Normal serum alanine aminotransferase activity in uncomplicated obesity

Gianluca Iacobellis, Antonio Moschetta, Maria Cristina Ribaudo, Alessandra Zappaterreno, Concetta Valeria Ianucci, Frida Leonetti

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8 Scopus citations


Aim: To evaluate serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity in a well-characterized group of uncomplicated obese subjects and its correlation with insulin resistance, plasma adiponectin, and leptin concentrations. Methods: One hundred and five uncomplicated obese subjects (87 women, 18 men, age 34.3±9.6 years, BMI 39.9±8.3 kg/m2) were studied. Serum ALT activity was evaluated. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (M index) and fasting insulin. Plasma leptin and adiponectin levels were also measured. Results: Serum ALT concentration in the whole group of uncomplicated obese subjects was 17.73±6.33 U/L with none of the subjects presenting ALT levels greater than 43 U/L and only 9 (11%) women and 3 (19%) men showed ALT levels > 19 and > 30 U/L for women and men, respectively. No significant difference was detected in serum ALT levels between severe obese subjects (BMI > 40 kg/m2 ) and those with BMI < 40 kg/m2 (18.63±6.25 17.26±6.02 U/L). ALT was significantly correlated with fasting insulin (r = 0.485, P = 0.02) and triglycerides (r = 0.358, P = 0.03). Conclusion: Serum ALT activity is practically normal in uncomplicated obese subjects, independently of their obesity degree. These findings suggest the role of obesity-related comorbidities and not of BMI as main risk factors for elevated ALT levels in obese subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6018-6021
Number of pages4
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number38
StatePublished - Oct 14 2005


  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Serum alanine aminotransferase activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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