Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), an enzyme found in the liver, red blood cells and the heart, is used as an indicator of liver problems such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Additional causes of increased levels of ALT are obesity, herbs, and alcohol or drug abuse. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is found in the liver and heart as well but also in the muscles. Causes of high AST levels include cirrhosis, muscular dystrophy and congestive heart failure. Together, ALT and AST are a way to monitor heart and liver health.
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Visit your physician to obtain any paperwork necessary for you to have blood withdrawn for testing.
Go to a blood laboratory to have blood withdrawn to calculate your AST and ALT. Ask that a copy of the results be sent directly to you.
Divide the AST number on your laboratory results by the ALT number to obtain the AST/ALT ratio. For instance, if your AST is 37 iu/L and your ALT is 22 iu/L, then your AST/ALT ratio is 37/22 = 1.68.
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