Transaminases are crucial enzymes primarily found in liver cells.
Monitoring their levels is essential for maintaining good health.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the significance of transaminases, how to interpret test results, and what to do when these enzymes are elevated.
Read on to discover why keeping transaminases in check is vital for your well-being.
Discover how transaminases impact liver health and what you can do to maintain optimal enzyme levels for a healthier life. Get practical tips to ensure your enzyme levels support your overall well-being.
What are transaminases?
Transaminases are enzymes found specifically in the liver, vascular blood vessels, and cardiac muscles.
Two types, ALT and AST, are predominantly present in kidney and liver cells.
It’s important to note that transaminase levels can vary with factors like gender, age, and temperature, as well as the testing methods used.
The role of liver enzymes
Transaminases play a vital role in amino acid synthesis and energy storage.
Elevated transaminase levels can be indicative of liver damage, as damaged liver cells allow these enzymes to enter the bloodstream.
Liver enzymes test
A blood test should be done on an empty stomach.
To obtain an accurate assessment, it is recommended not to exercise intense physical activity before sampling to avoid the risk of hemolytic coagulation, and destruction of red blood cells.
Remember to send your laboratory the list of your current treatment.
A blood sample is taken from the crease of the elbow and collected in tubes that may contain anticoagulants.
The tube is then examined and the patient receives the analysis results transmitted to the doctor.
Normal range of liver enzymes
Transaminase levels vary by gender, age, weight, and body mass index (BMI).
It may also vary depending on the techniques used by the hepatology laboratory.
This rate is considered high when the values of the AST transaminase (alanine aminotransferase) and the ALT transaminase (aspartate-amino-transferase) are modified, revealing an impairment hepatic.
- For man:
ALT: 8 to 45 International Units/Litre
AST: 10 to 40 IU/L
- For woman:
ALT: 6 to 35 IU/L
AST: 10 to 35 IU/L
- For newborn:
ALT: 5 to 35 IU/L
AST: 20 to 80 IU/L
- For the child:
ALT: 10 to 35 IU/L
AST: 10 to 35 IU/L
* Assayed at 37°C
Causes of elevated liver enzymes
Elevated transaminase levels often go unnoticed, but they can indicate hepatic inflammation.
Various causes include viral infections, autoimmune diseases, medication side effects, and excess liver fat.
Some studies suggest a link between high transaminases and heart failure or rheumatic diseases.
Symptoms of high liver enzymes
Some symptoms may lead your doctor to think that certain liver cells are suffering, especially if you experience:
– lack of energy
– severe fatigue
Nausea can also occur and the major sign of liver damage is jaundice.
Certain predispositions can also cause it to control transaminases:
– autoimmune disease
– risk of hepatitis
– family predisposition
Interpreting liver blood tests
High liver enzymes can sometimes be chronic if they exceed 1.5 times the normal limit.
The result of blood tests is never enough to diagnose a specific disease.
Only the physician can make a diagnosis following a clinical examination or other prescribed tests.
However, an evaluation can be established according to the rate noted:
- 2 to 10 times the normal rate:
Suspicion of infectious viral hepatitis (shingles, chickenpox, herpes, infectious mononucleosis) or secondary liver damage (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus)
- Rate over 10 times normal:
Suspicion of acute viral hepatitis or drug-induced hepatitis or acute hepatic ischemia related to cardiac involvement (infarction, arrhythmia)
- A continuous increase over 6 months:
Suspicion of alcoholic disease (cirrhosis), chronic viral hepatitis, steatosis, drug-induced or autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson’s disease, hemochromatosis
Factors increasing liver enzymes
Many factors lead to elevated transaminase levels.
Simple flu is sometimes enough to change it transiently.
But this rise can also reveal a more serious illness like:
- viral hepatitis, hepatitis B or C, viral infection that can become chronic
- fatty liver, an accumulation of triglycerides in the liver
- infectious mononucleosis, a disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (herpes)
- hemochromatosis, excessive accumulation of iron in the body
- pancreatic diseases
- systemic diseases
- myocardial infarction
- chronic drug-induced hepatitis
- excessive alcohol consumption
Being overweight also increases transaminases by about 10% in women and 50% in men.
How to lower liver enzymes?
There is no specific processing to change this rate.
Its increase is often linked to progressive disease or a specific factor related to lifestyle.
If a progressive disease is diagnosed, treatment of the latter will stabilize the level of transaminases.
If this anomaly is related to your lifestyle, measures must be put in place quickly.
Your doctor will recommend a balanced diet, banning processed products, fats, excess sugar, and salt.
If you are overweight, it will encourage you to go on a diet and exercise to stabilize your weight.
Hydration should also be sufficient to help the liver drain toxins.
Alcoholic beverages should be removed.
Tips for lowering transaminases
As we have seen, increased enzyme activity can cause liver problems.
Depending on the cause, it may be brought under control by eating a healthy diet.
– Stay away from all fried foods and fast food
– Do not eat raw seafood, especially oysters, mussels, clams
– Eat high-fiber fruits and vegetables
– Go for lean meats
– Fish contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids important for liver function.
Twice a week eat salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring
– Nuts and seeds also contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Prefer flax seeds, chia seeds, and nuts but less often than fish
– Avoid processed foods, margarine, crisps, crackers, pastries
– Drastically limit your alcohol consumption
– Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
Supplements for liver health
There are many supplements to optimize liver function and repair damage.
Choline is an essential B vitamin to support the liver, brain, and cell structure of the body.
This lipotropic nutrient promotes the export of fat from the liver, which helps to control a large liver and prevent fatty deposits.
You can find choline in eggs, liver, and crucifers like cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, kale…
You can also take a choline supplement combined with 2 capsules of brewer’s yeast (ad)
The effect of choline is then reinforced by the presence of B vitamins contained in yeast to help repair liver damage.
Go for a choline supplement without soy like this one (ad).
Eat sulfur-rich foods such as garlic, onion, green onions, leeks, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, eggs, turkey…
- Vitamin E
Take an extra vitamin E containing tocotrienols (ad) every day.
This vitamin helps heal liver damage.
You also find it in fish, eggs, and nuts.
Promoting liver health
By following a strict diet combined with taking specific supplements, your body will have all the essential nutrients to regenerate the liver.
You should know that this organ has the particularity of being able to repair itself.
But to achieve this, you must apply dietary changes.
Sugar, alcohol, and flour in all their forms should be banned.
By applying this simple change, you will regain a healthy weight and avoid water retention.
Choline will help your brain make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves, dilates blood vessels, and regulates heart rhythm.
Add to this routine the tips and supplements that help detoxify the liver, and you will overcome liver damage quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is sgot in blood test?
SGOT is the abbreviation for serum glutamic oxaloacetate transaminase, an enzyme localized in the muscles and in particular the heart muscle.
This abbreviation is less used than its equivalent AST or glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase but you can find results under the mention sgot ast transaminases
What is gamma gt?
Gamma gt is short for glutamyl transpeptidase, an enzyme involved in amino acid metabolism.
It is localized in the liver and kidneys.
A gamma gt level greater than 30 IU/L indicates liver dysfunction.
What is tgo blood test?
TGO and SGOT are two equivalent abbreviations associated with the abbreviation AST.
They designate an enzyme located in the muscles and in particular the heart muscle.
What is tgp blood test?
TGP and SGPT are two equivalent abbreviations associated with the abbreviation ALT.
They designate an enzyme located in the liver.
Low liver enzymes what consequences?
An insufficient level of transaminases is relatively rare and has no consequences.
It is frequently encountered in pregnant women or in cases of vitamin B6 deficiency.