Pyroluria, Pyrrole Disorder and Depression

by Greg Newson

Pyroluria, Pyrrole Disorder and Depression | Conquering Pyroluria

Pyroluria, Pyrrole Disorder and Depression

People suffering from Pyroluria or Pyrrole Disorder often endure the crippling effects of Depression, without fully understanding why. Depression can be caused by many factors, but one of the most common causes is the lack of a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) called serotonin. Serotonin is our feel good neurotransmitter and when we have adequate levels we feel positive, cheerful, content, joyful and happy with life. Conversely when those levels are lower than they should be we feel down, sad, moody, angry and of course depressed, which are many of the negative symptoms associated with Pyroluria.

To understand the connection between Pyroluria and Depression we first need to know how the body makes serotonin. The precursor of serotonin is the essential amino acid L-Tryphophan. Before tryptophan can be absorbed it needs to be cleaved from food, for which there needs to be adequate levels of stomach acid and pancreatic or digestive enzymes. Once absorbed, tryptophan is then converted to a substance called 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) and then onto serotonin. For many people this process works quiet effectively, but unfortunately for a Pyroluria sufferer this task proves difficult. Mainly because Zinc and Vitamin B6 are essential to manufacture stomach acid and convert 5HTP to serotonin. 

Serotonin Pathway - Pyroluria

Stress, Depression and Pyroluria

Not only does stress increase the levels of hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one the substance that depletes Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Biotin and makes Pyroluria worse. But excessive or long term stress exacerbates depression by increasing the hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol increases the levels of tryptophan pyrrolase, which inhibits the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin and cause the destruction of available tryptophan.

Thankfully, nature has provided herbs such as St John's Wort, Ashwagandha and Ginkgo biloba to help reduce the toxic effects of stress on the body, lower cortisol levels and help serotonin stay in the brain longer, thus reducing the symptoms of depression and improving moods. 

Reduce Stress and Feel Good Promotional Banner

To gain more insight into how Pyroluria contributes to Depression please listen to this podcast.

The information provided here is of a general nature intended for educational purposes only. We make no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate or cure illnesses or diseases with any information or product stated. With any health issue we suggest you consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any health treatment.

For more infomation on Pyroluria and depression

Please read Pyroluria and the GABA Connection

I hope you found this blog post interesting and helpful. If you did please leave a comment and help to spread the knowledge by sharing on social media. 

Thanks and have a great day

Greg Newson
Greg Newson


Greg is a Naturopathic Doctor and Clinical Herbalist. He is passionate about educating people on all matters of health. Qualifications: B.Sc Health Science, Adv. Dip Naturopathy, Adv. Dip Herbal Medicine, Adv. Dip Nutrition, Dip Remedial Massage

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