Health and MedicineDiseasesLow transaminases: causes and everything you need to know

Low transaminases: causes and everything you need to know

Why are transaminases low? Low transaminases can be one more symptom of some disease or pathology, so it is very useful to inquire about the causes that cause their decrease. Find out why it happens and what happens.

When we carry out a routine blood test, it is very common for a series of basic parameters to be included that are especially useful for evaluating the person’s health status, fundamentally because when some elements are altered (either high or low) they can alert us to the presence of any possible pathology or disease.

In the case of transaminases, they are enzymes that we find fundamentally in the liver, and they are useful to know the state of health of this organ, since their values ​​increase when there is some type of liver disease. But it is not the only cause, since they also rise when there are diseases of the heart, pancreas or even simple alterations or injuries to the muscles.

This is because transaminases are enzymes that provide the possibility for our body to be able to transform substances. Thus, we not only find them in the liver, but also almost practically all organs. This is what happens with the transaminase GOT (glutamicooxalacetic or AST). While the transaminase GPT is found mainly in the liver.

What are low transaminases?

When in a blood test we find that we have low transaminases, it means that some of the types of transaminases in the blood are decreased (that is, below what is considered normal).

Thus, this occurs when they are below:

  • Normal values ​​of GOT (AST): 10-45 U/L in men and 5-31 U/L in women.
  • Normal values ​​of GPT (ALT): 10-43 U/L in men and 5-36 U/L in women.

Therefore, any value below these levels may indicate the existence of a health problem. For this reason, it is very useful to discover what the possible causes of low transaminases are.

Causes of low transaminases

Bowel disease

Some disorders and diseases that affect the intestines can influence by reducing the levels of transaminases in the blood, in addition to other elements such as certain nutrients and proteins.

On the other hand, it can happen that one type or group of transaminases decreases and the other type or group increases, because the intestines are not fully capable of absorbing many of the nutrients from food.

Among the intestinal diseases that can reduce transaminase levels, we can mention the following:

  • Cohn’sdisease: Chronic inflammatory condition of the intestinal tract, primarily affecting the lower portion of the small intestine and/or the large intestine.
  • Celiac disease: Digestive disease in which the person does not tolerate gluten, a protein found in cereals such as wheat, oats, barley and rye.
  • Whipple’s disease: Systemic disease -rare- caused by the bacterium  tropherymawhippelii, which affects the gastrointestinal tract, heart, joints, heart, lungs and nervous system.

Vitamin B6 deficiency

Since vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, this means that our bodies are not able to store it, so it is important to obtain it through our diet. However, when we follow an inadequate diet, it is possible to suffer from a deficit of it.

It is a fundamental vitamin for our body since it is responsible for maintaining blood sugar levels and produces antibodies and hemoglobin, among other important functions.

In the case of a vitamin B6 deficiency, it is common for transaminases to decrease, not only in the case of AST (GOT) transaminases but also ALT (GPT).

Certain liver diseases

Although most liver diseases cause an alteration of transaminases in the blood, increasing them, this is not always the case. This is what happens with hepatitis C, an infection that causes liver damage causing inflammation. Over time, being a chronic condition, it ends up causing cirrhosis.

It is a disease that, for the moment, has no cure (although there are new drugs that would offer a cure rate of almost 100%), although much progress has been made in its treatment.

On the other hand, when there are inadequate levels of albumin in the blood, it can also influence the decrease in transaminases in the blood. Albumin is a protein produced in the liver, so that when liver disease causes damage to liver cells, they cannot carry out their functions normally, and cannot synthesize albumin.

How are low transaminases treated?

As we can see, given that in many cases the decrease in transaminases in the blood corresponds to some type of pathology or disease, it is necessary to diagnose the cause that is causing this reduction so that the medical treatment is the most appropriate possible.


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