This is very important for anyone suffering from recurring depression,
Adhd, Manic depression and other disorders.
My mother was diagnosed as a manic depressive after our dad was killed in 1969 and she was fed drugs (sleeping and anxiety) to keep her on the path with us kids...when she tried to get back to normal - getting rid of the prescribed stuff she became alternatively manic and depressed with wonderful periods in between.. So she took Lithium which got her there... Just before she died at 66, I arranged for her to be tested for nutritional deficiencies and she showed up almost no Zinc much. I would guess Mum had a reasonably severe dose of Pyroluria which is expalined below. Treatment with Practitioner orescribed B6 and Zinc may have alleviated her symotoms a bit or may have even helped her more. Sadly she died only a month or so after we found this out...it may have eased things for her.
This condition seems to strike those of celtic background more but we are all so mixed up these days racially who knows - (for instance Barack Obama has a fair slog of irish ancestry, although he is called an African American)- and it is an inabliity of the body to porcess and use Zinc and B6 which shows up the most.
Many of us at some time may have had a mild dose of this and there are levels starting from what could be considered normal graduating to moderate with all levels up to severe and then very severe. if treated in children and young people it can mean a life without Psychiatric drugs.
Please read this but I am warning any one not to ever stop taking what they are taking as cold turkey can be dangerous. If you think you may be one of those that this applies to, have a look at the links - there are Australian, Duthc, UK and US testing centres. The trick is finding a doctor with the brains and common sense to research this. There are those doctors out there. They are hard to get in to see because they are so valued by their patients, but they exist. At the bottom of this i can supply a link to the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental medicine qhich has on their web "Referrals" which shows the location of GP's who are able to think outside of the square. if you think you would like to have the test done, take a print out of this along with all the links printed and these sorts of doctors will oblige without telling you you are a fruit loop. The drug comanies do not want people to know that there are alternatives to the current treatments from which they claw in billions and which cure no one at all they just hold you, with consequences.
I wish I had known about this when mum was alive and suffering. She was a lovely and funny mum and had more compassion in her little finger than many have in their whole body.
I am not giving advice here, but those of you who are interested for whatever reason, this could be important.
Pyroluria is a genetically determined chemical imbalance involving an abnormality in hemoglobin synthesis. Hemoglobin is the protein that holds iron in the red blood cell. Individuals with this disorder produce too much of a byproduct of hemoglobin synthesis called "kryptopyrrole" (KP) or "hemepyrrole." Kryptopyrrole has no known function in the body, and is excreted in urine.
Kryptopyrrole has binds to pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and zinc and makes them unavailable for their important roles of co-factors in enzymes and metabolism. These essential nutrients when bound to kryptopyrrole are removed from the bloodstream and excreted into the urine as pyrroles. Arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) is also deficient.
The effect of pyroluria can have a mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity of the imbalance. Most individuals show symptoms of zinc and/or B6 deficiencies, which include poor stress control, nervousness, anxiety, mood swings, severe inner tension, episodic anger (an explosive temper), poor short-term memory and depression. Most pyrolurics exhibit at least two of these problems. These individuals cannot efficiently create serotonin (a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and depression) since vitamin B6 is an important factor in the last step of its synthesis. Many of these persons appear to benefit from SSRI medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, etc. However, as with all mind-altering drugs, side effects occur and the true cause of the mental difficulties remains uncorrected. In addition these individuals often have frequent infections and are often identified by their inability to tan, poor dream recall, abnormal fat distribution, and sensitivity to light and sound. As you can imagine an SSRI will not correct these metabolic effects. More healthful benefits may be achieved by giving the appropriate supporting nutrients.
Pyroluria is detected by chemical analysis of the abnormal pyroles in urine detectable as a purple (on testing paper) metabolite in called "the mauve factor." Most persons have less than 10mcg of KP per deciliter. Persons with 10-20 mcg/dl are considered "borderline" pyroluric and may benefit from treatment. Persons with levels above 20 mcg/dl are considered to have pyroluria, especially if the above symptoms are present. The chemical analysis for KP is difficult due to the tendency for this chemical to decompose. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat the urine test to properly determine the level of KP being excreted. To make the initial diagnosis, no vitamins or minerals should be taken for two days before the urine is collected (This is to avoid false negative results). The specimen should be handled properly as well - collected and frozen immediately and protected from any light by being placed in aluminum foil. A repeat test to determine if the condition has been improved may be helpful.
People with mild-moderate pyroluria usually have a fairly rapid response to treatment if no other chemical imbalances are present. People with severe pyroluria usually require several weeks before progress is seen and improvement may be gradual over 3 - 12 months. Features of pyroluria usually recur within 2 - 4 weeks if the nutritional program is stopped.
Pyroluria is managed in part by restoring vitamin B6 and zinc. The type of replacement therapy is very important as zinc must be provided in an efficiently absorbed form. Vitamin B6 is also available in several forms. Both zinc and B6 supplementation need to be directed by the doctor as too much can be toxic, use of the wrong form will be ineffective, and avoiding competing minerals and supplements may be necessary. Other nutrients may assist in pyroluria include niacinamide, pantothenic acid, manganese, vitamins C and E, omega-6 fatty acids and cysteine. Food sources and nutritional supplements containing copper and red/yellow food dyes should be avoided.
