The simple question 'Is Pyroluria a myth or in fact a real health condition?' seems to have ignited a debate and confusion for online readers. As with any topic there are always conflicting viewpoints, just like climate change, immigration or religion, it seems Pyroluria is no different. On one side of the fence you have healthcare practitioners who deal with and treat people suffering from Pyroluria on a daily basis and on the other side you have uneducated, skeptical bloggers perpetuating that Pyroluria is a myth.
Before we discuss Pyroluria and whether it is a myth or real, here's a quick refresher about Pyroluria;
What is Pyroluria? People suffering from Pyroluria have an elevation of a substance in the blood called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one, which we’ll abbreviate to HPL. HPL has the ability to inhibit the absorption and increase the excretion of zinc, vitamin B6 and biotin, thus resulting in nutritional deficiencies.
Arguments For Calling Pyroluria A Myth Debunked
Pyroluria Myth Argument No. 1
One of the most common arguments put forward to dispute Pyroluria as a real condition is that there are so many potential Pyroluria symptoms. Well, this is correct, there are many potential symptoms associated with Pyroluria, but for good reason.
What people putting this argument forward fail to realise is that the biochemical roles in the body of Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Biotin are so vast and long reaching that I’m surprised there are not more potential symptoms.
Zinc is paramount for proper functioning of the immune, nervous and sexual systems and is involved in over 300 chemical reactions within the body.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems as well as being a catalyst in over 100 enzyme reactions.
Besides being of extreme importance for the nervous and digestive systems Biotin is necessary for the manufacture of fatty acids, the breakdown and utilisation of amino acids and the production of glucose from non carbohydrate foods.
Pyroluria Myth Argument No. 2
Another argument put forward states that there is a lack of evidence pointing to Pyroluria as a real health condition, or that health studies completed are not creditable or peer reviewed. Interestingly, a quick internet search using Google Scholarly articles comes up with 131 results for Pyroluria Scientific Studies. Many of these studies have been combined into two scientific papers 'Discerning the Mauve Factor 1 and 2'. These combined papers cite 282 individual scientific studies pertaining to Pyroluria.
To understand scientific studies you first need to accept that they cost a lot of money and are generally paid by government grants, philanthropists or drug companies. The gold standard for any scientific medical study is the ’double blind placebo cross over study’, which costs millions of dollars.
As with most financial transactions someone generally wants to make a profit. When a pharmaceutical company creates a new drug they patent it so no other pharmaceutical company can copy their idea or drug. This protection allows the owner of the patent to charge what price they like for their product. This is generally why pharmaceutical companies charge exorbitant amounts of monies for their drugs.
Fortunately any substances found in nature i.e. vitamin, mineral, herb or food are not allowed to be patented. This means no exclusivity or long term profits for a company. To successfully treat Pyroluria both non-patentable vitamins and minerals are needed, which can be purchased anywhere and not exclusively from a pharmaceutical drug company. Having an understanding of this explains why there are not more scientific studies into Pyroluria.
Pyroluria Myth Argument No. 3
The next argument says that studies have failed to show kryptopyrrole in the urine of Pyroluria sufferers. Ok this is true, Kryptopyrrole's are not found in the urine of Pyroluria sufferers, but, hydroxyhemopyrrolin one (HPL) is. Back in the 1950’s Dr Hoffer believed that he discovered a substance in the urine of Schizophrenic sufferers, it was called Kryptopyrrole's, a molecule extremely similar in structure to HPL. It wasn’t until 1978 when DG Irvine discovered the substance measured was not Kryptopyrrole's, but in fact hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one. So the Kryptopyrrole argument shouldn’t even exist. However it sounds good and is one more falsity that the proponents of 'Pyroluria is a Myth' try to perpetuate.
Pyroluria Myth Argument No. 4
Here's my favourite argument for presenting Pyroluria as a Myth. Health practitioners, who believe that Pyroluria is a real health condition, are only interested in selling supplements or a laboratory certified health test kit. Could it be that practitioners who treat Pyroluria sufferers see the benefits of helping these people live happier healthier lives? Couldn’t the argument be put forward that our well meaning doctors who see depressed patients and prescribe medication are only interested in kick backs from drug companies? I am pretty sure doctors wouldn't see it that way as they are trying to help reduce people's suffering. The sad fact about argument no. 4 is that some people believe this to be true, that they will be ripped off. This mistaken belief causes potential sufferers of Pyroluria to miss out on a correct diagnosis and successful treatment, which could dramatically improve their health and mental wellbeing.
Are The People Saying That Pyroluria Is A Myth Qualified To Do So?
After reading some of the websites and blog posts perpetuating Pyroluria as a Myth I notice one important piece of information. The people putting forward Pyroluria as a Myth are uneducated, with no real qualifications. There is the odd blog post that makes you think that the person writing the article is well qualified, but they are not. For example there is a blog post with the heading 'Pyroluria: Is It a Real Disease or Just a Myth?' Written by someone who calls themselves a Doctor. Sounds good and promising, but on closer inspection their credentials indicate that they are a Doctor of exercise…… seriously! An exercise physiologist helps people exercise, recover from injury and get fit, they don't treat people with Pyroluria or any real health condition and if you don't treat it, you won't understand it. So you've got to ask yourself, is the information I'm reading from a credible source or an internet troll who is only interested in scandalisation and not in helping someone with real life suffering.
Is Pyroluria A Real Condition?
Certified laboratories test for Pyroluria by measuring the levels of HPL in the urine.
People who are diagnosed with Pyroluria find that some or all of their symptoms improve with the correct nutritional supplements and treatment protocols.
Pyroluria is not widely accepted in mainstream medicine because doctors haven’t been taught how to recognise the condition. There is also no drug to treat Pyroluria, only low cost nutritional supplements.
Finally, yes I do recommend and sell nutritional supplements, health test kits and treatment plans for Pyroluria sufferers. Am I trying to con or rip people off….No. But I am hoping to help people improve their health and live a happier life which they feel more in control of.
For other related articles on Pyroluria, please refer to the links below;
We often hear that Pyroluria and Pyrrole Disorder are a life-long health aliment that requires long-term supplementation. For some this maybe true, but for the majority underlying lifestyle and health factors drive a persons Pyroluria. In this blog we look at poor digestion as an underlying causative factor and what can be done to repair the damage.
A little bit of short-term stress is beneficial for the body but long-term stress, impacts us negatively. For Pyroluria and Pyrrole Disorder sufferers excessive and long-term stress exacerbates many of the symptoms associated with the condition.
Scientific studies have shown Nopal Cactus to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, which help reduce intestinal inflammation, heal Leaky Gut Syndrome and increase beneficial gut bacteria.