♻️ Liver Function Biomarker Test

Your liver is one of the largest internal organs of the human body, making up around 2% of your body weight1. It helps with digestion and metabolism and is thus connected to the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems.

The liver is involved in the following functions1:

  • Production of bile, which digests and absorbs fats and helps eliminate waste products 
  • Storage of glucose
  • Storage of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Storage of iron and copper
  • Regulation of cholesterol
  • Metabolism and detoxification from drugs
  • Sex hormone metabolism
  • Production of plasma proteins, such as albumin, protein C, protein S and clotting factors

Liver function tests are used to see how well your liver is working and to what degree its cells are damaged1. Cirrhosis is one of the diseases that can affect the liver. It’s caused by excessive drinking or by the hepatitis B and C viruses1.

Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, can be a sign of liver disease. Tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma can also affect the liver1.

Read More About the Components

Normal Range: 3.6-5.1 g/dL

Albumin comprises more than half of the total protein found in the clear portion of blood2. The ability of the liver to produce albumin can be used as a measure of liver function3. High albumin in the clear portion of blood is a sign of dehydration2. Low albumin might be a sign of end-stage liver disease2, malnutrition or difficulty absorbing protein3.

Normal Range: 1.0-2.5

Albumin and globulin have a role in inflammation and immunity and are predictors of the outcomes of many diseases4. Because many factors affect the relative amounts of albumin and globulin, the A/G ratio is a better way to help explain changes in protein levels. A low A/G ratio is linked to worse prognosis in cancer of the stomach, colon, pancreas and liver5. It might also occur due to low albumin because of cirrhosis or kidney disease.

Normal Range: 36-130 U/L

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found throughout the body7. It is mostly found in the liver, bile ducts, kidneys, intestine, placenta and bone7. It rises during pregnancy and also in Paget’s disease and renal disease7. Low ALP might indicate Wilson’s disease, zinc deficiency, anemia or hypothyroidism8.

Normal Range: 9-46 U/L

Alanine transaminase (ALT) is an enzyme produced by liver cells. Liver cells increase production of this enzyme in response to liver injury7. Viral hepatitis is the primary cause of elevated ALT9. Certain drugs, excessive alcohol and strenuous exercise can also increase it. 

Normal Range: 10-40 U/L

AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme found primarily in the heart and liver6. Liver damage causes a simultaneous increase in AST and ALT7. AST elevations are common in patients with cirrhosis6.

Normal Range: 0.2-1.2 mg/dL

Bilirubin gives the yellow color to urine, bile and stool. Most bilirubin is made when hemoglobin is broken down in aged red blood cells or in red blood cell precursors that die prematurely in the bone marrow. The remainder comes from the liver and muscles10.

Normal Range: 1.9-3.7 g/dL

Globulins encompass most proteins in the clear portion of blood other than albumin12. Globulins are roughly divided into four groups: alpha 1, alpha 2, beta and gamma globulins. Gamma globulins are the largest portion and play important functions in the immune system13. Increased globulins are a sign of chronic inflammation13. A decrease in total globules might indicate poor nutrition or nephrotic syndrome due to protein loss2.

Normal Range: 6.1-8.1 g/dL

The total protein is the total amount of albumin and globulin that are found in the clear portion of your blood2. Albumin’s functions include transporting bilirubin, hormones, vitamins, and drugs2.

Learn About the Biomarkers in Each System

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