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Please see an excellent write up (and video) on Pyroluria by naturopath Greg Newson of Lismore NSW Australia

"There is evidence to suggest that Pyroluria is a genetically based ailment. Statistics and research indicates that if a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister has suffered from major Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Alcoholism, Schizophrenia or has suicided, there is a greater risk of Pyroluria in other family members."


Think Zinc

Chances are, even if you are not Pyroluric, you are not getting enough zinc. Dr. Mark Hyman in promoting his book “The Ultra Mind Solution” cites that there is currently a “global zinc deficiency epidemic” and points to Pyroluria (aka Mauve Factor) as one of the reasons. Researching zinc deficiency will find many concurring articles. “It is estimated that not even half of us get the RDA for zinc” per Carolyn Pierini, CLS (ASCP), CNC in Test Uncovers A Common Deficiency. Carolyn goes on to point out myriads of diseases and disorders linked to zinc deficiency.

The Zinc Assay Taste Test “ZATT”

Aiden Quinn, NSCA, CSCS certified personal fitness trainer of Premier Personal Training, Inc., Palo Alto, California explains how one can assess their need for zinc by a Zinc Assay Taste Test “ZATT”; The Zinc Taste Test by Ronald L. Myers, CNC found that compared to other methods for body zinc assessment, that “As surprising as it may seem…, the Zinc Taste Test (ZTT) is a valid assessment of patient zinc status” Myers also notes that the original researchers “Schauss and Costin have found that a percentage of patients presenting zinc deficiency are also deficient in vitamin B6 and magnesium as well.”

ZATT Solution

Quinn’s video describes how to prepare a zinc solution for the test. Here are two products that are available commercially;

There are other mineral taste test products and many distributors are available online.

Usefulness and Limitations

HEFT has run informal, non-scientific, ZATT surveys using Thorne Research zinc sulfate and found over 60% of tasters have indicated level 1, complete zinc deficiency and 20% indicate level 2, probable not enough zinc. (Survey results do not include family of HEFT founder where nearly 100% of cousins test at level 1.) As with most tests, ZATT is not infallible. It is subjective, and not all people have a palette that distinguishes the “taste”. Many of those that have tried ZATT, found that supplementing zinc is a positive in their health, and a few have pursued and determined Pyroluria as a condition impacting their family and selves.

ZATT is useful for many reasons. For the Pyroluric who wishes to share the genetic implication of Pyroluria with family members and/or community it is an inexpensive way to open the door to awareness and individual interest in investigation of the condition. It also has been shown to be valid for Pyroluric family members already taking zinc to assure adequate zinc intake or indicate too much zinc intake (level 4 responses). Since Pyrolurics are recommended to increase zinc and B6 supplementation when under “stress” having a clearer idea that we are getting enough zinc can be very helpful.

Do You Have Vivid Dream Recall? The Vital Nutrient B6

Just as with zinc, searching on B6 deficiency will produce scores of research and that it is very common. A Tufts University study discovered that “vitamin B6 deficiency is much more common than previously thought.” And that “Based on the findings of the Tufts study, that B6 deficiency is indeed widespread in the U.S., as is depression, shouldn't plasma B6 (PLP) be assessed in cases of depression and cognitive dysfunction prior to resorting to misused, prescription anti-depressant drugs?” 

Large Scale Study Finds Vitamin B6 Deficiency Common

Too Much of a Good Thing

Taking too much zinc will cause stomach upset or vomiting. Pyrolurics typically need to avoid copper when first supplementing because Pyrolurics with high relative copper to zinc plasma levels, 1.5:1, tend towards violence. (The ideal plasma Cu to Zn ratio is 1:1.) [High copper is debilitating and further nutritional supplement steps need to be taken to relieve.] However, zinc can inhibit the absorption of copper and long-term zinc supplementation may need to include copper. Blood plasma levels and ratio should be assessed to determine when/if copper should be supplemented. 

High dose of vitamin B6 supplementation (as pyridoxine HCl >500 mg daily long term) has resulted in reversible neuropathies in some individuals. There have been no case reports of neuropathies with the bioactive form of B6; Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate use.

Additionally, people taking anti-depressants and/or "selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors", SSRI's, need to use extra caution when supplementing B6. SSRI's work by blocking your bodies natural removal/re-uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin. As you get enough B6 and your body functions properly and starts to make adequate levels of serotonin if the SSRI blocks the natural removal/uptake process you can get too much serotonin which can cause very serious health risks.

Standard Warning: The statements made on this site are not approved by the AMA or FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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