B6 & Zinc Deficiency – Are You Pyroluric?

I learned years ago from a great doctor that there is a commonly overlooked genetic illness called Pyroluria (also known as kryptopyrroluria (KPU) or the Mauve Factor) which causes an individual to excrete large amounts of B6 and Zinc, causing a persistent deficiency of these key vitamins. This illness is most commonly seen in women and typically becomes recognizable in their teenage years or early 20s.

Common symptoms of this illness are:
“Bad breath”
Unexplained stretch marks
Fatigue
Inability to concentrate
Mental confusion
Fair skin
Food allergies
Hypothalamic dysfunction resulting in an increase or decrease in the following: appetite, sleep, irritability, and sexual function.

People with the moderate or severe form of pyroluria typically respond favorably to Prozac or related serotonin-enhancing drugs as they have a genetically determined deficiency of serotonin, a neurotransmitter essential for brain function. Since they are unable to make enough serotonin, a result of which is depression, these people are always chronically depressed to a certain degree. A milder form of this illness is seen with PMS – moderate depression throughout the month and then marked depression and dysfunction in the PMS phase.

The underlying metabolic flaw with these individuals is that, genetically, they have a greater need for vitamin B6. Luckily, this can often be corrected simply by supplementing with vitamin B6 and the “helper minerals” magnesium and zinc.

A Simple At Home Test To Determine Whether You Have Pyroluria
The best “test” for whether you have pyroluria or not is to do the “therapeutic trial” test. Sit in a quiet room and swallow 25 mg. of vitamin B6 with four ounces of water. If you have pyroluria to some degree, after about 30 to 45 minutes you will feel less irritable and fatigued. You may also notice you are able to think more clearly and your concentration may improve. The room may even appear to be brighter (due to a slight dilation in pupil size).

Daily Dose
The daily dose for a 150-pound person usually consists of taking 50 mg. of vitamin B6 three times a day which may need to be adjusted up or down for an individual’s biochemical needs or weight. It is important to also take magnesium (try for at least 350mg a day) and zinc (15 mg 3 x day in gluconate form) along with (at the same time as) the B6 because the involved enzymes are dependent upon them and further improvement is typically seen when taking this combination. This supplementation must be maintained for life! This is an inexpensive treatment with no known side effects.

Additional Supplements That May Be Beneficial
To take the treatment up one more notch, I will point out a few other important things I learned. One, taking 100mcg of Niacin (in the form of niacinamide) 3 x day as niacinamide further helps with the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Some people do not tolerate niacinamide, so start slowly by inching up the dose until you see if you tolerate it. Secondly, some people are not able to convert B6 into its active form, Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate (P5P), therefore, to be on the safe side, you may consider using P5P 50mg 3 x day instead of B6. Klaire Labs makes a great P5P without excipients and in a veggie cap form (you can get it with or without magnesium added).

Klaire Labs – P-5-P Plus w/ Magnesium 100 Vcaps

In addition, some doctors and scientists feel that Pyroluria causes individuals to be deficient in the following additional nutrients: Manganese, Biotin and omega-6 fatty acids such as GLA (Evening Primrose Oil is a good source).

KPU & Lyme?
Note: Pyroluria is thought by some to occur not only as a result of a genetic metabolic flaw, but also when a body is under extreme stress such as from an illness, and so it may be quite common in those with Lyme disease!

Recommended Reading:

Speer F: Allergy of the Nervous System. Springfield, IL Charles Thomas 1970.

Hawkins D and Pauling L: Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Treatment of Schizophrenia. San Francisco, W.H. Freeman & Co. 1973

Nebert DW, Gonzalez FJ: P450 genes and evolutionary genetics. Hosp. Prac. March 15, 1987; 63-74.

Pfeiffer, Carl C.: Nutrition and Mental Illness: An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry. Rochester, VT Healing Arts Press 1987.

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11 comments for “B6 & Zinc Deficiency – Are You Pyroluric?

  1. Sha
    February 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    B6 and zinc

    • August 3, 2014 at 4:15 am

      That could very well be true. That is a very good point. I have noticed that when I eat chcoalote now, after increasing my intake of manganese, I don’t get such a high’ from it. It’s not as stimulating as it used to be, which is good because it reduces my motivation to eat it. My problem with chcoalote also comes back to having no self control once I start eating it, I can’t just have 1 or 2 pieces I have to eat the whole block 🙂

    • August 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      I have been watching eoveyrne that I have encountered including you in the YT chronically ill community for a long time but just about the time you took a you tube break I learned how to comment that is why you didn’t recognize my YT name my real name is jodi, I have never learned how to make a video or download for YouTube so that is why I don’t have videos. Just thought I would let you know since you didn’t recognize me

    • Gwen
      February 6, 2015 at 12:18 am

      This article is incomplete and incorrect. Your information is not thorough and could make people sick. Outside of a very specific blood test that is precise and multiple indicators of said symptoms, missing off the list are look alike girl siblings, run away imagination, noise and light sensitivities and extreme sensitive to alcohol or medications particularly SSRIs amongst several others. The symptoms you are listing are not pyroluria but undermethylation. An overmethylating pyrlouric who took your advice could experience debilitating and even schizophrenia type side effects. I do trainings for MD s on various orthomolecular and neutraceutical topics. If you don’t fix this you could make a lot of people sick.

      • Mary
        August 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm

        Does anyone know of good doctors that will do the right blood testing in or near Fredericksburg, va?

  2. Harland Pendrak
    June 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Some people use evening primrose oil for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); asthma; nerve damage related to diabetes; an itching disorder called neurodermatitis; hyperactivity in children and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); obesity and weight loss; whooping cough; and gastrointestinal disorders including ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and peptic ulcer disease.;*,`

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  3. Michael (NW)
    July 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Hi, I took a Pyroluria test a while back and it came up negative. Yet, I filled out a questionnaire on Pyroluria and I answered at least 75% of them with “yes”. And I had two tests that showed I was deficient in Zinc. So, we are treating this as Pyroluria although not sure if I really am or not, or maybe it comes and goes?

  4. August 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    It’s so sad how many of us end up in tears when we are admitted tgrouhh the ERI think it is sad that drs have a hard time dealing with non text book illnesses and especially the chronically ill . I agree that when things start really going haywire I feel safer in hospital but if it’s not in the same city as my main dr I find it emotionally exhaustingI’ve also learned to take all my meds and caths, so I get what I have been on

  5. August 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Continue.. Unless they have good reason to DC or cghane something, ie life threatening or I am on the phone (usually in tears) to my drs nurse who intervenes. I swear ER drs never want to call the dr that’s been treating you long term, my main neurologist who runs the entire show for me admits EGO gets in the way unfortunately a lot of times when dealing with the chronically ill

  6. October 23, 2014 at 11:49 am

    each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this paragraph which I am reading now.

  7. MASAUSO TEMBO
    October 22, 2015 at 5:31 am

    I have been using vitB6 & ZINC for prostate , how effective it is for my emunity

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