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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 15, 3rd Quarter 2000


Comparison of Hair Copper, Zinc, Aluminum and Lead in Patients with Elevated and Normal Urine Pyrrole Levels


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The authors have previously published information on the diagnostic value of urine pyrrole levels in patients with various types of physiological and psychological stress. It has been reported that due to the chemical structure of the pyrrole molecule, certain patients excreting high levels of pyrroles may also excrete excess amounts of zinc and vitamin B6 in their urine.

In one of our research projects, we measured the hair levels of copper, zinc, aluminum, lead and urine pyrroles in 261 patients. The patients were divided into two groups, one with elevated urine pyrroles (n=127) and one with normal urine pyrroles (n=134). The data were examined to see if there were any significant differences in the hair minerals, especially zinc, between the 'iigh pyrrole group and the normal group.

Copper was examined as it has been reported to be antagonistic to zinc. Hair aluminum and lead were examined to determine if elevated levels of these potenially toxic minerals affected urine pyrrole -evels. Hair analysis was performed using mductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP). A hair sample of two inches is taken from the nape of the neck, proximal to the skin, between the ears. A sample weight of 1.0 gram of hair is need for an accurate analysis. Two inches of hair reflects about three months of dietary intake. The results are reported in parts per million (ppm). Urine pyrroles were performed as described previously. The results are shown in Table 1 (p-140).

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