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It is important to clarify that ALT and AST levels do not reflect the function of the liver, even though in the medical community and in medical publications they commonly, and incorrectly, are referred to as liver function tests.Even in conditions when AST and ALT are very elevated, the liver still may function properly.In addition to AST and ALT, alkaline phosphatase, 5' nucleotidase, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) are a few of the other enzymes located in the liver.The focus of this article is mainly on the most common liver enzymes, AST and ALT. It makes many of the chemicals required by the body to function normally, it breaks down and detoxifies substances in the body, and it also acts as a storage unit.This is not to say that it is exclusively located in the liver, but that is where it is most concentrated.It is released into the bloodstream as the result of liver injury.
The blood tests that truly reflect liver function are the following; normal values (ranges) listed are for adult men - women and children have similar but slightly different ranges of normal test values Note that many hospitals and doctor's offices list a liver function panel as part of a lab workup.
The liver is located in the right upper portion of the abdominal cavity just beneath the rib cage.
The liver has many functions that are vital to life.
Enzymes help to speed up (catalyze) routine and vital chemical reactions in the body.
Among the most sensitive and widely used liver enzymes are the aminotransferases.
If the liver is injured or damaged, the liver cells spill these enzymes into the blood, raising the AST and ALT enzyme blood levels and signaling liver disease.