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Fast Ways to Lower Elevated Liver Enzymes Naturally

Livingsta is a writer and physicist who loves research and technology. She writes about anything that fascinates, provokes or interests her.

Elevated liver enzymes? Find out how to reverse this condition naturally.

Elevated liver enzymes? Find out how to reverse this condition naturally.

What Is the Function of the Liver?

The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is also the largest gland in the body, situated below the right rib cage just above the abdomen. The liver uses thousands of enzymes to perform essential chemical processes as follows:

  • It removes toxins from the body and cleans the blood.
  • It helps with food digestion.
  • It produces enzymes including digestive liquid (bile).
  • It controls the flow of urine.
  • It stores important vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
  • It helps with blood clotting.

Here's a detailed look at liver enzymes, the causes and symptoms of increased enzymes, ways to lower these levels and ways to keep enzyme levels healthy and stable.

The liver is seated below the right ribcage just above the abdomen.

The liver is seated below the right ribcage just above the abdomen.

How to Lower Elevated Liver Enzymes Quickly

In order to bring dangerously high enzyme levels down to normal, one must be careful about what they eat and drink. Whatever we consume is digested or processed with the help of the liver. As a result of this, unhealthy and harmful foods or drinks can be damaging to the liver.

There are various ways in which one can lower liver enzymes quickly. Before attempting any of the recommendations below, keep in mind:

  1. Never take medicine, supplements or herbs without your doctor's approval, as even some herbal remedies can be harmful to the liver.
  2. Talk to your dietician or nutritionist and ask them for a diet plan that you can follow which will help improve the health and function of the liver.
  3. Discuss with your doctor any other drugs you are using such as those used to lower cholesterol and ask to see if you can stop them.

As with all supplements, consult with your dietician and doctor before consuming; acquire them from an approved and trustworthy health store.

Proper hydration is key for a healthy liver.

Proper hydration is key for a healthy liver.

What Herbs and Supplements Help to Lower Liver Enzyme Levels?

Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum)

Milk thistle, Mary thistle or holy thistle is an herb in the daisy and ragweed family that contains the active ingredient silymarin which may host anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antioxidant properties. The European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry published a study that documents the therapeutic use of milk thistle for numerous liver disorders, including jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis (alcoholic liver disease), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and gallbladder complications.

Dandelion or Taraxacum Root

Dandelion is an herb that helps to detoxify the body and improves the health of the liver, according to one such study conducted by China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing. The study reveals that polysaccharides found in dandelion may help reduce damage from drug-related hepatotoxicity or liver damage. Dandelion has been used as a liver tonic in folk medicine for many years. Dandelion root may be consumed as a tea and is additionally known to decrease cholesterol levels. Precautions must be taken as some individuals may be allergic to dandelion.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, as these will help to reduce toxin levels and cleanse the liver. Lemon, in particular, which is high in vitamin C, may lower levels of GGT in the body. High GGT levels lead to the destruction of glutathione, one of the body's natural antioxidants which lowers oxidative stress. To benefit, juice one lemon in an 8-ounce cup of warm water daily; check with your doctor if you are on any prescriptions before proceeding.

Additional Supplements

Fish oil and flax oil may help improve liver function by lowering triglyceride levels (fat) in the liver. Consider taking food rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as vitamin B12 paired with coenzyme Q10 (with your doctor's approval), as they help to rebuild damaged cells in the liver. Green tea is another beneficial supplement. It helps with fat loss and reduces free radicals in the body.

Ideas on how to change your lifestyle habits to keep your liver healthy.

Ideas on how to change your lifestyle habits to keep your liver healthy.

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Read More From Remedygrove

Lifestyle Choices to Help Improve Liver Health

Avoid Synthetic Drugs

Do not take any drugs or over-the-counter medicines unless prescribed by your doctor or health professional. Combinations of certain drugs can harm the liver, and it is always best to consult your doctor (physician) or health professional before taking any.

Avoid Pollution (Cigarettes Included)

There are so many toxins in polluted air—cigarette smoke, paint fumes, burnt rubber and other chemicals. One needs to stay away from these toxins as they may affect the liver.

Consider Alternative Pain Relief

Even ibuprofen and aspirin can be damaging to the liver, so it is best to consult your doctor regarding alternative pain relief. With the help and advice of a dietician, nutritionist or your doctor, try your best to take herbal remedies rather than other drugs to lower liver enzyme levels.

Stop Drinking Alcohol

Stop drinking alcohol completely for a speedy recovery. Even after a complete recovery, it is best not to consume alcohol at all. If you do, consume it rarely and in limited amounts as the level of enzymes can increase at any time. Consider further reading on the ways to reverse liver damage from alcohol abuse.


