Les prompts partages de Christophe
L’intolérance à l’histamine : voilà un sujet centrale dans l’univers du syndrome de l’intestin irritable, ou plutôt du syndrome du tube digestif irritable devrait-on plutôt dire. Car ce qui se passe dans l’intestin est très lié à ce qui se passe… dans la bouche et l’estomac. On parle de plus en plus de santé de la bouche et des gencives et de flore buccale, en lien avec l’intestin et le microbiote.
C’est l’un des messages que je développe actuellement, mais ce n’est pas le seul :
De très nombreux paramètres interviennent dans la santé intestinale, et l’un d’entre eux, notre statut en fer et en cuivre, semble plus important que ce que l’on pensait auparavant. Avoir peu de fer et pas assez d’hémoglobine est un souci, certes. Les médecins parlent souvent des méfaits de l’anémie. Mais on s’aperçoit que l’inverse est courant, très courant même, et que cela pose un sacré problème : le fer est en effet un puissant pro-inflammatoire. Mais ce n’est celui que contient l’hémoglobine qui pose problème, mais celui contenu dans nos cellules, au sein de petites poches appelées labile iron pool, sortes de « réserves » de fer au sein de quasiment toutes nos cellules, que l’on mesure par la ferritine. Même chose pour le cuivre. Ce n’est pas celui intra-erythrocytaire qui pose problème, transporté par la céruloplasmine, mais celui intra-cellulaire. Or ce n’est pas dans les cellules que l’on a besoin de fer et de cuivre, mais dans notre hémoglobine : c’est notamment de ce fer et ce cuivre là que dépend la fabrication d’enzymes fondamentales à la vie puisque garant du processus de réparation et de défense cellulaire : le glutathion, la SOD et la catalase.
Cette approche, passionnante, est celle de Morley Robbins, un chimiste américain dont on parle de plus en plus sur le net.
Voici quelques mots explicatifs rapportés, entre autres, du forum Histamine et salycilate https://www.facebook.com/groups/256905351394928/permalink/419639275121534/?comment_id=419672681784860¬if_id=1514219487281596¬if_t=group_comment_follow
Morley Robbins : une des choses que j’apprends est que les symptômes de beaucoup de personnes sont une manifestation de l’intolérance à l’histamine . C’est fascinant quand vous commencez à y entrer.
Qu’est-ce qui permet aux histamines de s’accumuler dans le corps ? Eh bien, les mastocytes augmentent l’état interne quand il n’y a pas de magnésium et de cuivre biodisponibles. Ce sont les deux conditions qui sont nécessaires pour faire plus de mastocytes. Intéressant !
Et où les histamines sont-elles stockées? Principalement, dans les mastocytes. Ainsi, les personnes qui ont une faible teneur en magnésium et une faible teneur en cuivre ont tendance à être très sensibles à leur environnement, sensibles à leur nourriture, sensibles au stress. Et qu’est-ce que ça déclenche ? Et bien ça déclenche la libération d’histamines.
Maintenant, voici la partie intéressante. Quelles sont les enzymes nécessaires pour décomposer les histamines ? Il y en a trois :
-DAO diamine oxydase
-MAO, monoamine oxydase
– HNMT, histamine N-méthyltransférase
Tous les trois ont besoin de magnésium, de cuivre et de B6 pour fonctionner.
Donc, si vous avez une faible teneur en magnésium et que vous avez une faible teneur en cuivre (parce que vous êtes riche en fer), vous allez droit vers les hyper-réactivités à l’histamine. Comment amplifier ces réactivités jusqu’au paroxysme ? Encore le fer ! Et devinez ce que produisent les histamines ? Peroxyde d’hydrogène. Et devinez ce qui se passe quand le fer se mélange avec le peroxyde d’hydrogène ? C’est ce qu’on appelle la réaction de Fenton. Et quand vous mélangez du fer avec du peroxyde d’hydrogène, cela crée le radical hydroxyle . Quel est le radical hydroxyle? C’est le produit chimique le plus destructeur du corps humain. Et où il y a-t-il le plus de fer ? Dans le foie, cet organe centrale pour la santé humaine, qui réalise plus de 100 fonctions à la seconde !
Peut être commencez-vous à mieux comprendre ce qui se passe chez certaines personnes, qui passent dans une sorte d’état constant d’hypersensibilités multiples, que certains appellent les « canaris de la modernité ». Etonnament ceux-ci ne sont (légèrement) améliorés uniquement que par des cures de plantes hépatiques, notamment de Chardon-Marie, pour ne pas la nommer.
Quand vous lisez un article sur le stress oxydatif, ce qui vous perturbe dans le premier paragraphe, c’est la façon dont le stress oxydatif influence les protéines, les nucléotides et l’ADN du radical hydroxyle. Chaque article en parlera. Cela provoquera des cassures à simple brin, des cassures à double brin. Cela causera des dommages de l’ADN.
Et ce que je trouve fascinant c’est ce qui concerne les enzymes de réparation de l’ADN. Il y en a trois qui sont vraiment importants : les l’ADN ligase un, deux et trois. Ils réparent les gènes. Le remorquage répare les ruptures à simple brin. Le « trois » répare les cassures à double brin. Ces trois enzymes sont dépendantes du magnésium.
Donc, si vous avez trop de fer, vous n’aurez pas assez de magnésium, vos enzymes de réparation ne fonctionneront pas. Et ainsi vous allez avoir ces défauts dans la réparation elle-même de votre ADN, c’est la dire la réplication correcte de vos cellules.
