So what does all this mean for people who are concerned about their health, and who want to protect their liver?
Well, ALT is an enzyme that helps metabolize protein. When the liver is damaged, ALT is released in the bloodstream, increasing ALT levels, and indicating a host of potential liver problems. The fact that so many of the volunteers in Dr. Watkins’ study had extremely high ALT levels is clear evidence that acetaminophen causes damage to the liver.
The human liver contains thousands of enzymes, special types of protein cells that help necessary chemical reactions to take place. Enzymes trigger activity in the body’s cells, speeding up and facilitating naturally occurring biochemical reactions, and maintaining various metabolic processes within the liver.
The liver performs many important functions to keep us healthy. It makes enzymes and bile that help digest food; it converts food into substances needed for life and growth; and it removes harmful material from the blood. From circulation to digestion, the liver continuously processes the blood used by the rest of the body.
While the liver is capable of regenerating itself, its capacity to repair itself can be seriously impaired by repeated or extensive damage, such as that perpetrated by the negative affects of the supposedly safe, recommended daily amount of acetaminophen.