The value of the ALT and AST liver enzymes will vary depending on the type of liver sickness including cancer.
In general (numbers vary from one lab to the next), a blood test value of over 50 for the ALT is considered elevated, not within the normal range. For AST, the cut-off point is 40 (anything above is elevated).
Again, realize that these cut-off points will vary with different testing labs.
What are the AST and ALT values that are associated with fatty liver disease, the common hepatitis viruses, liver cancer and other liver disease?
“AST and ALT levels vary greatly depending on the liver disease and the individual patient,” says Jeffrey Fine, MD, chief of gastroenterology at the Medical Surgical Clinic of Irving.
“In fatty liver disease for example, the AST and ALT values are usually twice the normal range or higher.
“They can be as high as 10 times normal. They can also be up to 10 times the normal range in common hepatitis cases like in hepatitis A, B and C.”
What about cancer?
“With liver cancer, the AST and ALT levels could be mild to normal because those cells are burnt out, so there is no AST or ALT leak,” says Dr. Fine.
“In autoimmune liver disease, which is more common among women, the AST and ALT levels can be three to six times normal.”
How to protect yourself against liver disease
– Avoid drinking alcohol, or drink only occasionally.
– Exercise regularly, and this includes strength training.
– Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
– Avoid unhealthy ingredients like trans fats and preservatives.
– Lose weight if you’re overweight. If you’re not overweight, don’t gain excess weight.
– Limit foods with added sugars.
Dr. Fine has been in practice for over 30 years and specializes in digestive health, integrative medicine and food sensitivities.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.