Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme in a person’s blood that helps break down proteins. The body uses ALP for a wide range of processes, and it plays a particularly important role in liver function and bone development.
An ALP Test measures the amount of this enzyme circulating in a person’s blood. ALP is tested as a routine liver profiling. Severely abnormal levels of ALP can signify a severe underlying medical condition, typically one relating to the liver, bones, or gallbladder.
What is the normal range for ALP?
The normal range of ALP varies from person to person and depends on your age, blood type, gender, and in pregnancy. For men and women older than age 18, an ALP level between 44 and 147 U/L is considered normal. The normal range for children is higher than that for adults, especially for infants and teens because their bones are growing rapidly. Values above 130 U/L are usually considered to be high.
What do abnormal levels mean?
Abnormal levels may be due to the following conditions:
Higher-than-normal ALP levels
Bile duct obstruction
Certain bone diseases
Eating a fatty meal if you have blood type O or B
Hepatitis (Inflammation of the liver)
Blood cancer (Leukemia)
Lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells called Lymphocytes)
Certain bone tumors
Paget disease, common disorder that affects bone strength and formation
Rickets(deficiency in Vitamin D)
Sarcoidosis (inflammatory disease in which small clumps of inflammatory cells, called granulomas, form in various organs)
Lower-than-normal ALP levels
What is the risk of high ALP?
In liver disease, a noticeable increase in ALP suggests you have a reduced or blocked flow of bile. That’s a condition that doctors call Cholestasis. When ALP is elevated in liver disease, it can be suggestive of obstructing gallstones or bile obstruction from cancer.
How to naturally reduce Alkaline Phosphatase?
Support Your Liver If your alkaline phosphatase levels are high, you could look into natural ways to support the health of your liver. Your liver has the capacity to regenerate. Talk to your doctor about how to improve your liver health. Consider liver-protective supplements like:
NAC (300mg if you are also taking milk thistle)
Taurine (500 mg)
Vitamin C (500 mg)
B vitamins (low dosages)
ALCAR and Lipoic acid
Vegetables like broccoli, onions, dandelion greens, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts also have a cleansing effect on the liver. You must also reduce your alcohol intake.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase, whereas omega-6 fatty acid increases the level of intestinal alkaline phosphatase in the gut. Chia seeds, flax seeds, brussel sprouts, Algal oil, and walnuts are some rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Stop Smoking Smoking can increase ALP levels. Thus, avoid smoking.
Coffee Coffee intake is linked to lower ALP levels. Remember to stick to moderate consumption of coffee.
Resistance Exercise In untrained male subjects, one single bout of resistance exercise can cause bone ALP activity to significantly decrease in 2-3 days after the exercise. Thus, adding resistance exercises to your daily routine is essential to keep ALP low.
Sun Exposure/Vitamin D Since vitamin D deficiency has been linked with high alkaline phosphatase, be sure to check your levels. If you are deficient, get more sun and/or take vitamin D supplements. A natural Sun exposure is a better way to increase your vitamin D levels.