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Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) Testing

Private Testing Online: Tests & Biomarkers Available

How to check your Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase levels with a home finger-prick blood test kit

Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Testing UK Statistics 2021

Icon For Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase

17.7% of people tested have Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase levels which are too high.

And 1.6% have levels that are too low.

The average Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase result is 44.8 IU/L
Note what is normal for you may differ for your age and gender.

Human female body

Women tend to report higher gamma-glutamyl transferase blood levels in their blood than men.

As many as one in six women tested have high levels of Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase

Normal range test results


of people have Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase blood levels in the normal range. Do you?

Are you in the 80.7% with normal results?

What If Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test Levels Are High?

What If Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test Levels Are High?

High levels of Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase are found in people who drink a lot of alcohol or take a lot of other toxins (such as paracetamol).

This often indicates long-term liver damage and/or alcoholism. However, this damage can often be undone by adopting a healthier alcohol or toxin-free lifestyle.

Raised GGT concentrations indicate that something is going on with your liver but not specifically what.

Smoking may increase GGT concentrations and alcohol consumed within 24 hours of your GGT test may cause a temporary increase in the GGT result, if you consume alcohol regularly.

If this occurred you may want to repeat the test to verify the result.

Several drugs increase the concentration of GGT in the blood, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), lipid-lowering drugs, antibiotics, histamine blockers, antifungal agents, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and hormones such as testosterone. These increases do not indicate damage to the liver.Otherwise, in general, the higher the result the greater the damage to your liver; these elevated concentrations may be due to liver disease or congestive heart failure.

If the GGT is very high, especially if other liver enzymes are also increased, then please contact your GP immediately for further investigation to determine the cause.

What If Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test Levels Are Low?

What If Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test Levels Are Low?

Low or normal results are not usually of interest, but they do indicate that it is unlikely that you have liver disease.

How To Test Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase?

Health testing for Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase levels in your blood

The Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) Test allows you to accurately check your levels of Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase in a fingerprick blood sample.

You can check your Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase levels by buying a home finger-prick blood test kit below. Your sample is then professionally analysed in an accredited laboratory for total reassurance. The Vitall Liver Function Home Test Kit includes a Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase test and is available for just £49.

Please see the following test kits:

Other Biomarkers Often Tested With Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase

Why Take The Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test?

Our Liver Function home blood test kit checks multiple markers to measure normal liver function and to detect the presence of liver disease and other liver disorders. 

The liver plays a complex role in the body including the metabolism of drugs and toxic substances, management of blood sugar levels, vitamin storage and maintaining hormonal balance.

Fortunately, the liver has an incredible capacity to regenerate, and can respond well to healthy lifestyle changes.

Take control of your health without any of the inconvenience of going to the doctors with one of Vitall’s at-home blood tests.

Who Should Take The Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Blood Test?

Assess liver damage and your risk from liver disease using a home finger-prick blood test kit.

You get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly & securely online.

This Liver Function Test is advised if you:

  • are anorexic or bulimic or suffer from another eating disorder;
  • are taking medications that cause toxic liver disease, which includes too much paracetamol, ibuprofen & aspirin;
  • drink alcohol regularly or are a binge drinker;
  • have family history of liver disease;
  • have had gallstones;
  • have had gastrointestinal disease (e.g. IBS);
  • take performance enhancing drugs, including steroids and creatine;
  • want the convenience of home testing without waiting for a GP appointment;
  • need a high quality, clinically accredited test done in a professional clinical laboratory.

Take a complete health check-up with Vitall.

How Much Do Liver Function Tests Cost?

The Vitall liver function test is available online for just £49. Your home test kit will be dispatched by free first class post for delivery to your door.

For the best value testing you can also upgrade this liver function home test to tests which also measure other biomarkers, including:

When you checkout to buy your liver function test online we also offer additional options, including:

  • Upgrade to next day delivery of your home test kit for an additional £7.99.
  • Visit the Patient Reception in central London for just £25. Your liver function test sample can be collected by a qualified nurse for immediate analysis.
  • Have a nurse visit you to collect the sample for your liver function test, this is available within the M25 area for just £149.

Whichever option you choose at checkout, buying the best liver function test online in the UK with Vitall ensures high quality results from an accredited laboratory.

