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Dr Greg Newson N.D.

Pyroluria Articles

Understanding Pyroluria

People can be a little confused, not only with the pronunciation of Pyroluria, but with the many different names it goes by - Pyrrole Disorder, Kryptopyrrole, Kryptopyrroluria, Mauve Factor and Hemepyrrole to name a few. Regardless of the name or pronunciation, the condition and symptoms are the same.

What is Pyroluria?

There seems to be a bit of mystery surrounding exactly what Pyroluria is. Some people believe that it's a severe deficiency of vitamin B6 and zinc, while others speculate that it's a bacterial infection, some fall back on "it's a genetic defect" and others just fantasize that it's a make-believe disease.

What we know is that people who suffer from Pyroluria have elevated urinary levels of hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL). HPL is the by product of heme molecules, in particular hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.

It is believed that HPL has the ability to interrupt messages being sent along the neuronal pathways, resulting in neurological conditions such as depression and anxiety, commonly found in Pyroluria.

Interestingly HPL falls into the same class as Batrachotoxin, a potent neuro and cardiotoxin found in various animal species, that damages nerve and brain tissue.

What causes Pyroluria?

Alcohol Oxidative Stress
Chemical Exposure Prescription Medication - Contributing to Poor Digestion
Cigarette Exposure Poor Diet
Dysbiosis Poor Digestive Health
Heavy Metal Exposure Recreational Drugs
Leaky Gut Syndrome Stress

The causative and driving factors that exacerbate Pyroluria vary from person to person. What we have found through clinical practice is that Pyroluria falls into one of two categories. Its either;

  • Genetic, meaning that it runs in the family, or
  • Lifestyle Generated

Regardless of what type of Pyroluria people suffer from, the underlying factors that cause, drive or worsen Pyroluria, are the same.

What nutritional deficiencies does Pyroluria cause?

HPL binds to and increases the urinary excretion of zinc, vitamin B6 and biotin, thus rendering these nutrients unavailable to the body 2-9. Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) levels are also compromised as zinc and B6 are essential in upregulating Delta-6-Desaturase, the enzyme responsible for converting Linoleic Acid to GLA.

For more information on potential health conditions associated with zinc, vitamin B6, biotin and GLA deficiencies check out Pyroluria Health Conditions.

Possible Conditions associated with Pyroluria

Acute Intermittent Porphyria - 100% Epilepsy - up to 44%
ADD/ADHD - up to 47% Learning Difficulties - up to 47%
Alcoholism - up to 84% Manic Depression - up to 50%
Allergies Neurosis/Neurotic - up to 20%
Anxiety Panic Attacks
Aspergers Syndrome Post Natal Depression
Autism - up to 48% Schizophrenia Acute - up to 80%
Bi-Polar Disorder Schizophrenia Chronic - up to 50%
Criminal Behaviour - up to 71% Substance Abuse
Depression - up to 46% Tourettes Syndrome
Down Syndrome - up to 71% Violent Offenders - up to 71%

The figures listed above indicate the percentage values from scientific studies, in which participants had high HPL levels 10.

What to do now?

If you think you have Pyroluria and would like to know for sure, the best thing to do is organise a Pyroluria Test


If you have been clinically tested and diagnosed with Pyroluria or Borderline Pyroluria and would like to pursue the best options check out Pyroluria Treatment.

This article was updated on 14/05/2015 by Greg Newson ND

More Pyroluria Information

  • Learn more about Pyroluria Symptoms
  • Looking to improve your diet? Check out Pyroluria Foods
  • Listen to Dr Greg's advice on Pyroluria Audio's
  • Watch our Pyroluria Video's
  • Purchase Pyroluria Supplements
  • Learn more about Pyroluria Treatment
  • 1. Corwin A M, et al. Encylopaedia Britannica 1960;18:801
    2. Pfeiffer CC, Iliev V. Pyroluria, urinary mauve factor, cases double deficiency of B6 and zinc in schizophrenics. Fed Am Soc Exp Biol. 1973;32:276.
    3. Pfeiffer CC, Sholer A, Jenny EH, et al. Treatment of pyroluric schizophrenia with large doses of pyridoxine and a dietary supplement of zinc. J Appl Nut. 1974;26:21-28.
    4. Pfeiffer CC, Bacchi D, copper, zinc, manganese niacin and pyridoxine in schizophrenia J Appl Nutr. 1975;27:9-39.
    5. Pfeiffer CC. Mental and elemental nutrients. New Canaan, CT: Keats publishing 1976.
    6. Pfeiffer CC. The schizophrenia’s ’76. Biol Psychiatry. 1976;11(6):773-775.
    Pfeiffer CC. Extra nutrients and mental illness. Biol Psychiatry. 1981;16(9):797-799
    7. Pfeiffer CC, Holford P. Mental Illness and Schizophrenia: The Nutritional Connection. Harper Collins Publishers, Great Britain;1987.
    8. Pfeiffer CC. Nutrition and Mental Illness: An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press;1987.
    9. Kruesi O. Low plasma biotin levels in high mauve patients. Oral Communication 2005
    10. Discerning the Mauve Factor by Woody R. McGinnis MD, Tapan Audhya  Ph.D. and William J Walsh Ph.D.

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