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Porphyria—How Modern Chemicals Trigger the Vampire Disease

© copyright Hart Brent

The mystery illnesses of the 20th century, such as Gulf War Syndrome and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), have their basis in a biochemical glitch—lost ability to construct a porphyrin ring, an 8-enzyme process. Porphyrins are a group of nitrogen-containing organic compounds forming the foundation structure for respiratory pigments in animals (hemoglobin) and plants (chlorophyll) and enzymes. The symptoms exhibited by vampires—sun sensitivity, severe anemia abated only by consuming whole porphyrin rings (i.e. blood)—can be triggered today by 3,750 commercially available medications, pesticides, or household chemicals. Brain scans show similarities between ADHD, depression, MCS, and Gulf War Syndrome.

Luckily, a modern source of porphyrin rings is chlorophyll, an improvement

over the vampire’s option of fresh red blood.

Heme=Porphyrin complexed with iron in center

Chlorophyll=Porphyrin complexed with magnesium

The Madness of King George III, of recent movie fame, was porphyria in action (acute intermittent prophyria), probably triggered by lead poisoning. Europe experienced a porphyria epidemic 1888-90 with introduction of the drug sulphonal. Subsequent epidemics of porphyria followed the marketing of barbiturates and sulfa drugs. Infections like mycobacteria or hepatitis C, or malnutrition/fasting can also trigger porphyria. Other common triggers are exposure to paints, formaldehyde, glycol ethers, dioxins or metal dusts and fumes.

A porphyrin ring looks like this:

Porphyrin ring + iron = heme

Porphyrin rings are made in every cell in the body. Major sites of heme synthesis are red blood cells, liver, and blood forming cells in the marrow. Forty percent of total body heme is used for building P450 enzymes found in the liver, gut, kidneys, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, placenta.

Porphyrin rings within heme are used in 7 key areas in the body:

1. hemoglobin that allows red cells to bind & transport oxygen:

the porphyrin rings appear below as the 4 flattened red discs;

the iron complexed to the prophyrin ring gives the red coloration

2. myoglobin that allows muscles to bind oxygen:

the heme portion that contains porphyrin rings is the red disc in the center

3. P450 enzymes that detox xenobiotics (chemicals & drugs)

metabolize steroid hormones

metabolize fatty acids

synthesize prostaglandins

4. cytochromes of the electron transport chain for energy production:

heme group of cytochrome c = atom of iron enclosed in prophyrin ring 3D structure of cytochrome c with heme group in red cytochrome c as electron carrier of electron transport chain

5. peroxidase & calalase enzymes that activate and de-activate H202

6. corrin ring system of B12 – critical vitamin to nervous system and for DNA synthesis

7. tryptophan pyrolase enzyme that helps to produce serotonin needed for sleep and sense of well-being.

During a porphyria attack, the body is unable to assemble prophyrin rings or heme, so the individual develops deficiencies of hemoglobin, cytochromes and enzymes seen above that require a prophyrin ring. As should be evident, this is a very complex, whole body syndrome. A porphyria attack is usually transient (unless genetic in origin) and can involve multiple, unrelated organs and/or systems anywhere in the body.

Look for symptoms on checklist (from June 1996 issue of Our Toxic Times):

Abdominal pain

Anemia: hypochromic,

microcytic, hemolytic

Amenorrhea (absence or

suppression of menstruation)


Appetite, loss of

Back pain

Behavioral changes

Bladder distention

Bowel incontinence

Breast secretions

Carbo craving

Cardiac arrest

Nervous system lesions

Chest pain




Corneal inflammation





Dysphasia (inability or

difficulty swallowing)

Extremeties painful

Facial hair, excessive


Fecal impaction

Gastrointestinal spasms




(high blood pressure)


(dulled sensitivity to touch)


(decrease sodium in blood)

Hypotnsion, postural

(decrease in blood pressure

upon assuming an erect posture)

Ileus (obstruction of the intestines)




Joint pain or stiffness

Limb stiffness

Menstruation often

exacerbates symptoms

Mood changes

Muscle cramps

Muscle pain or stiffness


Nerve palsy


Organic brain syndrome

Panic attacks

Paralysis, partial

Paralysis, temporary

Paresthesia (numbness or

tingling sensation)

Peripheral motor deficits

Peripheral neuropathy

Photosensitivity (porphyrins

interacting with sunlight cause

neurologic and/or skin problems)




Respiration, decreased

Respiratory paralysis


Sensory disorders

Skin lesions, blisters or ulcers

Sweating, profuse

Tachycardia (heart rate of

over 100 beats per minute)

Tendon reflexes, absent or depressed


Urinary incontinence

Urine, change in color of

(green, brown or red)

Urine retention

Urine formation, absence of (oliguria)

Vision, changes in

Voice, weakness



Wrist drop

Eighty percent of my clients show signs of transient porphrinopathies. Porphyria is probably the most under-diagnosed health problem today. CNS and GI symptoms are the most common. This is because the first committed precursor in the porphyrin enzyme chain is ALA (aminolevulinic acid) which is readily taken up by the brain.

ALA porphyrin ring precursor porphyrin ring

When ALA is readily taken up by the brain, it interacts with inhaled chemicals triggering:

neurogenic inflammation

disruption of neurotransmitters

release of excitatory amino acids

delayed P300 wave





all can lead to cell death/cerebral lesions & attention/learning disorders

The gut gets involved when neurogenic inflammation triggers: (1) mast cells lining the gut or (2) occurs in parts of the brain controlling GI function or (3) when partially constructed porphyrin rings dump into the gut and trigger substance P, causing pain.

