Alkaline phosphatase, or ALP, is a protein found in all body tissues. The bones, liver and bile ducts usually contain higher concentrations of ALP than other body tissues. Normal ALP levels range from a low of 44 international units per liter to a high of 147 International Units per Liter, according to MedlinePlus. Certain foods can raise ALP levels, which can have an effect on ALP blood test results.
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Optimal blood levels of ALP are essential to the maintenance of healthful bones. To evaluate the role of zinc on ALP production and activity, a team of South Korean and Scottish researchers conducted an animal study to measure the effect of zinc deficiency on ALP activity in laboratory rats. In findings published in the summer 2007 issue of "Nutrition Research and Practice," they concluded that zinc is critical to ensure the levels of ALP production and activity needed to keep bones healthy. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, Dungeness crab, beef, pork, dark-meat chicken and turkey, fruit, yogurt, milk, cashews and baked beans, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Fats and Oils
Indian researchers conducted an animal study to determine what effect, if any, the consumption of various vegetable and fish oils had on serum levels of ALP. In an article in the March 2007 issue of "Digestive Diseases and Sciences," they reported that the release of ALP into the bloodstream of laboratory rats seems to vary in relation to the makeup of fatty acids in the various oils they tested. Cod liver oil produces the highest level of ALP secretion in test animals. However, other oils, including corn oil and coconut oil, also help to elevate blood levels of ALP.
Foods High in Phosphorus
Present in every cell of the body and essential to healthy bones, phosphorus makes up 1 percent of the human body’s weight, according to MedlinePlus. It also is a key component in the makeup of ALP. Eating foods rich in phosphorus is essential to maintaining optimal levels of ALP. Such foods include plain nonfat yogurt, skim milk, mozzarella, eggs, beef, chicken, halibut, salmon, turkey, whole-wheat bread, nuts, lentils and carbonated cola drinks, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
B-12 Rich Foods
A 1996 study by South Korean endocrinology researchers underlined the importance of vitamin B-12 to the maintenance of healthy ALP levels and activity. Their study, published in the December 1996 issue of "Metabolism," concluded that optimal dietary intake of B-12 increased ALP production and activity in human bone marrow stromal osteoprogenitor cells and osteoblastic cells. The Linus Pauling Institute says that foods rich in B-12 include clams, mussels, crab, salmon, rockfish, beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, skim milk and brie cheese.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- MedlinePlus: ALP
- Nutrition Research and Practice: Zinc Deficiency Negatively Affects Alkaline Phosphatase and the Concentration of Ca, Mg and P in Rats
- Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center
- Digestive Diseases and Sciences: Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase Secretion in Oil-Fed Rats
- Metabolism: Effects of Vitamin B12 on Cell Proliferation and Cellular Alkaline Phosphatase Activity in Human Bone Marrow Stromal Osteoprogenitor Cells and UMR 106 Osteoblastic Cells
- Lab Tests Online: ALP: The Test
- DrKaslow.com: Alkaline Phophatase
- Cigna: Alkaline Phosphatase