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 deficiency include 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. 


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.


Laboratories which test for pyroluria:

Bio-Center Laboratory (Wichita, KS, USA) 

Biolab Medical Unit (London, UK)

Direct Healthcare Access, Inc. (Mount Prospect, IL, USA)

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:

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)