What is alanine transferase (ALT)?
Alanine transferase (ALT) is an enzyme found mainly in your liver. An ALT test can help check your liver function.
ALT is sometimes called alanine transaminase, alanine aminotransferase, or serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT).
What is its function?
ALT helps break down proteins so your body can absorb them.
What can cause my levels to change?
High ALT levels can be a sign of liver damage.
What are the most common symptoms?
High ALT levels often happen before symptoms become obvious, so it's a good way to check for early signs of liver damage.
If your ALT levels are high as a result of liver damage, common symptoms include:
- jaundice — yellow skin and eyes
- nausea and vomiting
- unexplained weight loss
- swelling around your eyes, stomach, or legs
What can I do to change them?
To lower ALT 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)