Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme produced by the body to help break down certain types of molecules, such as proteins. The liver produces most of the alkaline phosphatase in our bodies, but the intestines, kidneys and bones produce small amounts, too.
Alkaline phosphatase is measured by blood testing. Called the "ALP" test, it is useful for diagnosing several diseases and conditions. For example, high ALP levels can indicate blocked bile ducts in the liver, bone disease or Celiac disease.
Low ALP levels can indicate certain types of anemias or, rarely, specific types of cancer. It's worth noting that oral contraceptives (birth control pills) also can cause low ALP levels.
If you have tested high or low for alkaline phosphatase, your healthcare provider will tell you if more testing is required or if there's anything you need to do about the situation.
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