It is good to be active so that the body gets some mild exercise. Sometimes, obesity is the cause of an increase in the level of liver enzymes. It is good to lose weight gradually and not rapidly, for example, two pounds a week. Even a brisk walk or jogging for 30 minutes will help improve blood circulation and bring new blood to the liver.

Get Your Sleep

Get enough sleep and rest, as this is very important for repairing bodily damage by allowing your system to regenerate. This keeps the body and liver healthy.

Lemons help reduce oxidative stress in the body and may aid in the reduction of high levels of GGT.

Lemons help reduce oxidative stress in the body and may aid in the reduction of high levels of GGT.

What Foods Help Lower Elevated Liver Enzymes?

Cook Your Own Low-Carb and Low-Fat Food

Always cook your own food. Do not eat fatty food or food that is high in carbohydrates. Avoid ready-made, pre-cooked and preserved food from the supermarkets or elsewhere, as chemicals are added. Since the liver plays a major role in digesting food, additives and chemicals put a strain on the liver.

Go Organic (Food and Products)

Avoid salt, red meat and excessive oil in your diet—these are the worst foods for your liver. Consume only healthy foods and drinks. Try your best to eat organic food (food grown naturally without chemicals or pesticides) including fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. Incorporate fibrous foods and cruciferous vegetables into your meals. Be careful about skin-care products, as these products are absorbed dermally and processed by the liver. Use natural products when possible.

According to, several superfoods help to reduce liver enzymes and improve liver health overall. Here's a list of the top-rated liver-friendly foods:

The Best Foods for Lowering Liver Enzymes

  • Coffee (decaf)
  • Cruciferous greens
  • Tofu
  • Fish
  • Oatmeal
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Milk and low-fat dairy
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Green tea

Drink Water, Limit Caffeine, and Cut Sugar

Drink water (at least eight glasses a day), as this helps to flush toxins out of the body, and limit caffeine intake. Avoid artificial ingredients, fizzy drinks and fruit-juice cocktails which have a high level of fructose. Limit your sugar intake to 200 calories a day (sucrose and fructose are bad sugars). Do not use refined sugar as it contains 95% sucrose and offers no nutritional value.

Does Green Tea or Coffee Lower Liver Enzyme Levels?

One study by the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, found that coffee (decaf or regular) had a protective effect on the liver:

"The results showed that people who said they drank three or more cups of coffee a day had lower levels of all four of these enzymes, compared with people who did not drink any coffee. Surprisingly, it didn't matter whether a person drank regular or decaf coffee: the effect on liver enzyme levels was almost identical."

An additional double-blind placebo-controlled study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine found that individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease who consumed green tea for 12 weeks saw a reduction in fatty liver deposits, a reduction in oxidative stress on the liver and a normalization of liver enzymes.

Consume Healthy Proteins

Consume low-fat proteins such as eggs, milk products, fish, meat (lean meats) and poultry, as these can be processed by the liver easily.

Additional Foods That Are Good for Your Liver








Whole Grains






Brussels Sprouts

Sweet Potatoes

Video: Foods That Detox the Body

How Long Does It Take to Lower Liver Enzyme Levels?

The time it takes for liver enzyme levels to return to normal depends on each person, the severity of the condition of the liver, overall health and/or the frequency and intensity of alcohol consumption. Levels usually go down in a few weeks (4 to 8) if the condition is not too severe and if strict diet and health recommendations are followed. In severe cases, it can take a few months. If high enzyme levels are left untreated or treatment is delayed, these conditions can lead to liver cancer.

Attempting to lower liver enzyme levels immediately before a liver function test is not recommended. Dietary and lifestyle changes should be permanent and enduring. Prolonged liver damage may lead to chronic and irreversible health conditions and even death.

The Causes of Elevated Liver Values

ConditionPresentation, Transmission or Acquirement

Alcoholic liver disease

Alcoholic hepatitis from excessive consumption or alcoholism

Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)

A compromised liver will endure further insult when metabolizing these drugs

Autoimmune diseases

The body's immune system may attack the liver

Celiac disease

Symptoms present when gluten is introduced to the diet


Often associated with insulin resistance (type II diabetes) and fatty liver disease

Hepatitis A and B (HAV and HBV)

Fecal-oral transmission (Hep A); bodily fluid (Hep B)

Hepatitis C

Blood transmission

High salt and herbal supplement intake

Abnormal dietary amounts or metabolism


Systemic infections, sepsis, viral hepatitis and gallbladder infections

Inflammation of the gall bladder

Gallstone pancreatitis

Liver cancer

May result from metastasis

Medication (cholesterol)

Statin drugs used to control cholesterol

Medication (pain relief)

Medicine taken for pain relief; acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)

Muscular disorders

Enzymes leaking out of damaged muscles

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Obesity or excess body fat; too much fat stored in liver cells

Thyroid Disorders

Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease


Hepatitis, Epstein-Barr, Mononucleosis


Food, chemical, metal toxicity or poisoning

Video: What Causes Elevated Liver Enzymes?

