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Enzyme. 1985;33(2):61-9.

Individual differences in plasma ALT, AST and GGT: contributions of genetic and environmental factors, including alcohol consumption.


The causes of individuality of the plasma enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT; EC, aspartate aminotransferase (AST; EC and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT; EC were investigated in a study of 206 pairs of twins. Between-person variance was greater in men than women, while within-person variation was similar in both sexes. Plasma ALT and AST levels were affected by genetic factors, while GGT was affected by some environmental factor shared by co-twins. In the men, alcohol intake had a significant but small effect on all three enzyme levels, and since alcohol consumption was highly heritable, this appeared as a genetic influence on enzyme activities. The major factors involved in the observed correlations between these enzymes were a non-shared environmental factor other than alcohol affecting ALT, AST and GGT, and a genetic factor affecting only ALT and AST.

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