The effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption on serum liver enzyme activities: a dose-related study in men

Ann Clin Biochem. 1996 Nov;33 ( Pt 6):530-5. doi: 10.1177/000456329603300607.


The separate and joint effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption on serum activities of the enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) were investigated in 46,775 men attending the BUPA Health Screening Centre in London during the period 1983-1987, after allowing for differences in age, body mass index and exercise level. As expected, all showed a significant positive correlation with alcohol consumption. Cigarette smoking produced a significant increase in GGT activity in all drinking categories bar teetotallers, particularly for those smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day. There were no changes of clinical significance in AST or ALT activities with smoking. We postulate that the combined effects of alcohol and smoking on GGT activity are a result of induction of the enzyme by both alcohol and nicotine. Smoking as well as drinking habits should be taken into account when assessing the significance of an individual's enzyme activities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood*
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking*
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood*


  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase