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Vitamin deficiencies can cause anxiety problems

Anxiety may be ever-present in the background of our lives. It is fed by chronic, unreasonable fears and worries that relentlessly hijack our emotions.

We get up in the morning with a resolution of not giving in to this anguish-producing inner tension, soon to find out that our strong will is not enough. The "calm down" advice we hear frequently only raises the anxiety levels, as it adds to the feeling of inadequacy.

In my last article (published March 21), I wrote about pyroluria as one of the silent underlying causes of anxiety. Pyroluria is a genetic chemical imbalance that is characterized by a severe deficiency of vitamin B6 and zinc. In her book, "Depression Free, Naturally," Joan Mathews Larson points out: "The loss of B6 and zinc is a psychiatric disaster."

Let me examine why.

B6 has a major role in our nervous system's balance because it is essential in more than 50 enzymatic brain reactions where amino groups are transformed or transferred. Lack of B6 causes depletion of two important neurotransmitters - dopamine and serotonin - creating ongoing anxiety and depression. In addition, shortage of B6 causes elevated lactic acid levels, and lactic acid creates anxiety.

Zinc plays a starring role in brain development and performance. A deficiency means suffering with a raft of "emotional" problems such as irritability, fatigue, apathy, amnesia and depression, as well as a poor appetite and a poor sense of taste and smell.

Zinc has the job of removing toxic metals from our brains, particularly copper, lead, cadmium and mercury. Without zinc to do this, high copper levels result in paranoia, violent behavior, mood swings and schizoid behavior.

High levels of lead leads to learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Mercury toxicity results in anxiety, emotional liability, exaggerated responses and insomnia. Elevated cadmium causes hyperactivity, hallucinations and central nervous system toxicity.

I hope, by now, I have convinced you that many people who suffer from an anxiety disorder have inherited a hyper-reactive brain chemistry that cannot be overcome with a strong will and cannot be reasoned away. Maintaining adequate B6 and zinc levels must be addressed. Otherwise a normal human being is turned into an emotional cripple.

First step to take

If you suffer from pyroluria, the good news is that it is correctable. The important task is to identify it. I advise you to first score yourself through a pyroluria screening test. You may find basic characteristics of a person suffering from pyroluria in my last article. If you suspect you have it, find a physician who is open to determining whether you have alleviated levels of kryptopyrroles, the main culprit in this condition.

Beware, though, that only few laboratories are proficient in doing this test accurately. It needs to be done on a machine designed by Dr. Carl Pheiffer. One such laboratory is the Bio Center Lab in

Wichita, Kan. If you find that you have high levels of pyrroles in your urine, rejoice! You now know why your life has been so full of anguish. Help is just one step away.

Correcting pyroluria

If you correct vitamin B6 and zinc deficiencies, most likely your inborn inner tension will go away. Additionally, you also may have to rebuild your adrenals, exhausted from a lifetime of coping with

ongoing tension. With a well-

designed nutritional supplementation, substantial improvement in all anxiety symptoms may occur within three to six months.

However, because pyroluria is

a genetic defect, the following regimen is ongoing. The doses may change, depending on the stress levels in your life.

From what I have already written, it must be clear to you that the most important supplements are vitamin B6 and zinc. The dosages depend on the severity of your condition and the stress you are currently under. I like to suggest a good B-complex vitamin, which contains substantial B6 and B3 (in the form of niacinamide) amounts. Take at least one tablet three times a day. Take zinc daily. In addition, you need magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and pantothenic acid. A good raw adrenal supplement is important, as well. And, do I have to mention again that you need to stop using any form of caffeine? And that you need to switch from the all-American junk food diet to a good, nutritious diet?

There are many other possible biochemical causes of a chronic anxiety, such as a diet deployed of nutrients, elevated blood lactates, low blood sugar levels, low levels of calming brain neurotransmitters (GABA and serotonin), low levels of calming amino acids (taurine, glycine) and food sensitivities.

Because you may fit into a few or all of these categories, solving the anxiety puzzle may be complex. However, it is quite straightforward and - with a help of a well-trained and experienced practitioner - you may free yourself completely from the prison of an anxious mind.

This column is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat

diseases. If you have a serious health problem, consult a competent health practitioner. Halina Hladysz of Rapid City is a certified master of holistic healing, a natural health consultant, a clinical herbalist, a holistic nutritionist and a certified cleansing specialist. Contact her at health@ or go to

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