Symptoms are caused not by high or toxic levels of chemicals but by the metabolic effects triggered by the exposure even to low levels of chemicals. The body thinks it needs more porphyrin rings in order to construct cytochrome P450 enzymes to breakdown the incoming chemicals, pushing porphyrin synthesis into overdrive and raising levels of ALA, from the first committed enzyme step. As seen below, the elevated ALA sets off a self-perpetuating loop that can inflame neurogenic inflammation described above. This is the link shared by porphyria and attention/learning disorders. See ADHD article.

Chemicals via noseinto brain

permeability blood brain barrier ]
neurogenic inflammation ] self
  perpetuating loop
porphyrin ring production ALA ]

Tests for Porphyria

Tests for porphyria include blood, urine, stool and cerebral spinal fluid analysis for porphyrin ring precursors, including ALA. The problem with testing is that between symptomatic attacks (exposures) levels of heme precursors excretion are lower and can even normalize with time.

Substances that Trigger Porphyria—3,750 in common use






diesel exhaust fumes

fresh paints










Birth control pills


Phenobarbital (anti-seizure medication)

Sulfa drugs

Household chemicals:

Room air fresheners



Fabric softeners

Most soaps and shampoos




Hair sprays

New fabrics

New carpets

Fresh newspapers and magazines

Protocols for Treating Porphyria

Use muscle testing, O ring, or energy scanning to select remedies and dosages

To stop an acute attack:

ALA homeopathic mix by Heron Herbals

zymetec by AMNI

niatab 500 mg. niacin time release by AMNI

vinpocetine alkaloid from Vinca minor,

vasodilator that increases cerebral blood flow

activated charcoal capsules

bath: baking soda or sauna

diet: carbo loading

Herbal remedies:


Calendula succus

Licorice root

Milk thistle flowerhead


Single herbs:

Butcher’s broom

Butterbur root Petadolex

Green nutrient sources of cholorphyll:

Porphyra-zyme by BIOTICS

Cholorphyll liquid or gel caps


Also helpful:

Anti-oxidants such as selenium & zinc


Copper 4 mg.—pro-copper SOD mimetic lignand

by Cardiovacular Research

Charcoal tablets to bind porphyrin precursors in GI tract

Zymetec by AMNI containing bromelain, papain, trypsin,

chymotrypsin, bioflavanoids, vit C, zinc, manganese


Homeopathic mixes:

ALA mix by Heron Herbals

ammonium causticum 30C

aconitum napellus 30c

chrysanthemem cinerar. 30C

Porphyria mix by Heron Herbals

ammonium muriaticum 200X

zincum met. 200X

chromicum acidum 30C

single homeopathics:

calc. phos. 200C

benzinum 12C

plumbum met. 30C

cobaltum met. 30C

zincum mur. 30C

In addition to treating the porphyria condition, it is important to detox the triggering substance: ingested pesticide, inhaled perfume or inhaled diesel fumes, for example. Remember there are 3,750 possible triggering substances, so the following three examples must be tailored to each individual case.

Sample Protocol for Ingested Pesticide Detox:

Take hourly until no longer tests positive using kinesiology, energy scanning, or O ring test:

Similia homeopathic #74 pesticide formula take 5 to 10 drops under tongue

Heron Herbals Milk Thistle Flowerhead Formula to clear

organochlorides 20 to 50 drops

Detox Factors by Tyler or Oxystat by NF Formulas to provide nutrients

for detoxification take 1 cap/tab

L-cysteine HCL amino acid take one

Milk thistle seed/Thisilyn or SLF by NF Formulas take 1

Heron Herbals Bentonite Clay with Juniper Berry Essential Oil

take 10 drops in water

Sample Protocol for Inhaled Perfume Detox:

Take every 10–15 minutes until no longer tests positive using kinesiology, energy scanning, or O ring test:

ALA homeopathic mix by Heron Herbals

take 5–10 drops under tongue

vinpocetine 10 mg. take 1

niacin (time-release) 500 mg. take 1

pro-copper 4 mg. mimetic lignand from CVR take 1

activated charcoal 250 mg. take 1

Zymetec bromelain-enzyme combo from AMNI

Vitamin E with mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols 400 mg. take 1

Bilberry 100:1 80 mg.:200 mg. grape by Jarrow

Heron Herbals Lavender Formula to clear brain

take 10 to 30 drops

Therebentine sea pine essential oil sniff

Rose essential oil rub atlas

After acute symptoms subside add as they test:


Chlorella or spirulina


Sample Protocol for Inhaled Diesel Fumes Detox:

Take hourly until no longer test positive using kinesiology, energy scanning, or O ring test:

Homeopathic benzinum 12C OR petroleum 15C take 2 under tongue

Sniff black birch essential oil

Heron Herbals Milk Thisle Leaf Formula

take 80 drops to clear hydrocarbons

Milk thistle seed extract capsules take 3

Detox factors by Tyler or Oxystat by NF Formulas to supply

nutrients for detoxification take 1

B6 100 mg. Take 1

Folate 800 mg. Take 1

Red clover extract take 80 drops to clear blood stream

Vitamin E succinate 400 IU take 1

Heron Herbals Bentonite with Juniper Berry Essential Oil

take 10 drops in water

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