How Are Liver Enzymes Tested?

A high level of liver enzymes does not necessarily mean that the liver is producing excessive enzymes. It may be simply that the level of liver enzymes present in blood has increased. This does, however, indicate that the liver is under excessive strain.

Liver Function Tests: What to Expect

A liver function test will be ordered by your doctor. It is important to follow any instructions you may be given prior to the test (e.g., whether or not you are asked to fast overnight).

The test involves a routine blood draw and is often performed by a phlebotomist or a nurse. Your inner forearm (at the fold of your elbow) will be assessed for venipuncture, and a small needle or catheter will be placed into your vein. Some individuals experience a short, sharp sensation upon immediate placement. The venipuncture and draw often takes no longer than a minute.

Once the blood is collected, your phlebotomist will place a band-aid or wrap around the puncture site. It is important to keep this on for the recommended duration of time to allow your blood to coagulate and to keep the entry point clean. Most individuals go about their normal activities for the rest of the day. Some individuals may experience mild bruising at the site for the following day or so.

Normal and high reference ranges for ALT and AST liver values.

Normal and high reference ranges for ALT and AST liver values.

What Is the Function of Liver Enzymes in the Body?

Enzymes are proteins that aid in the essential chemical processes of the body. When the liver is damaged, overworked or diseased, its walls become perforated. As a result of this, enzymes escape the liver and enter the bloodstream. The most common enzymes produced by the liver are:

  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine transaminase enzymes (ALT). These are known together as transaminases. AST helps to manufacture amino acids in the body; high levels may indicate cardiac issues. ALT helps to metabolize food and convert it into energy. Elevated levels of ALT indicate hepatic insult from either acute or chronic liver damage.
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT). These are known together as cholestatic liver enzymes. ALP helps to break down proteins in the body. High ALP levels are associated with bone and liver disease. GGT helps with the catabolism and regulation of molecules in the body. High levels of GGT may indicate liver or bile duct damage.

Liver enzyme values are often compared in ratios to aid in the diagnosis of certain medical conditions. According to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (2008), several conditions may be indicated below by the following ratios:

  • AST:ALT ratio is 1:1 (ALT is higher) = acute viral hepatitis
  • AST:ALT ratio is 2:1 = alcoholic liver disease
  • AST:ALT ratio >1 (AST is higher) = cirrhosis (unrelated to alcoholic liver disease)

Normal and Abnormal Results: Reference Ranges in a Liver Function Test

Data imported from

ComponentNormal RangeFunctionIndication


7 to 55 U/L

Alanine aminotransferase or ALT helps break down proteins.

Low values are considered normal. High values are often associated with liver damage or acute hepatitis.


8 to 48 U/L

Aspartate transaminase helps with protein metabolism.

Low levels are normal. High levels are associated with liver damage or disease, inflammation and cardiac complications.


45 to 115 U/L

Alkaline phosphatase is found in your liver, bile ducts and bones and helps to break down proteins.

Low levels indicate zinc deficiency or bone metabolism. High levels indicate diseases or conditions of the liver or bones.


3.5 to 5.0 g/dL

A protein manufactured by the liver that helps keep fluid in the bloodstream.

Low levels indicate shock or malnutrition. High levels indicate dehydration or a high-protein diet.

Total Protein

6.3 to 7.9 g/dL

The total amount of albumin and globulin protein in the blood.

A low level indicates challenges with the digestion or absorption of protein. High levels indicate dehydration or disorders of the blood.


0.1 to 1.2 mg/dL

A byproduct of red blood cell breakdown. The liver generally removes bilirubin from the body.

Low levels are not concerning. High levels indicate red blood cell, liver or gallbladder disorders. Excessive amounts present as jaundice.


9 to 48 U/L

Gamma-glutamyl transferase is an enzyme.

