What Is a Normal Liver Function Value?

Updated April 13, 2017

If your physician is testing your liver function, you may be wondering what a normal liver function value is and what abnormal values will mean for your health. Lab work can help a physician evaluate how your liver is functioning.


A liver is a vital organ that plays an essential role in metabolism, detoxification and decomposition of red blood cells, hormone production and other bodily processes.


Low or high values can indicate problems with liver function, stress on the liver from medication, disease, or infection. It is important to follow-through with any applicable tests to determine if there are any problems that require treatment.


According to, liver tests will examine these five levels: AST, ALT, Alkaline Phosphatase, LDH, and bilirubin. The normal values are measured by units per litre.


AST is usually high if there is damage to the tissue in the heart or liver. The normal range is 8 to 20.

ALT is affected in cases of infections, such as mononucleosis and liver infection, but is also seen in someone with cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism. The normal adult range is 8 to 20.

Alkaline Phosphatase is tested if a tumour or abnormal growth is being considered as a diagnosis. However, lower levels of alkaline phosphatase are also found in those who are deficient of proteins and those who are malnourished. The normal range is 20 to 140.

GGT is found in those whose liver might be affected from alcohol or drug abuse, as well as those with bile ducts that are obstructed. Normal adult ranges vary depending on gender. For women, the range is 0-45, while for men it is 0 to 65.

LDH is a lactic acid test found in those whose liver cells are dying, those who are malnourished, hypoglycaemic, or have adrenal insufficiency. Normal ranges are 45 to 90.

Bilirubin levels are tested for jaundice, liver problems, anaemia, and insufficient liver function. The normal adult range is .1 to 1.0.


These tests are often ordered if you are jaundice, have changes in urine, bowel movements, vomiting, changes in appetite, nausea, vomit blood, pain in the abdomen, changes in weight and/or fatigue.

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About the Author

Andrea Helaine has a Bachelor of Philosophy in theology and is currently finishing her thesis course for a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. Helaine has been writing professionally for over 10 years and has been published in several anthologies and is currently breaking into the screenwriting market.