Kryptopyrroles / Pyroluria

What is Pyroluria?

Pyroluria litterally means 'pyrroles in the urine'.  Pyroluria is a familial genetic disorder which affects about 10% of the population.  Pyrroles are used in the formation of porphyrin, a part of haemoglobin.   Kryptopyrrole literally means 'a hidden pyrrole' and is chemically, 2,3 dimethl-3-ethylpyrolle.

Kryptopyrroles bind with vitamin B6 in the blood. The resulting compound then binds with zinc and both nutrients are excreted in the urine - this leads to loss of, and potential chronic deficiency, of these two important nutrients.

For an unidentified reason, pyrolurics (people carrying this genetic trait) create higher levels of kryptopyrroles than the general population.  Someone who is pyroluric does not necessarily always produce high levels of kryptopyrroles.  It is believed that stress (emotional or physical) can be a trigger which sets off this process.  As zinc and B6 are important nutrients for stress support, it becomes more difficult for an individual to bounce back from stress and the cycle of stress/nutrient loss continues. 

Why test for pyroluria?

Zinc is required as a coenzyme for over 300 enzymes in the body.  Vitamin B6 is also an important nutrient for enzyme function.  A shortage of these two nutrients can have a profound impact upon wellbeing.  Issues range from skin health, mental health, low mood, low appetite to macrolytic anemia, fertility and low immunity.

Signs and symptoms of Pyroluria

Displaying some of these signs or symptoms does not automatically mean that you have pyroluria.  Many of these symptoms  correlate with zinc or B6 deficiency which may be a result of dietary intake or poor absorption.  A urine test is requird to identify elevated levels of kryptopyrroles.

morning nausea
join or knee pain (poor catillage formation)
poor would healing
light sleeper
poor dream recall
premature grey hair
crowding of teeth

zinc deficiency
white spots on nails
loss of appetite
low stress tolerance     

What if the result is positive?

The good news is that pyroluria can easily be corrected with vitamin B6 and Zinc supplementation.  Once supplemented with B6 and zinc, levels of kyrptopyrroles within urine return within normal range  over time and the loss of these nutrients cease.  This doesn’t remove the underlying tendency but seems to correct the issue and result in stabilisation.  Ongoing supplementation of B6 and zinc may be recommended unless contraindications exist.