A low level is often normal. A high level indicates liver damage and often coincides with elevated ALP in bile duct disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease

Acute or chronic inflammation and liver cell damage will cause an abnormally high amount of liver enzymes to leak into the bloodstream. A doctor may order a liver function test or liver chemistries which will reveal protein, enzyme and bilirubin levels in your blood in order to analyze the health of your liver and potential underlying causes of damage. The symptoms of an increase in liver enzymes are not always obvious. They include:

  • Jaundice: Yellowing of eyes and skin; results from an excess of the pigment bilirubin.
  • Abnormal Stools and Dark Urine: Diarrhea, steatosis (fatty stools) or pale, clay-coloured stools may occur. Dark urine is an indication of bile in the urine.
  • Cirrhosis: Irreversible scarring or fibrosis of the liver and loss of liver cells. Often attributed to Hepatitis B and C.
  • Fatty Liver or Hepatic Steatosis: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when portions of the liver cells contain higher than normal fat. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized by inflammation of the liver in addition to excess fat. Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity are leading causes of these conditions.
  • Hepatitis: Often caused by viral hepatitis but may be caused by autoimmune disorders in which the body attacks the liver. Substance abuse and overconsumption such as excessive drinking may result in alcoholic liver disease.
  • Pain: Experienced in the lower right side of the abdomen. Blood tests, ultrasounds or biopsies may be ordered to diagnosis ascites, viral hepatitis, liver failure, liver abscess or liver tumors.
  • Skin Abnormalities: Superficial skin issues may arise such as spider angiomas (outcroppings of inflamed blood vessels, Bier spots (pale spots arising from vascular changes) or "paper-money" skin (fine capillaries) may be present in individuals with chronic liver disease, according to the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine; excessive bruising is another indication.
  • Weakness: General fatigue, loss of appetite, joint and muscle aches. High body temperature and nausea have been documented.
Consider natural alternatives to prescription medications per your doctor's permission.

Consider natural alternatives to prescription medications per your doctor's permission.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Liver Damage and Disease

A doctor can determine the source of the problem of high enzyme levels, symptoms associated with poor liver health and other factors before making a diagnosis. It is good to sit with your doctor and understand why your liver enzymes have increased, as this will help you to understand how to care for your liver and avoid further injury—this includes discussing any medications (over-the-counter and prescription), supplements, vitamins and herbs you may be taking.

One must also have a proper diagnosis and undergo treatment from their doctor in order to lower their liver enzymes. Once a diagnosis is made, it is best to have a liver function test (LFT) done once every six months or even more frequently, as advised by your doctor or health professional until the liver enzymes return to a normal level.

I chose to write about this topic after a friend of mine experienced liver failure. I researched liver health and felt the need to share some of what I found with you. I hope you found it helpful.


This article is for general information only and should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical advice from your own doctor or other health professional. Always consult your GP if you are concerned about your health in any way.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Lynne on October 28, 2019:

Thank you. Well written and informative article on how to keep your liver healthy.

anita garg on April 19, 2018:

indian herb for chronic constipation. herb to lower liver enzmes.

margaret on April 13, 2018:

Excellent article.

Carmelita Petierre on September 22, 2017:

Excellent article. Straight to the point. My problem is my cancer of the pancreas spread to my liver,left kidney & lungs.

I had liver biopsy & my liver enzymes shoot up to 10x above normal.They hospital didn't give me anything to lower it. I'm just taking Usana liver health.Hope this will help.Thank you.

Janean Overman from Virginia on July 30, 2017:

Very detailed, organized, and useful hub. I am inspired by your article. Thanks for sharing!

JIllyb on February 28, 2017:

I do eat extremely healthy and am not overweight-in fact underweight. I was a severe alcoholic but stopped 15 months ago. I have exhausted detox centers. I do take psychiatric medications---but with most of these suggestions already undertaken what could be the culprit -after 15 months alcohol abuse still affecting or the psych meds?

Juan on January 21, 2017:

My liver enzymes levels are kind of high. I was wondering if I can take fish oil supplements?

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on August 24, 2016:

Hello Mary, thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience. I am sorry to say that I am not qualified to provide any medical advise and you will have to consult your physician in this regard as they will be aware of your medical condition and history. I am pleased that this article was helpful and I wish you a speedy recovery

Mary on August 09, 2016:

My liver enzymes got little high this year and by my physician, this is caused by high cholesterol. So by the doctor, I am taking medicine to lower cholesterol in order to lower the liver enzymes. Besides, I am using turmeric, milk thistle, green tee, drink juice made from beets, green.....Am I on the right way? Thank you for the article and advises.

