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Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Pyroluria

What is pyroluria?

Diagnosis of pyroluria

Causes of pyroluria

Conditions associated with pyroluria

Symptoms - physical signs and appearance

Symptoms and other indications of pyroluria

Consequences of pyroluria

Remedies / treatment for pyroluria

References

What is pyroluria?

Pyroluria (pyrrole disorder, kryptopyrrole, kryptopyrroluria, pyrroluria, mauve factor or hemepyrrole) is a common metabolic condition that occurs when pyrrol, a key component of haemoglobin, is overproduced by the liver.

As many as 10-15% of all people suffer from pyroluria. It is a lifelong condition, and symptoms tend to worsen with age and stress. Often people with pyroluria will suffer a variety of serious ailments and degenerative diseases for years, regardless of what therapies they try or how well they eat. It is only after diagnosis that they finally take the correct supplements and steps to manage their condition, usually with significant success. Disciplined supplementation and treatment can manage the condition to the point where there are virtually no symptoms.

Pyroluria is a metabolic condition long recognized by those who practice orthomolecular medicine and orthomolecular psychiatry. However most doctors' medical associations do not recognise it because there are no pharmaceutical drugs to treat it, and it can be completely and effectively managed with basic supplements. Don't be surprised if your doctor has not heard of pyroluria or disparages the condition. In Australia the AMA refuses to recognise the condition. However, an increasing number of doctors are starting to take pyroluria seriously.

With pyroluria, some of the by-products of the synthesis of haemoglobin called kryptopyrroles are produced in excess by the liver and not fully excreted in the urine. These kryptopyrroles (more specifically hydroxyhemoppyrrolin-2-one or HPL) are normally harmless. However, if the HPL in your body builds up to an excessive level, the HPL binds to zinc and vitamin B6, and also blocks the receptor sites for these two nutrients. The HPL-zinc-B6 complex is then excreted in the urine. The result is major deficiency in Vitamin B6 and Zinc, and to a lesser degree in other nutrients such as gamma linolenic acid (GLA), niacinamide, biotin, and sometimes manganese and other B-vitamins.

The deficiency in zinc and B6 is so large that it cannot be counterbalanced by foods high in these two nutrients. Zinc and B6 are critical nutrients for producing all proteins including enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters required by all organs, muscle and connective tissue. This shortage affects the functioning of your entire body and mind, including immune system, digestion, cognitive functioning and emotions.

The onset commonly occurs during a stressful event during the late teens and it continues throughout a person's life. Pyroluria is triggered and strongly aggravated by prolonged stress such as an injury, a debilitating illness, or severe mental stress. It occurs more frequently in women than in men.

Diagnosis of pyroluria

Most people with pyroluria suffer from some, but not all of the symptoms listed below. A more definitive diagnosis can be done with a urine test, showing an elevated level of kryptopyrroles. The HPL molecule is unstable and will disappear rapidly at room temperature or if exposed to bright light, so the urine to be tested may need to be chilled or transported quickly.

Normal: less than 10 micrograms of HPL per decilitre.
Borderline: 10 - 20 ug/dL of HPL.
Pyroluria: over 20 ug/dL.

Pyroluria should not be confused with histadelia (high histamine), histapenia (low histamine) and hypercupremia (high copper), which cause many of the same symptoms.

Causes of pyroluria

Conditions associated with pyroluria

A study (1) led by orthomolecular psychiatrist Abram Hoffer found that pyroluria was frequently present in people with the following conditions:

Other studies (6,10,11) have noted that it is frequently associated with other ailments:

Symptoms - physical signs and appearance

Symptoms and other indications of pyroluria

Pyroluria can vary from mild borderline cases to severe. It is often complicated by the presence of other ailments or genetic defects. Signs and symptoms will vary greatly between different individuals. Only a few of the symptoms listed below may be present in mild cases.

Consequences of pyroluria

Remedies / treatment for pyroluria

The symptoms and conditions for each individual can vary, so a laboratory test including plasma zinc, serum copper and ceruloplasmin (copper binding protein) and HPL level are used to determine the patient's specific treatment needs.

In mild cases, improvement can be seen in a few days. With severe cases, symptoms may take 3-6 months to abate. If treatment stops, symptoms can return within a couple of days or weeks.

Zinc and vitamin B6 need to be supplemented, usually for the remainder of one's life.

References

1. Woody R. McGinnis, Tapan Audhya, William J. Walsh, James A. Jackson, John McLaren-Howard, Allen Lewis, Peter H. Lauda, Douglas M. Bibus, Frances Jurnak, Roman Lietha, Abram Hoffer. Discerning the Mauve Factor, Part 1. Alternative Therapies, Mar/apr 2008, VOL. 14, NO. 2.

2. Pfeiffer C.C., Holford P. Mental Illness and Schizophrenia: the Nutritional Connection. Harper Collins, 1987.

3. Abram Hoffer. The Discovery of Kryptopyrrole and its Importance in Diagnosis of Biochemical Imbalances in Schizophrenia and in Criminal Behavior. J. Orthomolecular Medicine 10(1):3 1995.

4. Woody McGinnis. Pyroluria: Hidden Cause of Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Depression, and Anxiety Symptoms. International Guide to the World of Alternative Health, Orlando, 21 May 2004.

5. William Walsh. Fatty Acid Profiles of Schizophrenic Phenotypes. Pfeiffer Treatment Center, 91st AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo San Diego, California 2000.

6. Scott Forsgren. Kryptopyrroluria (aka hemopyrrollactamuria): A major piece of the puzzle in overcoming Lyme disease. Public Health Alert, vol. 5, no. 5. May 2010.

7. Carl Pfeiffer, Arthur Sohler. Treatment of pyroluric schizophrenia (malvaria) with large doses of pyridoxine and a dietary supplement of zinc. J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry3(4):292, 1974.

8. Carl Pfeiffer, Scott LaMola. Zinc and Manganese in the Schizophrenias. J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry 12(3):215, 1983.

9. Carl Pfeiffer, Arthur Sohler. Treatment of pyroluric schizophrenia (malvaria) with large doses of pyridoxine and a dietary supplement of zinc. J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry3(4):292, 1974.

10. Pfeiffer CC, Bacchi D. Copper, zinc, manganese, niacin and pyridoxine in schizophrenia. J Appl Nutr. 1975;27:9-39.

11. Irvine DG. Kryptopyrrole in molecular psychiatry. In: Hawkins D, Pauling L, eds. Orthomolecular Psychiatry: Treatment of Schizophrenia. San Francisco: WH Freeman and Company; 1973:146-178.

12. Bhatia V, Tandon RK. Stress and the gastrointestinal tract. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005;20(3):332-339.

13. Fendri C, Mechri A, Khiari G, Othman A, Kerkeni A, Gaha L. Oxidative stress involvement in schizophrenia pathophysiology: a review. (in French). Encephale. 2006;32(2 Pt 1):244-252.

14. Ranjekar PK, Hinge A, Hegde MV, et al. Decreased antioxidant enzymes and membrane essential polyunsaturated fatty acids in schizophrenic and bipolar mood disorder patients. Psychiatry Res. 2003;121(2):109122.

15. De la Monte SM, Bloch KD. Aberrant expression of the constituitive endothelial nitricoxide synthase gene in Alzheimer disease. Mol Chem Neuropathol. 1997;30(1-2):139-159.

16. Ward JL. Relationship of kryptopyrrole, zinc and pyridoxine in schizophrenics. JOrthomolec Psychiatr. 1975;4:27-31.