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Answer to your Health Question


I recently had blood work done and my ALT / AST levels are 375 / 266.

I fasted before the test, but I had a very strenuous workout the morning before the test.

What do these incredibly high numbers mean for my liver?



Dear Dave,

In acute liver injury, such as viral hepatitis, the ALT and AST may be as high as 1000 U/L.

Alanine aminotranferease (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) are enzymes located in liver cells.

The normal range of values for AST (SGOT) is from 5 to 40 units per liter of serum (the liquid part of the blood).

The normal range of values for ALT (SGPT) is from 7 to 56 units per liter of serum.

In chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver, ALT and AST may be 10 to 100 times their normal values.

It must be emphasized that higher-than-normal levels of these liver enzymes should not be automatically equated with liver disease.

They may mean liver problems or they may not. For example, elevations of these enzymes can occur with muscle damage.

In one study researchers found more muscle damage three days after a strenuous workout than they had found one hour after exercise ceased.

The exact levels of AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) cannot be used to determine the degree of liver disease.

It is, therefore, worth mentioning that these liver enzymes do not give an indication of the function of the liver.

You can see more information related to your questions at:

Heavy exercise can cause an elevation in ALT.


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