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on January 06, 2016:

Hello Ellie, good to hear that you stopped drinking. I wish you all the best and good health in 2016! :)

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on January 06, 2016:

Hello Beachrose58, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am so glad that this was of some help. I am hoping that your health is better now. All the best for 2016! :)

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on January 06, 2016:

Hello Indanila, thank you so much for reading and sharing your experience. I am hoping that you are in good health now. All the best and have a great 2016! :)

ellie on October 06, 2015:

I stopped drinking 5 weeks ago. I drank everyday i lost 18 lbs dieting exercising blood repeated on November 4

beachrose58 on September 12, 2015:

I loved this article, very useful information except for one thing. I'm facing a blood test in a few days. We know my liver enzymes have risen a bit, so I want to know how to lower my enzymes a bit before this test. Thanks so much!!

Inda Blackwell from Hampton Roads on May 13, 2015:

While I was pregnant, my liver enzymes were elevated. I ate tons of fruits and veggies and lots of lemon water to get them down. Great hub!

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on June 21, 2014:

Thank you Syed :)

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on June 21, 2014:

Thank you Priya, I'm glad that you found this useful :)

syed abdul razaq on February 02, 2014:

Thank you brother for writing this hub............

i like you aritcle too much.............

Very good information indeed on January 26, 2014:


livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on July 31, 2013:

Hi Rajan, thank you so much. Thank you for the vote and share.

Hope you had a good day :-)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 30, 2013:

Glad to be reading it once again and share it as well, Dahlia.

Voted up and useful.

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on May 20, 2013:

Hi Valleypoet, thank you. I am pleased that you found this interesting and informative. Have a great week ahead :-)

Valleypoet on May 20, 2013:

Very interesting and informative...such a vital organ needs looking after for sure...thank you for sharing:-))

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on May 19, 2013:

Hi RTalloni, thank you. I am pleased that you found this information interesting. Have a good day!

RTalloni on May 18, 2013:

Interesting to learn about lowering liver enzymes. Thanks for outlining this information for us!

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on May 15, 2013:

Hi Rajan, thank you for reading. While I wrote this series of hubs on liver transplant and other issues related to the liver, I completely understood how important it is to keep our liver healthy. I am glad that you found this hub interesting. Thank you for the votes and share. Have a great rest of the week.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 14, 2013:

Very well written and a lot of useful info here, livingsta. It is very important we keep our liver in peak performance level.

Voted up, useful and shared.

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on May 07, 2013:

Hi Cathy Fidelibus, thank you. I am glad that you found this useful. Have a good day!

Ms. Immortal from NJ on May 07, 2013:

Excellent information and very comprehensive hub. Thanks!

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on April 21, 2013:

Hi Habee, thank you for reading. I am glad it is of some use to you. Wishing you good health. Thank you for the vote.

Holle Abee from Georgia on April 21, 2013:

Great tips! I have to watch my liver enzymes because of some meds I take. I'll use some of your suggestions for good liver health. Voted up!

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on April 14, 2013:

Hi Gcrhoads64, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and experiences. I am glad you have got rid of it now. It is nice to hear from someone who has experienced this. Thank you again. Have a good day!

Gable Rhoads from North Dakota on April 14, 2013:

Excellent information!

I had elevated liver enzymes caused by anti-cholesterol medications. I also had the brown patches on my skin, but didn't realize they were related to the elevated enzymes. Both symptoms are gone since I stopped taking the medication.

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on April 13, 2013:

Hi Careermommy, thank you for reading and the feedback. Sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. She needs to be careful with the alcohol as it can't be handled by the liver.

Thank you so much for the votes and share. Have a great weekend :-)

Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on April 13, 2013:

livingsta, this is an excellent hub. I've known several people that have had liver damage. One of my sister's in-laws actually had severe liver damage due to alcoholism. This is a very educational piece, voted up and shared!

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on April 13, 2013:

Hi Vinaya, thank you for reading. Sorry to hear about the problems with your liver. I hope you are in touch with your doctor and following the medications and above all following a healthy diet!

I am glad you like this. Have a great weekend!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on April 12, 2013:

As a child I had liver problems. I still have calcification in my right liver.

Thanks for sharing this well researched hub.

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on April 11, 2013:

Hi Rasta1, thank you for reading. Yes indeed, excessive liver enzymes is dangerous. I am glad you found this useful. Have a good day!

Marvin Parke from Jamaica on April 11, 2013:

Excessive liver enzymes in the blood sounds like a serious condition. Thank you for giving a careful guide to recovery.

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on April 11, 2013:

Hi ImKarn23, thank you so so much. I am glad you found this useful. I hope your cousin feels better soon. And thank you so much for the share and vote too. Have a great day my friend!

Karen Silverman on April 11, 2013:

amazingly thorough and responsible sharing of information, my friend!

very impressive and very impressed!

i am forwarding this to my cousin, who has cancer in her liver...

will also hub-share and vote..

well done!