Last updated on 16th Oct 2021 - By Dwayne Michaels

How Abnormal GGT affects heart?

Ample evidence suggests that elevated GGT activity is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, arterial hypertension, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias and all-cause and CVD-related mortality.

Blood test

GGT is predominantly used as a diagnostic marker for liver disease. Latent elevations in GGT are typically seen in patients with chronic viral hepatitis infections often taking 12 months or more to present.

Elevated serum GGT activity can be found in diseases of the liver, biliary system, pancreas and kidneys. In this respect, it is similar to alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in detecting disease of the biliary tract.

Indeed, the two markers correlate well, though there are conflicting data about whether GGT has better sensitivity. The main value of GGT over ALP is in verifying that GGT elevations are, in fact, due to biliary disease; ALP can also be increased in certain bone diseases, but GGT is not.

Consult a doctor

GGT is elevated by ingestion of large quantities of alcohol. However, determination of high levels of total serum GGT activity is not specific to alcohol intoxication, and the measurement of selected serum forms of the enzyme offer more specific information.

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Your results will be in international units per liter, or IU/L. In adults, GGT levels in the range of 0 to 30 IU/L are normal. Anything above 30 IU/L could be a sign that your liver isn’t working the way it should.

But high GGT levels alone aren’t enough for your doctor to know if you have liver disease. For example, doctors often also recommend other tests, including one related to alkaline phosphatase (ALP), another enzyme that can build up in your blood if your liver isn’t working well.

Slight increases of GGT within the normal range appear to increase risk for diabetes and many cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes. There are numerous health habits that are associated with lower GGT levels, including eating a low red meat, low alcohol, high whole foods diet.

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In addition, clinical and animal research is supporting the use of botanical medicines like Turmeric and Milk Thistle in treating liver disease as well as preventing oxidative damage in the liver.

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Numerous drugs can raise GGT levels, including barbiturates and phenytoin. GGT elevation has also been occasionally reported following nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including aspirin), St. John's wort and kava. Elevated levels of GGT can also be due to congestive heart failure.

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