50% of Children with ADHD Have Elevated Levels of This Toxic Marker in Their Urine
Author: Nina Mikirova, PhD
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects approximately 2 million American children. ADHD is characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. The cause of ADHD is generally known to have many factors including both biological and environmental influences.
ONE FACTOR IN ADHD THAT IS ALMOST ALWAYS OVERLOOKED BY CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE IS SOMETHING CALLED URINARY PYRROLE LEVELS. BASED ON A CLINICAL STUDY OF PATIENTS WITH ADHD1 , IT WAS FOUND THAT ALMOST 50% OF ADHD PATIENTS HAVE ELEVATED PYRROLE LEVELS.
Pyrroles or “Mauve Factor,” a metabolic product of hemoglobin, was first detected in the urine of psychiatric patients by the Hoffer group in 1958, and named for its appearance on paper chromatograms. Pyrroles are well known for toxicity in the body, and an elevated level of excretion of them is classically associated with emotional stress.
Psychiatrists started using urine pyrroles to diagnose psychiatric disorders many years ago. Some psychiatrists, particularly those with interests in orthomolecular medicine, have used pyrroles as a clinical tool for diagnosing and following the progression or remission of mental illness.
The proposed mechanisms for pyrrole formation and accumulation in the body include: intake from dietary sources, heme breakdown, and/or altered heme biosynthesis. All of these most likely occur with the aid of gut flora. Therefore, increases in pyrrole levels and excretion may occur as a result of stress-induced changes in intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, which in turn leads to increased pyrrole absorption.
Other Factors that Influence ADHD
Patients with ADHD also have a correlation between the levels of pyrroles and histamine. Histamine is an important brain neurotransmitter and neuro-regulator that is present in all nerve cells. Breakdown of histamine is through a process called methylation; low histamine levels indicate over-methylation and high histamine level means that the process of remethylation is overactive. Histamine either directly or indirectly influences all other major neurotransmitters, often via inhibition of neurotransmitter release, thus theoretically causing anxiety, depression, or both.
When the level of histamine was screened for patients with ADHD, it appeared that much of the distribution of histamine was on the upper level of the reference range, and half of the subjects had a level of histamine higher than the upper level of the normal range.
This finding also indicates the evidence of an allergy-related component of the problems in patients with ADHD due to the fact that elevated pyrrole levels were significantly more prevalent in subjects with elevated histamine values.
2. Nutrient Deficiencies (Zinc, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, Magnesium)
In addition, it has been shown that subjects with ADHD and elevated pyrrole levels were deficient in nutrients such as zinc, vitamin B3, magnesium, and vitamin C. Vitamins are natural barriers against infection and allergic reactions, as well as promoters of chemical balance of essential minerals. Vitamin C, vitamin B3, red blood cell zinc, and zinc to copper ratios were found to decrease with increasing pyrrole levels. Deficiencies in essential minerals may also affect ADHD children. Zinc and magnesium, for instance, are important co-factors in the enzymes associated with the utilization of neurotransmitters and are necessary for maintaining brain function.
ADHD is a multi-factorial condition. However, the research in this study suggests that the volume of pyrroles a person is excreting is linked to a variety of stress and illness conditions, including ADHD. This could indicate oxidative stress, infection, toxicity in the body and/or improper digestion. However, a significant improvement was seen in children with ADHD who successfully reduced their pyrrole levels using a regimen of supplements specific to their needs.
Urinary pyrrole levels can be measured through the Bio-Center Laboratory at the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas.
1. Mikirova, N. (2015) Clinical Test of Pyrroles: Usefulness and Association with Other Biochemical Markers. Clin Med Rev Case Rep 2:2