Pyroluria is a condition that has been associated with disorders such as depression, autism, ADHD and alcoholism.
Read more about Pyroluria below…
What exactly is Pyroluria?
Pyroluria results from a genetic difference in hemoglobin metabolism that creates a substance that binds with Vitamin B-6. This biproduct is called kryptopyrrole. This can result in a relative deficiency of both vitamin B6 and zinc- although it may be more precise to call it an underutilization of B-6 and zinc. Symptoms of B-6 deficiencyinclude mood disorders, hormonal imbalance, nervous system issues, fatigue and anxiety. Symptoms of Zinc deficiency can include delayed neurological and behavioral development in young children,
How do I know if I have Pyroluria?
Levels of kryptopyrrole can be measured in the urine. This test is very inexpensive and is available from several labs (see reference below)
What about measuring blood B-6 levels?
Plasma B-6 levels can be measured easily in any lab, however, plasma B-6 may not be altered in the case of pyroluria. As pyroles bind to B-6, they render it ineffective at being converted into its active form (PLP), so even though the B-6 may be there, it is not being utilized in the many biochemical processes that require it- specifically- nervous system function. In fact, many patients that respond to high dose B-6 supplementation may actually have replete or even high plasma values!
How do I treat Pyroluria?
Treatment for pyroluria is supplementation of high doses of vitamin B6, zinc, Omega 6 Fatty Acids and Methylation support such as SAM-e or Methionine. Alleviation of symptoms may take up to three months. This is a genetic condition, therefore, if supplementation is stopped, the symptoms may return. Adverse effects have been seen in some patients in regards to high doses of zinc and B-6, therefore, this level of supplementation should only be done under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
If positive for pyroluria one must avoid also avoid excess fish oil, copper, and red and yellow food dyes.
Does this treatment work for everybody?
No. This treatment works for many people, but as with every psychiatric therapy (behavioral, pharmaceutical and nutritional), there are patients that do not respond. Pyroluria testing and nutritional interventions are still investigative and there is so much we still have to learn about the role of genetics, nutrition and behavior