GGT and Your Liver Health
The human body is a temple of amazing substances, processes, and functions that are both complex and simple. Society has long been in awe of the power of the human body and seeks many ways to discover and rediscover what it can do and to what extent.
Anatomy: How Long Has It Been?
Anatomy may have only been a six-month subject for some of us, longer for those who majored in it, but the actual and earliest records of people curious about the human anatomy is during the 15th century. Gory and scary it may seem, but the way back then, the human body wasn’t analyzed after death. It was analyzed through the study of live specimens chosen through sacrifice.
On the earliest days of anatomy, specifically in Ancient Egypt, the only organs that were discovered and recognizable by scientists were the kidneys, uterus, bladder, liver, the heart, the hypothalamus and the vessels around the heart that were identified to be used to pump blood in and out of it. During those days, the other parts of the body were merely described as passageways that carry mucus, blood, and air from one part of the body to the other. They also hypothesized that the heart is the center of the blood supply, and has attachments to all parts of the body.
The Study of the Human Body in the Internet Era
In the past hundred years or so, the study of anatomy has evolved and developed in light of the digital age. Scientists and doctors have maximized the opportunity presented by technological developments. Many different branches of sciences all focused on the human body has been developed. A sample of which is molecular biology and endocrinology. The focus of these students is to explain the function of glans that the previous era’s scientists couldn’t explain. Nowadays, we can now have access to information on common questions like why even our sweat is salty or why tears fall on the left or right eye.
Today, we have the technology and advancement of multiple types of machinery like:
- MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is used in radiology to capture our bodies internally and some physiological processes. These types of scanners use strong magnetic fields or radio waves to generate the images captured in the body.
- CAT Scanners or the computed tomography scan uses x-ray measurements from computer-processed combinations to produce tomographic images and scan the human parts of the body.
- Health Wearables help track everything from your steps, the difficulty of physical fitness, heartbeat and sleeping patterns. This also helps monitor chronic diseases similar to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
- Handheld MasSpec Pen for Molecular cancer detection for rapid intraoperative cancer detection. It can identify molecular profiles and distinguish which ones are cancerous and aren’t.
These devices will give you a glimpse of how deep we are into the science of our bodies. It is no wonder that every day, new properties in our bodies are discovered or given focused because of its newly-discovered functions and abilities. Human bodies are indeed beyond supermachines. And with these technologies and advancement, another substance found was given focused due to its capability of recognizing drug-related causes of disease in the liver — the GGT.
GGT— What on earth is that?
GGT stands for Gamma-glutamyltransferase is a transferase or a type of an enzyme found in your liver that aids in the transfer of molecules to a recipient which may be an amino acid, water or a peptide. The GGT is essential as it plays a huge role in the synthesis and processing of the creation of a pathway for the degradation of glutathione as well as detoxification of our livers. The amount of GGT in one’s body is highly significant in the medical field as it is also a diagnostic marker or a determinant of whether a person is healthy internally or not specifically in the liver.
Functions of the GGT
Being present in almost all cell membranes of the tissues in the body, which includes the pancreas, gallbladder, heart, brain, spleen, kidneys and livers, it functions as:
- The main driver for the transfer of amino acids among cellular membranes
- Promotes healthy metabolism
- Is involved in the transfer or glutamyl moiety for glutathione metabolism
- Used as a marker for liver disease
- Risk marker for cardiovascular diseases
Now, let’s focus on the liver.
Functions of the Liver and Why It Is An Essential Organ
You can consider the liver as the chemical manager in your blood. It controls and regulates the level of chemicals running through your veins. It’s main functions are:
- Secretion of bile – Bile is a clear yellowish or orange fluid that breaks down fat to prepare them for absorption and digestion.
- Metabolizes all your medicinal intake so it can be sent to the blood for easier use
- All the blood and substances are broken down in the blood through the stomach and the liver passes through the liver where it balances and creates nutrients for your body
- It regulates proteins in your blood for the creation of blood plasma
- It produces cholesterol and other proteins to aid in the distribution of fat-derived energy throughout the body
- Is the main storage for iron
- Processes hemoglobin for the production of iron content
- Aids in the removal of bacteria in the bloodstream
- Combats the development of bilirubin, a substance which makes the eyes and skin turn yellow
- It manages sugar in the body by storing and releasing sugar in its energy form as glucose
GGT and Liver Health
As the largest organ in the body, the liver is one of the most complex organs. Regardless of what part of your body, if blood passes through chances are it already passed through the liver and was detoxified. Besides the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbs, the liver is also the monitoring or regulating body for alcohol. The liver only works at a small percentage of its size. When you drink large quantities of alcohol, it works overtime and self-heals. This does not mean that your liver doesn’t get damaged. It does but it just doesn’t show up in blood testing. This is where GGT comes in.
In the case of bodybuilders who stack supplement after supplement to aid in achieving their body goals, the liver receives the biggest blows more than the muscles as it tries to regulate all the drugs coming in the body. So the liver is an essential organ and must be taken care of. Unfortunately, damage in the liver is not detected by blood work like cirrhosis (a liver disease that cannot be treated). Fortunately though, because of science and technology liver imaging has been discovered and is necessary to detect any form of sickness in the liver.
One of the many liver function tests that you can take for the detection of problems in your liver is the Alkaline Phosphatase and GGT testing. GGT is one of the best bets in case you want an earlier detection of liver damage. You should always keep GGT in check as elevated quantities of this in the blood may run the risk of contracting liver diseases and bile duct obstructions. GGT is one of the most important liver enzymes for bodybuilders to have tested, so make sure you have it on your things to be tested.
GGT and Bodybuilding
Bodybuilders not only exhaust their physical energies, but they also tend to squeeze and max out the functions of their internal organs, especially the liver. Nutritional supplements are good and all for brute strength and lengthened power, but it is always recommended to have these organs checked. Bodybuilders are at a special risk of having hepatic adenomas which are blood-filled tumors that live in the liver and can burst causing internal bleeding. The only way to detect these tumors are through Ultrasound or MSCT scanner and measuring the levels of GGT enzymes in your body.
How You Should Protect Your Liver
It is highly recommended that an average person should have at least have your liver checked once every 5 years. In the case of bodybuilders, the most recommended span is only 3 years. For competing bodybuilders, it should be less. Besides these, here are some more ways to protect your liver:
- Minimize stress to your liver by avoiding unhealthy food, non-prescription medication, and environmental chemicals
- Veer away from liver detoxifiers as these also add to the ‘stress’ livers take in
- Minimize your intake of alcohol, or prolong the gap between one alcoholic intake to the other, better if you can avoid it altogether
- Avoid drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, these are the number 1 stressors for your liver
Lingering Words For Your Liver
Your liver can protect and repair itself if damage has been caused, however, your job as the owner of your body is to allow it ample time for recovery. Think of it in terms of cycles in your bodybuilding plan, you won’t gain strength and power by continually training your body. Rest is essential to your muscles, more importantly to your liver.