“Pyroluria is a genetic abnormality in hemoglobin synthesis resulting in a deficiency of zinc and vitamin B6. In these people an excess amount of pyrrole is found in the urine. The presence of pyroluria can have a profound effect on mental and physical health,” says Nutritional Healing.

Pyroluria is common in many groups with statistics showing 70% of  schizophrenics, 70% of those with depression, 50% of those with autism, 40% of alcoholics, 30% of ADHD and 18% of those with bipolar test positive. A simple urine test, through your practitioner, can determine if pyroluria is present.

Natural News says, “It is considered by many in the functional medicine world the most common unknown disorder.”

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Dr. Suzanne Lawton, ND expressed great concern with pyroluria as it is not common knowledge in the medical community. The patients do not respond to treatment like they should and their symptoms generally continue to decline. Yet, simple supplementation makes a great deal of difference for those suffering.

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),” says Jeremy E. Kaslow, MD, FACP, FACAAI Physician and Surgeon Board Certified Internal Medicine.



Pyroluria is a genetic condition. Traditional treatment for pyroluria is an SSRI, antidepressants, however many medical doctors are turning to natural solutions as SSRI treatment does not resolve the problem.

Dr. Kaslow says, “As with all mind-altering drugs, side effects occur and the true cause of the mental difficulties remains uncorrected.”

Other symptoms of pyroluria are frequent infections, the inability to tan, poor dream recall, abnormal fat distribution, and sensitivity to light and sound. You may experience white spots on your nails which is reflective of a zinc deficiency, overcrowding of the teeth on the upper jaw, poor tooth enamel, lack of hair both on the head and eyebrows and skin that appears paper-thin.

Dr. Kaslow says, “As you can imagine an SSRI will not correct these metabolic effects.”

Pyroluria is where you have high levels of kryptopyrrole. Zinc and B6 attaches to these kryptopyrroluria and they get excreted in the urine. When this happens you end up having low levels of zinc and B6. The big thing with Pyroluria is you have social anxiety,” Trudy Scott, CN (Certified Nutritionist) and author of The Anti-anxiety Food Solution (affiliate link). This inner tension makes you feel very uncomfortable even with having people over to your house. Zinc, B6 and evening primrose oil (affiliate links) help with Pyroluria.

IMAG1851Scott describes nourishing foods as those that are nutrient dense foods, dropping the grains while increasing the good quality animal fats. Making sure a nourishing meat stock is included in every meal is important. If you are having soup as your meal, meat stock should be the base. If you are having a traditional meal it should include a cup of stock as a complement to the meal. Meat stock is very important to aid with Pyroluria.

Pyroluria can be managed with vitamin B6 and zinc. It is important to take zinc in an absorbable form like the one linked above. Many forms of zinc on the market are ineffective. Since zinc and B6 can be toxic if too much is taken it is important to work with a doctor. Additional supplementation of niacinamide, pantothenic acid, manganese, vitamins C and E, omega-6 fatty acids and cysteine may be necessary.

Dr. Kaslow says, “Food sources and nutritional supplements containing copper and red/yellow food dyes should be avoided.”

Greg Newson, natural therapist says, “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.”

Lawrence Wilson, MD says, “In all cases of pyroluria, the person has a copper imbalance. Usually copper is high, but at times, one may have 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.”

Cooper and zinc work together in the body like a sea-saw. If zinc is low, copper is high.

IMG_5787He further says if patients do not see results within a week from supplementation, heavy metals and mold toxins need to be addressed. In addition, they will need supplementation for the rest of their lives to feel optimal.


*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.

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