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Getting to Decreased ALT & AST Levels

One month ago one of my patients was diagnosed with hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) with fat. At that time, his liver function blood test showed ALT values of 133, and AST 57.

My recommendation to him was to start a fatty liver diet program, and mild physical activity, like walking for 1 hour for 3 times a week.

One month was passed, and now his blood test shows a decreased ALT level – 79, and a decreased AST level –  37. This is extremely good results for such short period of time.

This means that the treatment actually works. ALT and AST values are effected pretty fast when the body receives different, healthy type of food. In a matter of 2-3 month, a new blood test would hopefully reveal these enzymes at their normal levels.

It is extremely important to monitor your progress through taking a new blood test about about 3 weeks. It gives a lot of motivation and keeps you in track.

Keeping normal ALT and AST ratios

ALT (SGPT) Blood Test

Getting decreased ALT and AST levels to normal levels is one thing – but keeping at these levels are completely different task. There is a need to continue eating food with low fat, doing exercise, and generally watch your health and maintaining a healthy life-style.

Even if the blood test would show perfectly normal results, it can be deceiving, because your liver is still fatty. It doesn’t go away that soon. It takes few years at least. The best way to confirm if you still have a fatty liver is a combination of blood test AND a liver ultrasound.

Keep in mind that you will probably need to keep a healthy life-style all of your life, because your liver is vulnerable for fatty liver.

Click here for more information about fatty liver diet program.

Ayurvedic Medicine for Fatty Liver

Although there are no absolute indication that Ayurvedic medicine is effective against fatty liver disease, many researches around the world believe that Ayurvedic herbs could actually help.

Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient way to remove toxins from the body by using plant-based (Herbs) medicine as treatment for many diseases.

It is known to help cleanse (detox) the body for many toxins; and for this reason exactly, it is considered especially effective again liver disorders, like fatty liver.

In addition, Ayurvedic based treatment could also help against obesity and over-weightiness. As you might already know, being over-weight is one of the main reasons of why fatty liver is developed at the first place. Treating this factor could help in fatty liver treatment.

Common Ayurvedic Herbs

  • Phyllanthus Amarus
  • Phyllanthus Niruri
  • Eclipta Alba
  • Turmeric

Ayurveda Herbs

These herbs are usually sold as pills. I would highly advise consulting with a physician prior taking any of these medications.

Ayurvedic herbs are not fully researched, so please bear in mind that their effectiveness are not fully understood. Anyone with fatty liver should start treatment it with known methods, as mentioned here.

Ayurvedic medicine for fatty liver could only assist, but it cannot replace the known accepted fatty liver treatments. In addition, if you’re serious about natural treatment for fatty liver, I highly recommend the Natural Fatty Liver Solution guide from Duncan Capicchiano N.D.

Vegetables for Fatty Liver

Scientific facts indicating the health benefits many vegetable have are now bigger than ever. Not just for fatty liver, but for a long list of disease and conditions.

The secret of vegetables is the combination of fiber, minerals, vitamins and various unique active compounds which create together a powerful synergy.

Consumption of varied vegetables from different “families” and colors ensures a good balance between the different components needed by your body, and achieving various health benefits, including help curing a fatty liver.

What about frozen vegetables, are they healthy?

Frozen vegetables go through a process of scalding and freezing few hours after harvest, compared with fresh vegetables that sold in market days after harvest.

The freezing condition of the vegetables has a significant implications for the conservation and vitamins.  The lower the freezing temperature is, so the preservation of vitamins during the freeze gets better. In general, vegetables are kept frozen at about minus 86 °F (or 30 °C).

The fiber content in vegetables is not damaged at all by the freezing process, and even found a small increase in their contents.

The mineral content of vegetables is not affected as-well by the freezing process. Moreover, frozen vegetables require a shorter cooking time than fresh vegetables, and thus have significant impact of the antioxidant vitamins passed through the cooking compared to when you cook fresh vegetables.

Another advantage of frozen vegetables is that they are available all year round. However, frozen vegetables lose some of their essential nutritional compounds during harvest, storage, and marketing. So the initial nutritional compounds found in fresh vegetables might be a little higher than in frozen vegetables.

