Liver enzymes: An indicator for the health of your liver

Certain proteins (enzymes) play an important role as biocatalysts in the metabolic processes in the liver. Monitoring these liver enzymes is a part of routine blood tests.

Elevated liver enzymes may indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. However, they do not say anything about the type of liver disease. Evaluating enzyme levels requires medical experience, since some of the enzymes important for liver diagnostics also occur in cells of other organs. The most important factor is the enzyme pattern and how it correlates with further examination findings.

Liver Enzymes: Overview

Disorders in liver cells

ParameterNormal value
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)♂ 10 – 50 U/l at 37°C
♀ 10 – 35 U/l at 37°C
Alanine transaminase (ALT)♂ 10 – 50 U/l at 37°C
♀ 10 – 35 U/l at 37°C
Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)♂ < 66 U/l at 37°C
♀ < 39 U/l at 37°C
Glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH, GDH)♂ < 6.4 U/l
♀ < 4.8 U/l
Iron (FE)♂ 59 – 158 µg/dl
♀ 37 – 145 µg/dl
Zinc (Zn)46-150 µg/dl