Take control of your health today with one of Vitall’s home blood tests.

What Is A GGT Blood Test?

The GGT test measures your levels of Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT), also known as gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. GGT is an enzyme that is commonly found in the liver and, similar to other enzymes, it helps to speed up chemical reactions throughout the body. Typically, the GGT test alone will not be enough to diagnose or rule out a condition; for this reason, the GGT test is indicated alongside other liver enzymes (liver function tests).[1][2]

GGT plays an essential role in the regulation of glutathione, one of the body’s most important antioxidants. Therefore, GGT may rise or fall according to the levels of free radicals and other dangerous substances in the cellular environment. In most situations, GGT exerts a protective effect by increasing glutathione levels to neutralise oxidative stress.[1] Aside from the liver, GGT can also be found in cells from the bile ducts, kidney tubules, pancreas, and intestine.[3]

Altered GGT levels are usually observed in people with liver or biliary problems; however, it may also be elevated in patients with other conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or kidney disease.[3]

When Should I Take A GGT Blood Test?

Considering that GGT is abundant in the liver, this test is commonly indicated if your GP suspects that you may have liver damage. Nonetheless, it can be used during the differential diagnosis of conditions that involve the gallbladder and the bile ducts.

You may need a GGT blood test if you have any signs or symptoms of liver or bile duct-related problems. The most common symptoms include jaundice, pain near the liver (upper right abdomen), nausea, vomiting, and feeling tired. The GGT test is usually accompanied by other liver function tests.[2][4]

Alcohol is a widely known hepatotoxin (liver toxin); it produces liver damage, which may increase GGT. For this reason, the excessive consumption of alcohol often requires testing. In certain situations, your GP may indicate this test to check if you have stopped drinking.[1] Using certain drugs may alter GGT levels too; in many cases, this occurs without liver damage if taken accordingly.[4]

What Is Considered A High GGT?

The concentration of GGT in your blood is measured in units (U) per litre (L), and its reference ranges may vary among different populations, especially between different sexes and ages.[5] The exact range may also vary across different countries, regions, and laboratories:

  • Adult men (18 years or older): less than 61 U/L.
  • Adult women (18 years or older): less than 36 U/L.

You should always check the reference ranges from your laboratory; if your results are only slightly above or below the reference range, you may discuss it with your GP to see if it is significant or not. Having a normal GGT means that your tissues are not producing or releasing an excessive amount of this enzyme, which possibly means that you do not have liver or bile duct damage. Do not forget that medical examination and other studies may be required to completely discard damage or disease.

What Does A High GGT Mean?

A high GGT usually indicates one of two things: tissue damage or GGT induction. Each mechanism has different causes and consequences.

High GGT levels due to tissue damage

Most conditions that involve direct injury or inflammation will produce an imbalance between highly reactive chemicals (free radicals and reactive oxygen species) and antioxidants; to protect themselves from these toxic substances, tissues like the liver may increase GGT production.[1]

In the case of tissue damage, GGT is released from damaged cells into the bloodstream at a higher rate. The damage can be caused by a drug, toxin, or disease; for example, people with alcohol-related liver damage may present a high GGT due to alcohol’s toxicity. Nonetheless, not every liver or bile duct disease will obligatorily result in high GGT. For certain conditions, GGT levels may be directly related to how severe the damage is.[1]

High GGT levels due to GGT induction

Certain drugs or substances can increase GGT levels, and this usually occurs without causing damage to any organ. These drugs may function as ‘inductors’, increasing the activity or production of GGT in the liver. If you are using a drug that may increase your GGT levels, your GP may ask you to interrupt the medication for a couple of days before the test; your GP may also indicate other liver function tests to discard or confirm liver damage.[4]

Should I Be Worried If My GGT Is High?

By itself, a high GGT should not cause alarm — it is preferable to interpret this test alongside other liver function tests, as well as a medical examination.

For a better understanding, high GGT levels should not be regarded as an injury but as a response. In some circumstances, the response is temporary, and GGT levels come back to normal without long-term consequences; a typical example is mild viral hepatitis.

