9 Ways to lower the levels of ALT quickly

ALT levels
Serum elevation of ALT occurs due to significant cellular damage and necrosis (cell death), and this is used as a diagnostic tool for liver function.

There are no “quick” ways to decrease alanine transaminase (ALT) levels in the body.

However, the following steps can help reduce ALT levels successfully:

  1. Reducing daily alcohol intake:
    • One of the most common causes of liver damage is excessive alcohol consumption, with even moderate doses of alcohol harming liver cells over time. 
    • Two drinks per day for males and one drink per day for females fall into the category of moderate alcohol intake. It is essential to stay under this limit to conserve liver health and lower down the ALT levels.
    • If a person is suffering from liver disease, the level of alcohol must be cut off completely from the diet.
  2. Consuming more caffeine:
    • Research has proven the efficacy of caffeine in improving liver functions and suggests that having a cup of coffee daily can significantly decrease a person’s risk of developing liver disease.
      • Because ALT levels and liver damage are related to each other, drinking coffee can have a positive effect on the ALT amount.
    • Green tea has been found to improve liver health since it reduces fat deposits, helping to keep the liver functionally healthy.
      • The effects of green tea seem to vary between different individuals.
      • It contains plant antioxidants called "catechins" that are believed to revitalize many bodily functions, including liver function.
  3. Switching to natural and organic foods:
    • Though most populations can tolerate chemical food additives, these chemicals can further deteriorate the situation of a person with high ALT levels and liver damage because most of the food is detoxified by the liver enzymes.
    • The main function of the liver is to filter out the toxin metabolites out from the body, but increased toxin levels can cause the liver function to weaken and decrease profoundly.
    • Because organic foods are devoid of growth hormones, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and synthetic pesticides, and fertilizer, the body finds it easier to process them.
  4. Consuming more fruits and vegetables:
    • Many fruits and vegetables have a role in the natural detoxification of the body and are necessary to maintain normal health.
      • Thus, they help relieve stress from the liver, allowing it to heal.
      • As a result, alanine transaminase levels are lowered.
    • Sulfur-rich vegetables, such as onions and garlic, are notably helpful.
      • Cruciferous vegetables are considered best to improve ALT levels, such as:
        1. Broccoli
        2. Kale
        3. Collard greens
        4. Brussels sprouts
        5. Cabbage
        6. Cauliflower
      • The carotenoids and phytonutrients present in them neutralize the harmful toxins in the liver.
    • Grapefruit, beets, leafy greens, avocados, and lemons are helpful as well.
  5. Increasing intake of dietary fiber:
    • As fibers are indigestible, they absorb water and increase the peristalsis and push toxins out of the gastrointestinal system faster, so there is less time for these toxins to get absorbed into the circulation and accumulate in the liver. 
    • Many fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber. Whole grains and seeds also provide a good amount of fiber content.
    • Flaxseeds bind particularly to potentially harmful hormonal excesses and help remove them more effectively out of the system.
  6. Exercising regularly:
    • Overall health improvement is seen in a person who exercises regularly, which means doing regular cardiovascular or aerobic exercise can improve health and reduce ALT levels.
      • Studies indicated that a minimum of 150 minutes of regular activity per week can improve liver enzymes, such as ALT, in an adult.
    • Exercise can help reduce excess weight and limit the amount of fat entering the liver. In addition, it stimulates the sweat mechanism, which is the natural detoxification defense of the body.
    • Brisk walking for even 30 minutes a day can help immensely. It can be done in two sessions of 15 minutes each to improve liver health.
  7. Weight reduction:
    • Obesity can cause fatty deposition in the liver cells and hamper liver functions. Besides, it triggers inflammatory responses and causes liver damage.
    • The best way for weight reduction is following a healthy diet and regular exercise
    • Gradual weight loss is recommended because crash diets and radical procedures only increase stress on the body and its organs and result in further damage.
  8. Quitting smoking:
    • When the liver tries to filter out the toxins from cigarettes, the chemical additives present inside them cause cellular injury and damages.
      • It is important to quit smoking to strengthen the liver and improve ALT levels.
      • It is equally essential to avoid second-hand smoke because a passive smoker can breathe in most of these harmful toxins, which can cause similar cell damage.
  9. Avoiding taking medication unless prescribed:
    • Various medications and medicine combinations are proven to input their toxic effects on liver parenchyma and damage the liver. This happens in a person with prolonged and regular usage of these drugs.
      • Reduction in the usage of these drugs is recommended to improve the ALT levels.
    • Excessive intake of medicines, such as acetaminophen, can cause toxic injury to the liver. It is found in many prescription pain medications.
    • Other pain medications can have similar consequences, including aspirin, diclofenac, and naproxen. Cholesterol drugs can harm the liver.

What is ALT and what causes levels to rise?

Alanine transaminase (ALT), also called alanine aminotransferase (ALT or ALAT), is an enzyme primarily found in the liver. It was previously called serum glutamate-pyruvate transaminase or serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) and is used widely to estimate liver health. 

Though the enzyme is found more commonly in larger quantities in the liver, it is not specific to that organ. It is present in the plasma and other various body tissues, such as skeletal or cardiac muscle.

  • Clinical measurements of serum ALT level, serum aspartate transaminase (AST) level, and their ratio (AST or ALT ratio) are used globally as the biomarkers for testing liver function and to rule out liver pathologies. The tests are part of blood panels.
  • Following hepatocellular (liver cells) injury, ALT present inside the hepatic cells leaks out and enters the circulation, and the average estimation of its level gives the degree of liver damage.

The function of alanine aminotransferase is crucial in the amino acid breakdown.

The ALT enzyme is found in the following:

  • Serum and organ tissues (predominantly in the liver)
  • Variable concentrations in the kidneys
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Myocardium

Additionally, the pancreas, spleen, and lungs contain ALT in minor quantities.

Serum elevation of ALT occurs due to significant cellular damage and necrosis (cell death), and this is used as a diagnostic tool for liver function.

Pathologies causing increased ALT levels include hepatitis, congestive heart failure, liver or biliary duct damage, or myopathy. Diet restraint and drug administration interfere with the levels of ALT in blood.

QUESTION

Long-term heavy alcohol consumption can cause: See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 1/5/2022
References
Medline Plus. ALT Blood Test. https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/alt-blood-test/

Limdi JK, Hyde GM. Evaluation of abnormal liver function tests. Postgrad Med J. 2003 Jun;79(932):307-12. https://pmj.bmj.com/content/79/932/307