First, let’s talk liver “function” testing. Or any other type of “functional” testing done in mainstream medicine, for that matter. There are enzymes produced in cells. We can check the levels of these enzymes in the blood and a certain level of them is expected. This includes enzymes like AST, ALT and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). AST and ALT are generally associated with the liver while AP is associated with the bone, although the enzymes is also present in the liver.
When cells of the body begin to die (such as the liver, heart, brain, muscle or bone) they spill out their enzymes into the bloodstream, causing the levels of these enzymes to rise. So we’re looking for dying cells. Does NOT really sound like a “function” test to me–sounds like a “cells are dying because the organ is really, really sick” test to me. In other words–it is NOT a good thing.
This particular study, like others before it, is beginning to suggest that just because a lab value is “normal” does not mean it’s good. With enzymes in the bloodstream, it’s becoming accepted that lower is better. In this particular case, those with higher levels of ALP had up to an 84% increased risk of dying–generally the outcome we all want to avoid as much as possible.
Couple this with multiple studies finding elevated normal levels of ALT being very strongly associated with the risk of diabetes, meaning that any elevation means you are prediabetic. Remember–this is within the normal range!!