Because pyrolurics are stress intolerant, they seem to be especially vulnerable to cumulative stress over many days. For example, parents of a pyroluric child should use discipline that is "short and sweet" rather than "long and lingering." It is not unexpected that pyroluric patients are prone to relapses, especially during illness, injury, or emotional stress.
Pyroluria (originally known as malvaria) is a genetic abnormality in hemoglobin synthesis resulting in a deficiency of zinc and vitamin B6. People with pyroluria produce excess amounts of a byproduct from hemoglobin synthesis, called OHHPL (hydroxyhemoppyrrolin-2-one). In these people an excess amount of pyrrole is found in the urine. Associated changes in fatty acid metabolism lead to low levels of arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). The presence of pyroluria can have a profound effect on mental and physical health and was first discovered in relation to schizophrenia.
Pyroluria incidence in different subgroups.
Common emotional and physical characteristics of pyroluria.
Little or no dream recall
White spots on finger nails
Poor morning appetite and/or tendency to skip breakfast
Pale skin, poor tanning or burn easy in sun
Sensitivity to bright light
Hypersensitive to loud noises
Reading difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)
Mood swings or temper outbursts
Much higher capability & alertness in the evening, compared to mornings
Preference for spicy or heavily flavored foods
Abnormal body fat distribution
Significant growth after the age of 16
Pyroluria: Hidden Cause of Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Depression, and Anxiety Symptoms by Woody McGinnis, M.D.
Commentary on Nutritional Treatment of Mental Disorders: Pyrrole Disorder by Willam Walsh, Ph.D.
Pyroluria by Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D.
Pyroluria by Jeremy E. Kaslow, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.A.A.I.
The Analyst: Pyroluria
Laboratories which test for pyroluria:
Bio-Center Laboratory (Wichita, KS, USA)
Biolab Medical Unit (London, UK)
Great Plains Laboratory (Lenexa, KS, USA)
Klinisch Ecologisch Allergie Centrum (Weert, Netherlands)
S.A.F.E. Analytical Laboratories (Gold Coast, Australia)
Vitamin Diagnostics (New Jersey, USA)
Related research in chronological order:
The Relationship Between an Unknown Factor (US) in the Urine of Subjects and HOD Test Results. J Neuropsychiatry 2:363-368, 1961. (by Abram Hoffer MD, PhD & Humphry Osmond, M.D.)
The Presence of Unidentified Substances in the Urine of Psychiatric Patients 2:331-362, 1961 (by Abram Hoffer M.D, PhD, et al)
The Presence of Malvaria in Some Mentally Retarded Children. Amer J Ment Def 67:730-732, 1963. (by Abram Hoffer M.D, PhD, et al)
Malvaria: A New Psychiatric Disease. Acta Psychiat Scand 39:335-366, 1963. (by Abram Hoffer MD, PhD & Humphry Osmond, M.D.)
Malvaria and the Law. Psychoso-matics, 7:303-310, 1966. (by Abram Hoffer M.D, PhD, et al)
Mauve spot and schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry 125(6):849-851, 1968.
Biochemical relationship between kryptopyrrole (mauve factor and trans-3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid schizophrenia odor). Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1973 (by Carl Pfeiffer MD, PhD, et al.)
Studies on the occurrence of the mauve factor in schizophrenia [article in Polish]. Psychiat. Pol., 7(2):153-9, 1973.
Treatment of pyroluric schizophrenia (malvaria) with large doses of pyridoxine and a dietary supplement of zinc. J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry3(4):292 1974 (by Carl Pfeiffer PhD, MD & Arthur Sohler PhD)
A rapid screening test for pyroluria; useful in distinguishing a schizophrenic subpopulation. J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry 1974 3(4):273 (by Arthur Sohler PhD)
Neurological and behavioral toxicity of kryptopyrrole in the rat., Pharmacol Biochem Behav 3(2):243-50 1975
Zinc and Manganese in the Schizophrenias. J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry 12(3):215 1983 (by Carl Pfeiffer PhD, MD and Scott LaMola, BS)
A new prostaglandin disturbance syndrome in schizophrenia: delta-6-pyroluria., Med Hypotheses 19(4):333-8 1986
Pyroluria – Zinc and B6 deficiencies. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1988 (by Carl Pfeiffer MD, PhD, et al.)
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 (by Abram Hoffer M.D, PhD)
Fatty Acid Profiles of Schizophrenic Phenotypes, 91st AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo San Diego, California 2000 (by William Walsh PhD of the Pfeiffer Treatment Center)
Urinary Pyrrole (Mauve Factor): Metric for Oxidative Stress in Behavioral Disorders, presented to the Linus Pauling Institute, 2003 (by Woody R. McGinnis MD)
Blake Graham, BSc (Honours), AACNEMClinical NutritionistPerth, Western Australia Phone/Email: See Contact page*Non-Perth residents may enquire about phone consultatio
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