances to excess.
Normal range of GT is 5- 35 U/L.

Question:
Why do all or some of these enzymes become elevated in cases of liver dysfunction or disease?

Answer:  Normally the liver enzymes are contained inside the liver cells (hepatocytes) where they perform their metabolic functions for the cells. These enzymes only leak into the blood stream when the liver cells are damaged. The higher the liver enzymes are above the normal range, the greater the degree of liver inflammation will be. When we repair the liver cells, the liver enzyme blood levels come back into the normal range.
Thankfully of all the organs in the body, the liver is most able to repair and regenerate itself.

Total Bilirubin
Normal range is 3 – 18 umol/L (0.174 – 1.04mg/dL)
The most common cause of slightly elevated bilirubin is an inherited enzyme deficiency called Gilbert’s Syndrome and this is not a serious problem.

Blood Proteins
These are manufactured by the liver and include such proteins as albumin and globulins.
Total protein
Normal range is 60-80 g/L (6 – 8g/dL).
Serum albumin
Normal range of albumin is 30-50 g/L (3 -5 g/dL).
Serum albumin is a good guide to the severity of chronic liver disease. A healthy liver manufactures the protein albumin, and falling levels show deteriorating liver function. Gamma globulin protein levels may be abnormal in chronic liver disease. Elevated levels of gamma globulin proteins indicate that your immune system and liver are fighting something – such as a chronic infection, chronic inflammation or a hidden cancer.

Your results
Liver function tests may be normal in cases of mild liver dysfunction or disease; in other words, if you feel unwell or have many of the symptoms of liver disease, it is still a good idea to see your doctor for other tests, including an ultrasound scan of your liver.

If your liver function tests show elevated liver enzymes, we suggest that you improve your diet and lifestyle and take a powerful liver tonic and have this test repeated in 3 months time.

The most common causes of elevated liver enzymes are:
•    Fatty liver which is due to poor diet = consumption of excess dietary carbohydrates, lack of raw vegetables and fruits and lack of first class protein.
•    Liver inflammation due to excess alcohol
•    Liver inflammation due to recreational drug use
•    Liver inflammation due to adverse reactions to prescription drugs
•    Infection with hepatitis C or B viruses
•    Build up of excess iron in the liver

For more information:
Call our Health Advisory Service on 623-334-3232 if you are in the USA, or 02 4655 8855 if you are in Australia, to speak to a naturopath
See Dr Sandra Cabot’s books:
The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book
The Liver Cleansing Diet Book

37 comments

  1. Alt-83
    Ast-161
    My doctor ordered an ultrasound. Im a bit nervous I kne these numbers are high. What does this indicate? Is there something I can do pr take to make these levels go down at this point?

    • Hi Samantha,

      These results could indicate a fatty liver.
      An ultrasound can confirm this.
      To lower elevated liver enzymes, Dr Cabot recommends

      Livatone Plus 2 caps twice daily, to improve liver function.

      N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) 2 caps twice daily at least 2 hours away from food, if any upset occurs please take with meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get the liver better faster.

      If the tests show that you do have fatty liver, we recommend you follow the diet plan in Dr Cabot’s book: ‘Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It’.

      You can purchase the supplements and book at: https://shop.liverdoctor.com

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  2. My BLood Test Results are as below:

    Gamma GT: 143
    ALT: 80
    AST: 74
    Gasting Glucose: 120
    TG: 177
    HDL: 30
    LDL: 77.6

    I am Akash from India. Request to kindly analyse my reports & suggest remedy/medications.

    • Hi Akash,

      Your tests indicate inflammation, which may be from fatty liver.

      An abdominal ultrasound will tell for sure.

      Dr Cabot recommends you begin taking

      Livatone Plus – 2 capsules twice daily, to improve liver function.

      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  3. I have been ill over 27 yrs from a gallstone operation went wrong. I don’t drink any alcohol. I have been told that I don’t have a fatty liver. My thyroid gland is hardly working and I have been diaganosed with vitamin B12 Deficiency and pernicious anemia. My bloods are serum alkaline phosphate 223 AST 63ALT 161 Gamma GT 272 ESR 20 . I have had Ascending colingitis and was very ill for many weeks.I have really iitchy. My GP won’t put me on stating for high coles oral because my liver would fail?I have pain and nausea . Thank you so much

    • Hi Joan,

      Although you don’t have fatty liver, you have considerable liver disease, from your blood results and taken that your doctor won’t put you on statins.

