Pyroluria, the condition associated with raised kryptopyrroles in the blood, is a subject close to my heart.

This metabolic disorder is genetic and it has the capacity to ruin lives. Yet, there is no real acknowledgement of the condition in mainstream medicine.

Kryptopyrroles are a by-product of haemoglobin synthesis. In individuals with Pyroluria excess kryptopyrroles are produced and are excreted in the urine. The problem is that kryptopyrroles bind to zinc and B6 leaving the host with a deficiency. It is possibly conventional medicine’s ignorance of the importance of these nutrients for both mental and physical health that leads to them underestimate the significance of raised kryptopyrroles.

Functional medicine practitioners are acutely aware of the far-reaching effects deficiencies of these nutrients can have. Zinc is a co-factor for hundreds of enzyme processes in the body and B6 is required for processing energy and for concentration. Deficiencies of zinc and/or B6 have been associated with depression, autism, anxiety disorders, aspergers, alcoholism, schizophrenia, ADHD, dyslexia, suicidal tendencies. I suspect we are only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to assessing the health effects of Pyroluria.

I have found this condition is often present in families following the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Protocol. Pyroluria influences not just mental health but digestion and allergic tendencies too. The high levels of zinc and B6 in the protocol no doubt help to ameliorate symptoms.

If you have a familiy history of depression, alcoholism, suicide, eating disorders or autism and currently have physical of mental health issues you may want to consider testing for raised krytopyroles.

Testing using a mid-stream urine sample is a simple and affordable process. It can be carried out though most nutrition practitioners. If positive, then working with a practitioner to find the correct supplement balance and address any other factors contributing to ill health is vital.

When I look back at my family history I see a number of illnesses undoubtedly associated with pyroluria. My children have tested positive for this metabolic disorder and have responded well to a supplement protocol. I only wish we had discovered our familial tendency to this chemical imbalance sooner. Then much sadness could have been prevented, including losing family members too soon.

Ill health is multifactorial and discovering the impact of raised kryptopyroles may only be part of the puzzle. However, it is a significant factor and treatment can lead to massive gains in physical and mental health.

To find out more about testing for raised kryptopyrroles contact

Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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