Lyme Disease, Zinc, and Pyroluria

pyroluria lyme disease zinc b6There is some concern over the growing popularity of a hypothetical link between a genetic condition, zinc, and Lyme disease. Pyroluria is a metabolic dysfunction which causes excessive elimination of zinc and B6. Due to its relative rarity, pyroluria is not well known and has become a target of claims that it can result from Lyme disease, and other infections despite its classification as an acquired genetic defect. Nothing but anecdotal evidence is available to support a connection between pyroluria and Lyme disease. The hypothesis is that pyroluria is induced by the stress of infection, rather than simply being an acquired genetic defect.

One doctor, Dietrich Klinghardt, claims that most patients he treats for autism or Lyme disease have pyroluria, a defect in the synthesis of haemoglobin which causes excess excretion of zinc. His treatment for the condition is extremely high doses of zinc (200mg or more each day) although this level of zinc can cause nausea, adversely affect copper levels in the body (leading to anaemia), double the risk of prostate cancer, and result in diarrhoea, stomach pain, and vomiting in some. Patients should be extremely cautious regarding zinc supplementation whether suffering from Lyme disease or not as excess levels can build up quite quickly if pyroluria is not present.

Lyme Disease and the Mauve Factor

Pyroluria is also known as kryptopyrroluria (KPU) or the Mauve Factor and is most commonly observed in women, possibly due to the more overt effects of chronic deficiency in B6 and zinc that may result in women during their teens and early twenties. Symptoms associated with pyroluria include halitosis (bad breath), severe stretch marks, fatigue, poor concentration, confusion, sleep disturbances, poor appetite or increased appetite, mood swings, pale skin, multiple food allergies, and changes in libido (raising or lowering). Some patients may be prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac as low levels of zinc and B6 can reduce the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin which regulates mood (amongst other things). Patients may be persistently depressed to some degree with symptoms exacerbated (in women) as part of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

The recommended daily allowances for zinc (in the US) are 8milligrams (8mg) for women and 11mg for men, although these used to be around 15mg a few years ago and have been lowered in recent years; anything over 50mg per day is considered excessive. Those with pyroluria however, may be advised to take supplements containing vitamin B6 and levels of zinc above the generally recommended levels but taking high levels of either nutrient is inadvisable without medical supervision (excessive B6 may lead to a kind of peripheral neuropathy when taken long-term).

Continue Reading –> Why the Body Hides Zinc During Lyme Disease