Alkaline phosphatase, or ALP, is like a beat-cop in your body patrolling the areas where no one else dares to go. The main role of ALP is to regulate the flow of bile within the hepatobiliary system — your liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts — and its ability to maintain pH balance in the body. If you suspect illness in your hepatobiliary system, check with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet.
The optimal amount of ALP enzymes in the liver and bones varies by age. Immunology specialist Dr. Jeremy Kaslow says growing children have more ALP in their bones due to osteoblasts, or bone-forming cells that strengthen the skeletal system by creating ALP. In contrast, older adults often experience bone loss due to higher acidity and lower alkalinity in the body. A diet balanced in foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, mackerel and tuna helps to enforce ALP’s role in pH balance and prevent osteoporosis.
Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C wear many hats in maintaining ALP levels. The majority of ALP is produced in the liver, where the male and female sex hormones — androgen and estrogen — are also created. In her book “Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia,” author Audrey Ensminger says that vitamin C partners with ALP in creating steroid hormones and maintaining the endocrine system. Citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and cabbage are high ALP producing foods and excellent sources of vitamin C.
Eating foods that contain high amounts of phosphorus will aid the body in maintaining ALP enzymes and balanced pH. ALP works to prevent an unhealthy acidic state in your body by splitting phosphorus electrolytes. The result is alkalinity in the body that promotes liver function and prevents impaired bile flow in the hepatobiliary system. The Linus Pauling Institute states that yogurt, milk, salmon and lentils are good sources of phosphorus that support the free flow of bile.
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