What is alkaline phosphatase?
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme in your blood that helps break down proteins. An ALP test can help check your liver and gallbladder function.
What is its function?
ALP helps break down proteins so your body can absorb them.
What can cause my levels to change?
High ALP levels can be a sign of liver inflammation, damage to your gallbladder, or bone disease.
Low ALP levels can be a sign that you’re not absorbing food properly — for example, if you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or coeliac disease."
What are the most common symptoms?
If your ALP levels are high as a result of liver damage, common symptoms include:
- jaundice — yellow skin and eyes
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain
High ALP might also indicate bone problems. So symptoms might include bone pain and an increased risk of fractures.
What can I do to change them?
To lower ALP levels caused by liver damage, avoid too much:
- saturated and trans fats — like fried foods, red meat, cakes, pastries, and cream
- refined carbohydrates — like white bread and white pasta
- added sugars — like fruit juices, fizzy drinks, and sweets
- salt — like frozen foods, salted nuts, and smoked or cured meats
- alcohol — limit to 14 units a week (equivalent to about 6 pints or 7 medium-sized glasses of wine)