Do you have high levels of liver enzymes? If so then you should consider options like supplements to lower liver enzymes. High levels are becoming a worldwide epidemic. For example, in the USA, 10% of the population has high levels of ALT enzymes, which shows conditions like liver disease. There are actually several ways you can lower your liver enzymes including weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and reducing supplements/medicines. The key is to lower enzymes like ALTs, which be high due to conditions related to liver health. Taking steps to boost your liver health can also help to lower liver enzymes in the process.
There are several different supplements you can pick. You can go with traditional options like folic acid. Then there are others that are less known. They include dandelion root and milk thistle. Some supplements aren’t supported by many scientific studies. So it’s important to do your homework about certain ones to find out whether or not it’s a wise choice based on fans AND science. It also helps if you use supplements as a way to add to a healthy/well-balanced diet. That can help to make sure you’re taking a multi-pronged approach to deal with high liver enzymes.
Enzymes, Liver Enzymes, and High Liver Enzymes
First, let’s start with the enzymes themselves. These are different kinds of proteins they help with chemical reactions that are needed for certain nutrients or reactions. Enzymes to begin or speed up chemical reactions. Enzymes are critical because chemicals have different names when enzymes aren’t present.
Several diseases result when certain enzymes are absent. Meanwhile, the opposite happens in the case of high liver enzymes. There are several factors related including diets that are high-protein/fat, increased/decreased exercise levels, weight gain, liver disease, and alcohol drinking. There are also various mental and environmental causes.
The seriousness of this condition is based on the person’s general health and enzyme levels. It’s quite common for people to have short-term above-average liver enzymes. That’s because the liver is the body’s main organ for processing drugs/toxins. It’s also where digestive enzymes break down protein.
ALT and AST are the most common liver enzymes that are reviewed for health conditions. When AST enzyme levels are higher it shows alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Meanwhile, the Alt levels are high medical professionals check to look for factors related to good liver function.
When liver enzymes are higher than normal more medical tests are required. This doesn’t always show that the patient already has liver damage.
The normal ranges for these liver enzymes are:
- ALT: 7 to 56 units/liter
- AST: 5 to 40 units/liter
It’s important for medical professionals to check a patient’s blood tests for long-term high liver enzymes. The tests only show the current levels of liver enzymes when the tests were done. It’s even possible for hepatitis patients to have sky-high enzyme levels then recover without having liver damage.
Muscle strain is one of the top causes of high liver enzymes. When people do tough workouts it causes a breakdown of muscle tissue. It’s common for muscle strain to boost ALT/AST by 10+ points over the average.
Top Supplements to Lower Liver Enzymes
If you have a liver condition then this is a good reason to have a second (or first) cup of coffee for breakfast. Studies show that drinking1+ cups of the beverage known as Joe, java, and mud can help lower LAT levels.
A 205 study showed that participants who drank up to 3 cups of coffee daily had a nearly 40% lower chance of liver cancer and about a 45% lower risk of dying from serious liver disease. The group was compared to non-coffee drinkers.
2. Folic Acid
This supplement might provide various benefits for people with liver conditions. They include a lower risk of liver damage. It might also have a lower chance of liver cancer. You can also boost your folate intake through foods like:
- Beef liver
- Breakfast cereals
- Brussels sprouts
- Black-eyed peas
A 2011 study with over 450 participants showed that taking more folic acid supplements decreased ALT levels. This was especially among men and people with high LAT levels. The suggested dosage was 0.8mg daily.
3. Milk Thistle
Humans have been using this plant to treat liver disorders for 2000+ years. Fun Fact: Milk thistle is the most popular herbal ingredient used in the US for liver problems.
The main substance is something that’s made of several plant chemicals. Studies show it helps to grow liver tissue, protect liver cells, and reduce inflammation. It’s worth noting that the studies about milk thistle’s benefits for liver health are mixed.
4. Cacao Powder
If you’re a chocoholic then there’s some good news: dark chocolate seems to help patients with liver damage. This is based on a study conducted within the past decade. It’s important to go with cacao powder because the study was done on high-antioxidant dark chocolate.
Chocolate can provide various liver-related benefits. They include lowering blood vessel damage and lowering liver blood pressure.
Other ways to Lower Liver Enzymes
1. Decrease levels of “bad” cholesterol
This is known as LDL. In fact, you should also try to decrease your total cholesterol too if it’s high. However, in recent years health experts have focused on the importance of lowering LDL cholesterol in particular. One 2018 study showed a link between total cholesterol and high levels of enzymes in livers.
There are various ways to lower cholesterol levels. They include a healthy diet and regular exercise. Doing both can maximize your levels of total/bad cholesterol.
2. Making dietary changes
Studies show that you can make various dietary changes to help decrease liver enzymes. They include:
- More plant-based protein
- Foods with low energy density
- More Vitamin B6, folic acid, and potassium
- More veggies
- More fiber
These are some basic tweaks to a diet that might help you decrease your liver enzymes.
3. Avoid alcohol/smoking/air pollution
Studies show that all three of these factors can boost liver damage. If you have high levels of Alt, in particular, you should avoid alcohol, smoking, and air pollution.
4. Lower body weight
This could be through diet and/or exercise. Studies show that weight loss can help to treat fatty liver disease and prevent a liver condition known as “fibrosis.” You can get other benefits like lower inflammation and better insulin sensitivity. Losing weight might also lower the risk of liver cancer.
5. Make diet changes
Good options for treating/preventing non-alcoholic liver disease include moderate-carb and low-fat diets. An early-stage liver disease known as NAFLD is one of the top causes of high ALT. one study showed that making one daily meal low-fat and plant-heavy can decrease Alt levels within a month.
Another study showed that eating a low-calorie/carb diet can also decrease ALT levels. The study was done in overweight adults who had insulin resistance. This is one option that tries to achieve the result of supplements to lower liver enzymes.