What is ALT?

ALT (alanine aminotransferase) is an enzyme found mostly in liver and kidney cells. An ALT test measures the amount of this enzyme in the bloodstream. ALT is a useful test for the early detection of liver damage.

Why test ALT?

Unless this is ordered as a retest or for a specific reason, we recommend ordering this as part of a health test. 

Health check
Discover your risk factors for lifestyle diseases in time to do something about them. 

Risk factors
You want to know how your liver health is affected by your alcohol consumption, weight, virus exposure or other lifestyle factors.

Monitor changes to your blood values as you make lifestyle changes, supplement or undergo treatments.

What causes low ALT?

A low level of ALT in the bloodstream is the normal and expected result. Vitamin B6 deficiency and alcoholism can cause extremely low levels of ALT.

What causes high ALT?

Elevated levels are most often caused by liver problems. Very high ALT is usually caused by acute hepatitis, which in turn is often caused by a viral infection or heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, or autoimmunity.  This usually takes 1-6 months to return to normal.  fatty liver, liver dysfunction, excessive muscle breakdown or turnover, liver cell damage, obesity, alcohol consumption, and some other conditions can also cause very high ALT levels.

More information

When the cells are injured or damaged, enzymes like ALT are released into the blood, making ALT a useful test for the early detection of liver damage.  This test may be used together with AST (aspartate aminotransferase) as included in a liver package or a comprehensive metabolic panel to assess liver function and possible liver diseases. Elevated ALT levels are increasingly common. 

Values that are slightly outside the reference range can be normal. Reference ranges are not perfect and approximately 5% of healthy individuals may have results outside the reference range.


The day before the test
Avoid fatty foods and alcohol today.

On the day of the test
Remember to take your I.D. with you.


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