List of vegetables for fatty liver

  • Onion
    High levels of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
  • Broccoli
    High levels of vitamin C, dietary fiber, protein, and anti-cancer components.
  • Cabbage – Contains multiple anti-inflammatory components, and very high levels of vitamin C.
  • Carrot – excellent source of vitamin A and dietary fiber.
  • Tomato – contains Lycopene, a very powerful natural antioxidant.
  • Peppers – great source of vitamin A, vitamin B and vitamin C.
  • Garlic – high levels of vitamin C, fights high cholesterol and blood pressure, and cancer.
  • Beet – known to be good against diseases related to digestion system, like fatty liver.

You might also be interested to read about the recommended foods for fatty liver and fruits for fatty liver.

24 years old Fatty Liver patient

This is a letter I received not a long time ago from David, a 24 years old man, who was diagnosed to have a fatty liver:

Quote:

2 Months ago I was told I have Fatty Liver Disease. I am 24 years old, I weight at 260 pounds, 5’11” tall. I am over weight and I have more fatty mass than muscle mass. Knowing that I have this disease is draining my mind and creating a lot of stress because I just don’t know how bad I have it.

What makes it more stressful is the fact that I have lost 17 pounds since January of this year and I don’t know how I did it. I read that weight loss is a sign of advancement of the Disease. The only thing I have changed is that I have been eating a healthy breakfast in the morning that includes lots of fruit and no exercise. The other thing that I had done was take synthroid for my thyroid functions. I took the pill for 3 months or so and stopped taking it around January. I am stilling losing weight to this day and it is driving me nuts.

Can you tell me at my age should I be worried about the weight loss as a sign of advancement? I just pray that its not that far along so that I can have a chance to exercise and eat better to turn this disease around. What can I do to see just how bad I really have it. Your prompt response would be greatly enjoyed.

Few hours later I sent him the following answer:

Before I can answer to your questions, I need to know some missing details.

First of all, which type of fatty liver disease do you have? Alcoholic or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
Have you performed any abdominal ultrasound test for fatty liver diagnosis?

Second, have you done any liver function blood tests? If so, what were the results? Specifically, the results of liver enzymes ALT and AST.

You are 24 years old; meaning the change the disease isn’t advanced yet. It takes decades for a fatty liver to advance to a much serious liver conditions.

Waiting for your reply.
Dr. Mark Bar-Gomel

David replied:

I have NAFLD. A ultrasound was preformed on my liver to determine that I have NAFLD. My blood test results were: AST = 82, ALT= 161. Tests were done 12/16/08.

My report produced from the ultrasound is as follows:

FINDINGS: The liver is difficult to penetrate and has a coarsened echotexture.
No hepatic mass or intrahepatic biliary ductal dilatation is seen. The
pancreas appears normal. The gallbladder is normal. Right kidney is normal.
Common bile duct measures 3 mm. No free fluid is seen.

IMPRESSION: The appearance of the liver suggests hepatic steatosis. No focal
hepatic lesion or intrahepatic biliary ductal dilatation is seen.

I hope you can answer my questions with the information given above. With that said, In general what can I eat to help my liver out? I heard lemon juice is okay? Is this true? What else if you have any other ideas.

My answer to him:

From the information you provided, it is my honest though that your condition is reversible. I’m positive your weight loose is not an indication for advanced stage of the disease.
To reverse the condition, it will require from you to change your life style and eating habits.

Regarding lemon juice, the answer is yes. There are some indications that lemon juice is good for a fatty liver. You can also read the foods for fatty liver article that gives a good guideline for what you should eat.

Fatty Liver and Weight Loss

Weight loss is a crucial part in fatty liver treatment. Losing body weight helped many patients to reverse a non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH / NAFLD) fatty liver disease.

Why weight loss is important in Fatty Liver

The answer to this question is that when a body has excessive amounts of fat, the liver needs to work harder.

And the more the liver needs to work harder, there is an increased chance of inflammation of the liver, that in many cases leads to a fatty liver.

The fatty tissues around the liver cause it to work less efficiently, and some of its daily routine is damaged.

When this happens, it releases excessive liver enzymes, such as ALT or AST (more details about liver enzymes can be found in the liver function blood tests article).

Therefor, the more fat you lose following a weight loss, your liver will simply work better, and will release decreased amounts of ALT, and hopefully normal amount of the enzyme will flow into your blood stream.

In addition, if you’re serious about weight loss, there is one more method that worked for most of my own patients with fatty liver. I highly recommend using the Fatty Liver Diet Guide written by Dorothy Spencer BSN, RN. It’s an alternative and proven method to cure a fatty liver by natural means. Click here to learn more.