      Dr Cabot recommends you begin taking

      Ox Bile capsules – 1 – 2 capsules at the beginning of each meal to replace the bile that can no longer be delivered from your gallbladder to help essential fat absorption.

      Livatone Plus – 2 capsules twice daily, to improve liver function.

      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  4. alt – 83.64
    ast – 77.93
    albumin – 4.99
    alp – 76.12
    urea – 35.79
    is it a cause of worry

    • Hi Mohan,

      Many of your liver tests are elevated out of normal range and indicates some level of liver disease. This may be fatty liver, alcohol damage, or other liver disease.

      Dr Cabot recommends you have an abdominal ultrasound to determine the reason for your raised enzymes.

      Please send another email when you have had the ultrasound and we can then offer you treatment options.

      In the meantime, Dr Cabot recommends you begin taking

      Livatone Plus – 2 capsules twice daily, to improve liver function.

      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  5. Ast: 45
    Alt: 93
    LDL cholesterol calc: 102
    Mch: 26.6
    Mchc: 31.7
    Neutros pct: 17.0
    Lymph: 74.0

    I used to use statin for a month (30 days) and then I stopped it and did the blood test. Here are the results.

    Am I healthy?
    Thanks Doctor!

    • Hi Locus,

      These results are an indication of Fatty Liver, and an abdominal ultrasound will confirm this.

      Fatty liver can be reversed with the correct diet and supplements that support liver function and repair liver cells.
      Dr Cabot’s book ‘Fatty Liver – You Can Reverse It’ provides a complete eating plan with recipes.
      Eat less carbohydrate – including sugar, grains and other starchy foods, because the liver converts any excess carbohydrate into fat. Don’t drink too much alcohol.
      Eat more vegetables, protein and healthy fats.
      Drink raw vegetable juices 250 to 300mls 2 to 3 times a week. Dr Cabot’s book ‘Raw Juices can save your life’ has recipes for many different health conditions. Try the ‘Liver Cleanse’ or ‘Liver Tonic’ juices in the book.
      Dr Cabot recommends you begin taking
      LivaTone Plus – 2 capsules twice a day to help repair damage to the liver and improve the liver’s ability to metabolise fat.
      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      MSM + Vitamin C – ½ to 1 teaspoon twice daily in vegetable juice or water to reduce oxidation, inflammation and boost liver health.

      Fatty liver is never to be ignored, as it may lead to cirrhosis.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  6. Hi doctor,

    My alt:83
    Ast: 40
    Albumin: 4.9
    Globulin total: 2.6
    A/G ratio: 1.9
    Bilirubin: 0.8
    Alp:71

    Any recommendations?
    Thanks

    • Hi Vic,

      Please ask your primary care practitioner to conduct an abdominal ultrasound as these results are indicative of Fatty Liver.

      To lower elevated liver enzymes, Dr Cabot recommends you begin taking

      Livatone Plus – 2 capsules twice daily, to improve liver function.

      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      If tests show you do have Fatty Liver, please follow the diet included in Dr Cabot’s book ‘Fatty Liver – You Can Reverse It’

      You may purchase these supplements and book at http://shop.liverdoctor.com/supplements.html

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  7. Sir my ast is 86
    Alt 80.is there any need to worry

    • Hi Jaideep,

      Your liver enzymes are elevated, which could be indicative of fatty liver.
      However, further testing is required to determine the cause of your raised enzymes.
      We recommend you get an ultrasound scan of your liver.
      We recommend you follow the diet in Dr Cabot’s book: ‘Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It’.
      Dr Cabot recommends you take
      Livatone Plus 2 caps twice daily to improve your liver function.
      This supplement is available here: https://shop.liverdoctor.com

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  8. My every thing is normal only s.g.p.t is 60 Iu/ L What should i do ??? Is it a matter of worry ?/

    • Hi Sulabh,

      SGPT may an indication of liver inflammation or fatty liver (if it is over two to three tests) and it is advisable to also have an abdominal ultrasound, to determine if this is the case and also the amount of fatty infiltrations that are present.

      Dr Cabot recommends you begin taking

      Livatone Plus – 2 capsules twice daily, to improve liver function.

      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  9. I have hypothyroidism and take Synthroid 150. I still have fatigue and can’t lose the weight. My doctor hasn’t mentioned testing my liver. Should I ask for a liver panel or is that unnecessary? Thanks.

