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Pyroluria also known as Pyrrole disorder, what is it exactly?

Updated: Mar 28




Pyroluria or also known as Pyrrole disorder, is believed to affect up to 10% of the population, but what is it exactly?

Scientifically, pyroluria is when a person makes a higher amount of particular substance called pyrroles compared to the rest of the population. When a person is exposed to stress, trauma, oxidative damage, pollution, or increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) their genetic predisposition can lead to elevated amounts of pyrroles.



This is concerning as these elevated amounts of pyrroles, leads to depletion of zinc, B6 and a few other trace minerals affecting the individuals state of health, particularly affecting their nervous, endocrine and immune systems.


The issue with high amounts of circulating pyrroles is that it binds to pyroxidine (vitamin B6) and zinc, excreting these nutrients in high volume from the body. Therefore the signs and symptoms of Pyroluria mirror what you would see in B6 and zinc deficiency.

Deficiencies of B6 and zinc are linked to a broad range of physiological disorders, emotional and mental health problems. B6 is vital for the production of neurotransmitters whilst zinc aids in modulating the storage and release of neurotransmitters.

Excess copper is also a problem in Pyroluria due to low zinc levels. Zinc and copper are antagonists to each other (when one is high, the other is low). Copper excess in the body can be toxic leading to mood disturbances, difficulty focusing and feelings of being “out of control”.

People with Pyroluria also have difficulties in fatty acid metabolism leading to an elevated ratio of arachidonic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) to omega-3 fatty acid. Studies have shown that high levels of arachidonic acid are associated with depression.

Signs/Symptoms of Pyroluria:


Anxiety, depression, poor short-term memory, low stress tolerance, hyperactivity, pessimism, impulsivity, perceptual disorganisation, explosive anger, pale skin, stretch marks, white spots of nails, premature greying, dry skin, intolerance to light and sound, odour intolerance, poor dream recall, delayed puberty, fatigue, motion sickness and nausea in the morning have all been linked to Pyroluria.

Identifying and treating Pyroluria is critical in improving both physical and mental health. If you are interested in exploring this, please get in touch to book an appointment!


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