What Is Pyroluria, Pyrrole Disorder & Kryptopyrroles?
Pyroluria is known by many different names including Pyrrole Disorder, Kryptopyrrole, Kryptopyrroluria, Mauve Factor and Hemepyrrole.
Pyroluria can best be described as the abnormal synthesis and metabolism of the oxygen carrying molecule in your blood, called haemoglobin. As with all cells in your body there are waste or by-products produced and the by-product of haemoglobin is a metabolite called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) also known as Pyrrole. The metabolite was originally thought to be a Kryptopyrrole but further studies have proven this not to be the case.People who suffer from Pyroluria produce excessive amounts of these Pyrroles which bind to or inhibit the nutrients; Zinc1-7, Vitamin B6 1-7, Biotin 8, and the Omega 6 Fat GLA from reaching their targets within your body. This effectively renders these nutrients unavailable to you.
Supplementation with these nutrients not only helps to reduce your Pyrrole levels but also the severity of the conditions, signs and symptoms listed below.
Signs & Symptoms Of Pyroluria
There are many signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of elevated Pyrroles in your blood. The list below may give you an indication that you may have a Pyrrole disorder, however it is not a diagnosis for Pyroluria.
*Lack of hair on head eyebrows and eyelashes areas
*Abnormal body fat distribution
*Lack of regular menstrual cycles
*Loss of appetite
*Low tolerance to stress
*Anger - explosive
*Argumentative - likes to argue
*Cold hands and feet
*Much higher capability in the evening than mornings
*Creaking in joints
*Overwhelmed in stressful situations
*Pale skin, poor tanning or burn easy in the sun
*Difficulty remembering dreams
*Early greying of hair
Unusual Body Appearances
Some people who suffer from Pyroluria may also have abnormalities in their physical appearance such as;
What Causes Pyroluria?
There is evidence to suggest that Pyroluria is a genetically based ailment. Statistics and research indicates that if a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister has suffered from major Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Alcoholism, Schizophrenia or has suicided, there is a greater risk of Pyroluria in other family members.
Research has discovered that stress increases the production of these Pyrroles in your blood, which in turn causes a worsening of your symptoms. A US navy study conducted in 1992 found a very rapid increase in Pyrrole levels in male volunteers who were subjected to the stress of a brief cold-water immersion.
Poor dietary choices and poor digestive health can lead to an increase in Pyrrole levels. This makes sense as a poor diet and digestion robs your body of essential nutrients. This causes deficiencies to occur and results in various aspects of your health operating below par. It’s a downward spiral as without the correct nutrients you can’t function properly, this increases the stresses placed on your body and further drives up blood Pyrrole levels.
Leaky Gut Syndrome also known as intestinal permeability, is a condition whereby microscopic holes occur in your intestinal wall and allow undigested food, bacterial by-products, poisons and toxins to pass into your bloodstream. Leaky Gut Syndrome is widespread in sufferers of Pyroluria and a common factor in driving up blood Pyrrole levels. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency increases bowel permeability (Leaky Gut syndrome) in animal and humans.
Laxatives especially magnesium sulphate and bisacodyl (laxative drug) increases Leaky Gut Syndrome. Enemas (especially soap suds and tap water), result in loss of the intestinal lining, which then leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome.It is a well known fact that stress damages the intestinal wall and causes intestinal inflammation. Both of which lead to an increase in Leaky Gut Syndrome.Dysbiosis, an overgrowth of detrimental bacteria in the intestinal tract, has also been linked to an increase in blood pyrrole levels as well as contributing to Leaky Gut Syndrome. Stress increases the adherence of bad bacteria to the intestinal wall within 30 minutes.
Alcohol, smoking, drugs and heavy metal exposure can dramatically increase blood pyrrole levels. This is why sufferers of Pyroluria tend to get a worsening of their symptoms 24 to 48 hours after a big night on the grog or recreational drug use.
What Damage Can Elevated Pyrrole Levels Cause?
Pyrroles are classed as 'nerve poisons' and as such can cause damage to your nerves, nerve cells and tissue, your brain and they can interrupt messages being sent along your nerves especially within your brain.
Heme is a substance found in your body that has an iron atom at its core. The most commonly know heme is haemoglobin, the oxygen carrying red pigment of your blood. Heme is not only found in your blood but in other areas of your body such as your liver and nerves. Your nerves metabolic activity is highly dependent on heme for their function and low levels of heme leads to a metabolic crisis occurring in your nerves resulting in neuronal (nerve) cell death. The by-product of haemoglobin etabolism, Hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) or pyrrole, is believed to decrease heme levels in humans.