  10. Sir my LFT is 250 and want it to be decreased to 50-100 what should you recommend me doctor.

  11. Total WBC Count 14800
    bilirubin total 1.0 mg/dl
    bilirubin direct 0.3 mg/dl
    ast 30.7 IU/L
    alt 42.0 IU/L
    GGT 24.6U/L
    Globulin 3.1 g/dl

    Are these results are in normal range?

    Thanks,

    • Hi Naveen,

      Dr Cabot says that the white blood cell count is elevated, we suggest you see your doctor to check for an infection in your body.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant at Liverdoctor.com

  12. After couple of years of symptoms, I was diagnosed with Liver Flukes (Fasciola Hepatica). They were treated (twice) through a single dose of Egaten (both the times). Fasciola Hepatica then came negative in the Blood Counts for couple of years post that. Although I did have a Eosinophilia (and connected symptoms/issues) for an year in between, but no one could find the root cause (Liver Flukes were negative in Blood reports).
    Now we weeks back I suddenly got high fever with chills, post my blood tests, they found elevated SGOT 52, SGPT 81, CRP 9 (rest counts in LFT were normal). Fasciola Hepatica counts came to be 1/320 (IHA).
    I am now a bit stressed and confused, Doctors are off/taking time to get back to me. I am just concerned that any delay in treating the issues should not harm my Liver, especially since I have this for years now.
    Can you advise with your understanding of the potential issues, risks and proposed next steps?

    • Hi Berry,

      Egaten (also known as triclabendazole) is the best drug for liver fluke infection. To be careful, Dr Cabot recommends another course of Egaten for you to be taken as soon as possible.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant

  13. Please i need help
    my liver test
    AST 37
    ALT 82
    ALP 57
    Total BILI 2.10
    Albumin 4.60
    Total Protein 6.90
    Globulin 2.30
    Albumin/Globulin Ratio 2.00

  14. TOTAL BILIRUBIN= 0.1- 1.0mg/dl
    SGOT= <40IU/L
    SGPT= <40IU/L
    ALK, Phosphatase= 50-150U/L

    Is this okay?

  15. Hi!
    An ayurveda doctor says to my sis that she is suffering from white jaundice then we have done a lft test in that everything is normal but still the ayurveda Dr. Is saying that in lft the white jaundice will not detect inspite of lft is normal the Dr. Is saying that my sister is suffering from white jaundice is that correct plz reply me fast

    • Hi Ismail,

      White jaundice is the old name for jaundice and this is usually shown by an increase in the bilirubin test of the Liver Function Tests.

      Your sister went to see the Ayurveda doctor because she is not well and even if the name of the condition does not fit with western medicine tests, the treatment may still be effective.

      Dr Cabot recommends she begins taking

      Livatone Plus – 2 capsules twice daily, to improve liver function.

      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      You may purchase these supplements at http://shop.liverdoctor.com/supplements.html

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant

  16. Mine everything is normal only sgpt (alt) is 57. Do i need to be really worried?

    • Dear Hamzah,

      Try not to worry. Livatone Plus helps to lower liver enzymes. You should take 1 cap twice daily for 2 weeks and then increase to 2 caps twice daily.
      These can be purchased from http://www.liverdocotor.com.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Sales & Nutrition Consultant

  17. Bilirubin total- 5.69
    Bilirubin(direct)- 4.23
    SGOT- 240U/L
    SGPT- 150U/L
    Albumin- 3.3gm/dl
    Globulin- 4.1
    ALB- 0.8
    Alkaline Phosphatase- 188IU/L
    GGTP- 919IU/L

    • Dear Trishna,

      There are several abnormalities in this test result. Has your doctor diagnosed the cause?

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Sales & Nutrition Consultant

  18. mukesh August 16, 2016 at 9:16 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    serum bilirubin total 5.0 mg/dl
    alkaline phosphate 525 u/l
    ast 250 u/l
    alt 255 u/l
    is it possible to become B.T 0.5 mg/dl
    alkp 92 u/l
    ast 23 u/l
    alt 21 u/l
    after 15 days treatment with medicine

  19. serum bilirubin total 5.0 mg/dl
    alkaline phosphate 525 u/l
    ast 250 u/l
    alt 255 u/l
    is it possible to become B.T 0.5 mg/dl
    alkp 92 u/l
    ast 23 u/l
    alt 21 u/l
    after treatment with medicine

    • Hi Mukesh,

      The best thing to do would be to show these results to your healthcare practitioner and see what they have to say.

      Kind Regards,

      Jessah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

 

THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FDA AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT OR CURE ANY DISEASES.