If the cause involves an intense or prolonged injury, it may result in chronic conditions and altered function. Even though GGT levels will usually go back to normal levels a couple of weeks or months after the treatment, there may still be permanent damage. Studies have also found that patients with higher GGT may be more likely to develop chronic or severe liver disease.[1] Some conditions that can lead to significant damage include hepatic cirrhosis, biliary obstruction, and severe viral hepatitis.[3]

Recent studies have found that high GGT levels may be related to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, arterial hypertension, heart failure, and arrhythmias. However, scientists are unsure about how GGT could influence the development of these conditions.[6] High GGT has also been linked to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, many types of cancer, and other conditions.[7] More research is required before adequately considering high GGT as a reliable risk factor for these conditions.

Lastly, GGT levels may rise as a response to certain drugs or substances, usually without causing tissue damage. Drinking alcohol a day or two before taking this test may also cause a temporary increase.[4]

What Causes A High GGT?

Liver and bile duct problems are among the most common causes of high GGT, especially when related to alcohol consumption:

  • Alcohol-related liver disease.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Cholestasis.
  • Viral hepatitis.
  • Hepatic cirrhosis.
  • Hepatic cancer.

GGT levels may rise if you are using one or more of the following drugs: [4]

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (naproxen, ibuprofen).
  • Antibiotics.
  • Lipid-lowering drugs.
  • Histamine blockers (drugs that reduce stomach acid).
  • Anticonvulsants.
  • Other drugs.

In recent years, studies have found that having a high GGT could be linked to multiple metabolic, cardiovascular, and oncological diseases. However, it is unknown whether high GGT causes these conditions or vice versa; as stated before, more research is required before drawing concrete conclusions. These conditions include arterial hypertension, metabolic syndrome, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and many types of cancer.[6][7] Smoking may also increase GGT levels.[4]

Most of the time, people with high GGT will present the same symptoms associated with common liver problems:

  • Jaundice.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dark urine.
  • Pale stools.
  • Abdominal pain, especially near the liver.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Itchy skin.

How Can I Decrease My GGT Levels?

The first step towards reducing your GGT level is to identify what is increasing it. The most evident cause is liver damage, which may occur due to liver diseases, biliary problems, or consumption of substances at toxic levels. To diagnose it, your GP may indicate other liver function tests, as well as other exams depending on what they are suspecting.[2]

If the cause involves liver or bile duct problems, you may decrease your GGT levels by following these recommendations:

  • Take your treatment as indicated.
  • Stop alcohol consumption.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Incorporate exercise into your weekly routine.
  • Have a balanced diet.

If you do not have a high GGT, but you want to prevent liver disease and other related problems, you may follow the previous recommendations. You may also prevent viral hepatitis by getting the hepatitis A[8] and hepatitis B vaccines.[9]

If one of your medications is the cause, your GP may ask you to interrupt it or change it for another drug. It is important to discuss your plans with your GP before making decisions that may impact your health; avoid initiating or quitting any treatment without consulting your GP first.

How Long Does It Take For GGT Levels To Return To Normal?

GGT levels will usually go back to normal once the problem is treated; this may take a few days or weeks, depending on the cause.

In the case of GGT induction, which occurs by using certain drugs or substances, your GGT levels may go back to normal a couple of days after stopping such usage. For this reason, your GP may ask you to stop certain medications or avoid drinking alcohol a day or two before taking this test.[4] Avoid stopping your medication without consulting your GP.

If you have tissue damage, your GGT levels may take a longer time to return to normal. Especially in the case of heavy alcohol consumption, your GGT levels may take at least a month of abstinence before going back to normal levels.[4]

What Is The Process For An GGT Blood Test?

The sample can be taken directly from a vein with a needle or by a finger-prick sampling methd. For an adequate diagnosis, the GGT test should be taken alongside other liver function tests. Vitall offers the Liver Function Home Test Kit, a fingerprick test that includes GGT, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), albumin (ALB), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bilirubin, globulins, and total protein (TP).

A fingerprick Vitall GGT test is a very simple way of testing yourself from home and getting accurate results online. Taking the sample is very easy, too. After washing your hands, you can take a lancet and press it firmly against the skin of the selected area (usually the little finger). Wipe away the first drop of blood and fill the blood collection tube to the upper line. Then, secure the tube and gently turn it over five to ten times. Always remember to label your sample before sending it back in the Test Kit Box.

Further Reading On Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Tests At Home

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