Mauve is the colour of my true love's hair...

28 Feb 2015 5:15 PMChristine Barnes

....or why I rarely use the Mauve Factor test.


I believe the reason for a patient to pay money to take a test is that it helps to advance the patient's treatment. Otherwise, why bother?


The Mauve Factor test assesses the level of Hydroxyhemoprrolin-2-one (pyrole) - a neurotoxic substance associated with deficiencies in B6 , zinc , biotin etc. A high mauve patient is basically urinating a percentage of these nutrients down the toilet rather than effectively using them in the body. Given that these are really important nutrients, a deficiency can cause all sorts of problems.



Hydroxyhemoprrolin-2-one is often found in high levels in a number of mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and autism.  It is also found at moderate levels in people who are simply suffering from stress of some kind - be that physical or mental or toxic et al. The body is very sensitive to stress and the Mauve Factor results can go up and down depending on how stressful your day has been prior to the test. 





I don't need a test to know that a patient is stressed. I can see that from blood results, from HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis) results, and primarily from simply working through/discussing the case with the patient in clinic. A Mauve Factor test would add nothing to what I can find out through other means.





Unfortunately, some of my fellow practitioners see a positive result for mauve factor and immediately prescribe B6 and Zinc without reference to other tests. This could be short-sighted. I have patients who are not copper toxic and who have tested positive with the mauve factor test. Indeed, I have a few who are really deficient in copper. To prescribe zinc without being aware of the impact on copper levels in such cases would be incorrect.


Rather than mauve factor, a better measure for copper toxicity is through contrasting serum copper with ceruloplasmin and also with tissue mineral level. This link is a very good way of assessing any copper toxicity. The normal range of free copper in healthy people varies according to labs, but if the result is under 10 you are well within a commonly accepted range. A high hair tissue mineral level of copper will certainly indicate some form of toxicity - usually copper.






I also have a number of patients who have previously tested positive for Mauve Factor who have not been treated by their former practitioners for their priority problems because I believe the MF result has got in the way of seeing the totality of the case. Major hormonal, toxic, nutritional and psychiatric problems have seemingly been overlooked by jumping too early on the positive MF result when seeking a possible health solution.



Indeed, not looking at the bigger picture is a common problem with both practitioners and patients alike.  Whilst not under-appreciating the role of copper toxicity, there are some copper toxic pyroluric/mauve factor positive sufferers who seem to be convinced that a reduction in free copper to normal levels would solve their many serious problems. I suggest one needs a more holistic view when dealing with bigger picture items that might include cancer, gut imbalances, heavy metal toxicity, adrenal fatigue, poor nutrition/absorption, thyroid issues, lifestyle difficulties etc.


I have noticed a few mauve factor positive contributors in online forums have been using the levels of their mauve factor results as a proof (or otherwise) of their improvement (or otherwise) in their health. Given that the figure can go up and down so easily depending on the immediate stress of your surroundings, I would suggest that the movement in levels indicates not a great deal in overall health - other than the movement from being in one state of stress to a different state of stress.


In summary, if tests don't advance the health of the patient or the understanding of the practitioner in helping the patient, I can see no reason for them. I'd rather rely on blood tests, HTMA, and the very traditional in-clinic assessment of patient by the practitioner which still works despite the ever increasing multitude of available tests. In other words, if its as obvious as the colour of the hair on your head, why test ?