What Are Liver Enzymes and How to Lower Them?

Enzymes play an important role in helping the body to conduct chemical reactions that are necessary for each part of the body to function properly. The liver has an important enzyme known as ALT, which is short for alanine aminotransferase. What this enzyme ALT does is helps the liver filter out toxins from the blood, as well as store nutrients, and produce an essential substance called bile. 

Bile is a dark green or yellow-brown fluid that the liver makes and stores in the gallbladder. Bile is essential for good digestion. During meals, it’s secreted back into the liver and the duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine, allowing the body to break down fats into fatty acids and absorb nutrients from food). Bile also helps the body get rid of waste products.

Some Symptoms of Elevated Liver Enzymes

Elevated Liver Enzymes

The following is a partial list of some signs that higher than normal liver enzymes may be being produced by the body, although high levels can also be asymptomatic (show no signs):

  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Pain the upper right area of the abdomen 
  • Itching

Reasons for Elevated Liver Enzymes

If your liver is damaged or gets inflamed, the liver releases enzymes into the blood, which causes elevated levels of ALT and other liver enzymes. Some causes of elevated liver enzymes include:

  • NAFLD, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Hepatitis 
  • Acetaminophen and some other over-the-counter pain meds
  • Cholesterol-controlling prescription medications 
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Heart failure

How to Keep Healthy Liver Enzyme Levels and a Healthy Liver

Having a low level of ALT in the blood is normal. Liver disease remains the most common reason for raised levels of ALT. According to testing organizations, very high levels of ALT (more than 10 times normal) are usually due to acute hepatitis, sometimes due to a viral hepatitis infection.

If you have elevated liver enzyme levels, lowering ALT levels can allow your liver to resume carrying out its normal functions. You will want to treat causes of elevated ALT, such as liver damage or diabetes, with the help of a physician. There are also some natural methods that can work with conventional medical treatment to help you to lower ALT levels.

According to the Mayo Clinic, slightly elevated liver enzymes may be discovered during routine blood testing, and often the levels are only temporarily elevated. Besides ALT, other commonly elevated liver enzymes include:

  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), also known as aspartate transaminase 
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)

One of the reasons you want to get medical guidance if you have elevated liver enzymes is the complexity of their function. When doctors don’t find aspartate aminotransferase in the normal range numbers, for example, the high levels of AST could signal liver damage, but also damage to your heart or kidney.

In the case of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), elevated levels could mean either liver disease or bone disorders, such as Paget's disease, where bones become enlarged and deformed, or some cancers that affect the bones. If you want to know how to lower alkaline phosphatase, you might consider that causes of elevated ALP enzymes may include birth control pills or thyroid hormones, as well as the aforementioned liver and bone disorders. So, again, you will want more information from your doctor.

Healthline observes that it’s rare, but some people have lower-than-normal ALP blood levels, which may indicate malnutrition, sometimes caused by celiac disease or a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

How to Lower Liver Enzymes

Here’s how to lower ALT levels in addition to what may be recommended by your physician:

Get Regular Exercise and Lose Weight.

Research in hepatology (the study of the liver and other organs like the pancreas and gallbladder) shows that weight loss is a vital way of treating fatty liver disease as well as preventing fibrosis of the liver. Losing weight helps to improve insulin sensitivity and leads to decreased liver inflammation. Reducing your calories and getting exercise may lower the risk of getting liver cancer.

Take Folic Acid or Consume More Folate.

According to Healthline, you can lower liver enzymes by taking folic acid (around 800 micrograms per day) or consuming additional folate-rich foods, such as:

  • Leafy greens, including kale and spinach
  • Legumes
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Beets
  • Papaya
  • Bananas

Take a Natural Supplement

Revive Liver Supplement

REVIVE's Liver supplement may support a healthy liver naturally. One of the ingredients in this liver management formula is tauroursodeoxycholic acid (or TUDCA for short), which is a natural component in bile acid. Taken daily, it stimulates healthy bile flow and helps heal the liver’s bile duct. The formula has other ingredients like milk thistle, which has potent anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, along with proprietary AstraGin and Bioperine to enhance the uptake and absorption of the supplement.

This supplement is designed for overall liver assistance. Daily use of this supplement can help promote healthy insulin levels, enhance cell regeneration, and improve eye health. This formula may also enhance the absorption of other supplements.

How Long Does It Take to Lower Liver Enzymes?

How long it will take to return your elevated liver enzymes to normal depends on which enzymes are elevated and why. If you have very high levels of AST due to acute hepatitis, this can be sometimes caused by a viral infection, and AST levels frequently remain high for one to two months; however, you can expect to wait as long as 3 months to half a year to return to normal. 

If the causes of liver enzyme elevation are from alcohol, you may expect a lowered level within 6 to 8 weeks of abstinence.

Takeaway

Low ALT levels can be restored with a few modifications in the diet, by managing alcohol consumption, and as reviews show, many people find supplements may help. Simple tests can identify high levels of any of the liver enzymes. This is essential information to know so that you can take action.

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