Animal studies have shown that HPL caused a decrease in liver heme, and the heme containing detoxifying enzyme cytochrome P450, by up to 55% over a 48 hour period. Vitamin B6, biotin and zinc are all required for the production of heme and a reduction in these nutrients results in sub normal heme levels. Heme levels are further depressed by stress and heavy metal exposure. Low levels of heme result in an excess production of the toxic free radical nitric oxide, which can cause serious damage to brain tissue and is suspected to play a role in schizophrenia, autism and Down Syndrome.
Free radicals or oxidative stress are substances that can damage and destroy your cells. Antioxidants are substances produced by your body and found in foods that protect your cells from oxidative stress or free radical damage, much like the way galvanized paint protects iron from rusting. Your body has three major antioxidant systems; Glutathione, Catalase and Superoxide Dismutase and these all need either zinc or vitamin B6 in some part to assist in their production. A marginal deficiency of vitamin B6 is associated with lower levels of Glutathione production and cell mitochondrial (cell battery) decay.
Catalase consists of four protein subunits, each requiring heme, and since HPL suppresses heme, we can assume that pyroluria is associated with lower catalase levels, as is the case in schizophrenia and autism.
Pyroluria The Statistics
Below is a table that shows neuro-behavioural disorders and the percentages of high hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) or pyrroles associated with those disorders.
-Youths, violent offenders 33%
The reason for the variance in some of the above figures is that it depends which study the results have come from. For example one study may have found only 20% of alcoholics had high levels of HPL whereas another study found that 84% of alcoholics had high levels of HPL.
Why Isn’t Pyroluria More Accepted By Mainstream Medicine?
Unfortunately Pyroluria falls outside the realm of mainstream medicine due to the fact that the only way to rectify the problem is by improving the sufferer’s nutritional status, diet, digestion and stress levels. Mainstream medicine relies on drugs to suppress a symptom or relieve suffering and this form of treatment will not work for a person who has a Pyrrole disorder. Sadly sufferers of Pyroluria fall through the cracks and are often misdiagnosed and given medication or drugs that do nothing to rectify the underlying problem. Unfortunately these medications can lead to further deterioration of a persons health.
What to do next?
According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson from The Center For Development, he says the following:
A very common diagnosis or finding among some holistic doctors and other practitioners is called pyroluria. It simply means the presence in the urine of chemicals called krytopyroles. It is not a disease, but just the presence of this chemical in the urine.
When it is found, the doctor usually recommends that one take vitamin B6 and zinc to get rid of it. That is all there is to it. Dr. Carl Pfieffer, MD, PhD came up with this finding about 50 years ago. He found that taking the zinc and vitamin B6 made people feel better. We find that in all cases of pyroluria, the person has a copper imbalance, usually with a copper excess and sometimes with biounavailable copper. This means the high copper is not revealed on a hair mineral test, but the person has indicators of what is called hidden copper toxicity.
Zinc and vitamin B6 happen to lower copper in the body, and so this simplistic approach to balancing copper does indeed help some people feel better. However, we find that truly balancing copper in the body usually takes much more than just zinc and vitamin B6, which are really just symptomatic remedies for copper imbalance and do not get to the cause of the problem in a deep way.
For this reason, Dr. Wilson does not recommend wasting time and money on a test for pyroluria or krytopyroles in the urine, and he does not recommend taking extra zinc and vitamin B6 if someone is diagnosed with this “condition” or really just the presence of the pyroles. It does not balance the entire body and is not enough or an answer.
Instead, Dr. Wilson says that there is a much better solution and that is to embark on a complete nutritional balancing program. This will balance copper metabolism at a much deeper level and possible pyroluria will go away if it is present, along with hundreds of other mineral imbalances and other types of health conditions.
To read much more about copper imbalance, read Copper Toxicity on this website.
Order your Lab Test
We have made it easy for you to find out whether you may be suffering from Pyroluria by ordering a Hair Analysis Test. We simply send you a test kit with full instructions on how to collect your hair sample and send it off to the lab for testing. Once your results are received, we will send you a detailed results report including suggested nutritional supplements and dietary advice to rectify your body’s underlying imbalances. It’s that easy, all you need to do is contact us by email for the shipment and consultation fee.
Please note that there is only one nutritional balancing science, developed by Dr. Paul Eck. All other claims made by other practitioners, not approved by Dr. Lawrence Wilson on his site, have altered Dr. Eck's principles and as such have no in depth understanding of the science, which is very unfortunate.
Further, altering even one aspect of a nutritional balancing program often ruins it rather completely. This could be substituting different products that you like better, skipping an aspect of the diet or the supplements, or implementing other diets, such as GAPS or PALEO, OR something else that people do all the time. In other words, using other products or diets, conflicts with the entire program and it seriously reduces its effectiveness. Thus, nutritional balancing science is completely integrated, meaning that the sciences are used together in very unique way and should not be altered by yourself or other practitioners.