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'In 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.
Courtesy of the Grow Youthful site.

This lifelong genetic condition affects around 10% of the general population (and up to 30% of those with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, autism or bi-polar) but it is little understood by conventional medicine practitioners, even though it can be successfully managed with supplementation.

Symptoms are primarily those of B6 and zinc deficiency including poor stress control, nervousness, anxiety, mood swings, tension, explosive temper, poor short-term memory and depression. However, since zinc deficiency also contributes to a leaky gut, it may be relevant to those with gut dysbiosis and food intolerance problems. (On line comments from food intolerants who are also pyluric and have treated their pyroluria with supplements suggest that it can certainly contribute significantly to the condition.)

Pyroluria can be diagnosed by a simple urine test and there are a number of on line testing centres to whom you can mail urine samples. There is a list of laboratories that test for pyroluria on the Nutritional Healing site. It is not recommended that you test at home as home tests do not appear to be very reliable.

Four sites which give very helpful information about pyroluria are:

Grow Youthful - Health at Any Age

Get help for depression

Primal Body, Primal Mind


For a more technical discussion of the condition see the Alternative Mental Health site here.


Research Reports


If you wish to pursue your own researches beyond these pages, one of our regular contributors, John Scott, has some suggestions for sites which will provide you with reliable and informative material.



NB Information on this site is not a substitute for medical advice and no liability can be assumed for its use.



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