Voici une interview de Morley Robbins, devenu outre-atlantique, un des champions de la supplémentation en magnésium, mais également dans tout ce qui permet d’améliorer la fabrication de nos enzymes cellulaires antioxydantes : glutathion, SOD, catalase. Il répond aux questions de Wendy Myers, blogueuse californienne spécialisée dans la nutrition, la minéralisation et la « détox ».
- 01:12 About Morley Robbins
- 04:03 Rethinking Iron
- 15:54 Iron Toxicity and Methylation
- 18:15 Low Ceruloplasmin
- 25:56 Copper and Iron
- 30:10 “Iron-Poor” Blood
- 31:27 Getting the Right Iron Panel
- 35:14 Magnesium and Iron
- 43:37 Gluten Sensitivity and Iron-Toxicity
- 47:16 Unloading Iron Toxicity
- 53:54 Histamine Intolerance
- 57:25 MTHFR
- 59:38 Low Ferritin Levels
- 62:18 Ideal Ferritin Range
- 66:06 Iron and Infections
- 70:32 Final Advice
- 75:19 Red Meat
- 83:38 Liver Toxicity and Anger
- 92:18 Where to Find Morley Robbins
Wendy Myers: Hello. Welcome to the Live to 110 Podcast. My name is Wendy Myers and you can find me on my website, Liveto110.com and on my new website, MineralPower.com. That’s my healing and detox program.
If you are suffering from low energy, from brain fog, from chronic illness, you have trouble losing weight, toxins are inevitably contributing to those problems. You have to detox your body. And that includes customizing supplements to your body chemistry, taking the minerals that your body needs and essentially detoxing body, doing that with targeted supplements based on what toxins you have in your body, using infrared saunas and a lot of the methods and diet and lifestyle changes that I recommend and talk about on the Live to 110 Podcast. Go check out my program at MineralPower.com.
Wendy Myers: Our guest today is Morley Robbins. He is known as the magnesium man. We are going to be rethinking iron today. A lot of people are mistakenly told that they need to be supplementing iron if they have low ferritin levels or if they are anemic.
We are going to be talking about the problems with that and why everyone today is so toxic with iron and how they become more and more toxic with iron as they age, the testing you can do to cess out your actual iron status and why iron toxicity is one of the leading underlying causes of chronic illnesses, oxidative stress and inflammation.
Please keep in mind that this program is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or health condition and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. The Live to 110 Podcast is solely informational in nature. Please consult your health care practitioner before engaging in anything that we suggest today on the show.
Our guest, Morley Robbins is the Founder of the Magnesium Advocacy Group at GotMAG.org. That’s his website. It’s an NFP organization which is dedicated to educate the public and health professionals about the central role that magnesium metabolism plays in the human body.
He has been actively serving the healthcare field for the last 35 years both as a healthcare consultant and as a hospital executive.
Prior to becoming a wellness coach, Mr. Robbins served as a principal in several national healthcare consulting firms with the primary emphasis on strategy, market development and creating consumer-driven organizations.
Since entering the world of wellness, Mr. Robbins has completed the WellCoaches Training for becoming a wellness coach and has completed the year-long curriculum with the Institute for Integrated Nutrition in New York to serve as a health counselor or a health coach.
He is devoting his professional attention to being a Health Futurist and delivers lifestyle programs to wellness interventions designed to enable individuals and communities to attain healthier futures. He will be preaching to others what he has practiced for the last 30 years.
Mr. Robbins received a BA in Biology from Denison University in Ohio and holds an MBA from George Washington University in Healthcare Administration with additional concentrations in Finance and Marketing Management.
He can be reached online at morley@MagnesiumMan.com. And you can also gain additional information about the importance of mineral balancing by visiting his YouTube channel.
Morley, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
Morley Robbins: Thanks for having. I am looking forward to this conversation.
Wendy Myers: So our show is titled Rethinking Iron. That’s a pretty provocative title. Are you suggesting that we might have this entire issue with iron wrong? A lot of doctors out there are saying that a lot of people are iron deficient and we need to supplement with iron. What is your take on it?
Morley Robbins: Oh my, here we go. Alright! Yes, it’s all backwards. You and I have had several conversations in the past and this has been a long time in the making.
I’ve been doing this work now for about seven years. And it was only about nine months ago that I began to understand what was going on with iron. And as you know, I have this passionate affair with magnesium and I’ve had a lot of pleasure with that.
And a lot of my clients have trouble restoring their magnesium status for years. I could never figure it out. And then about nine months ago, I was reading an article by an Italian iron researcher who referred to the subject in a very different way. I knew and we both know that stress causes magnesium loss.
That’s one the great axioms and that was certainly studied extensively by Hans Selye and others. But I never really thought about iron until this iron researcher referred that the greatest stress in the human body is from iron stress. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh!” And so, all the tumblers began to fall into place.
And then, I started to look at the iron issue with a very different perspective. You and I had earlier conversations about copper and then ceruloplasmin, which is the enzyme that makes copper usable. Well, when you really get into the nitty-gritty of why the body has ceruloplasmin, one of the principal reasons for it is it enables the transport and usability of iron.
And it’s an amazing concept when you get into it. But this topic of ceruloplasmin is not uppermost on most practitioners’ mind. In fact, very few that I know of, even know what it is, much less measure it or know what to do with it.
And as I began to really get into it, I started to realize that there is a tremendous amount of confusion about iron and about what anemia is. And I think it’s led to a lot of misdiagnosis and mistreatment worldwide. This isn’t just downstream. This is everywhere.
And what’s interesting is starting about 1860 was when they first really started understanding what anemia was. And it had a very precise meaning in terms of low levels of hemoglobin and low levels of hematocrit. That was the exact origin of the concept of anemia.
But it was also well understood from 1860 to about 1870 that when someone was anemic that that meant that they had low bioavailable copper because every facet of red blood cell metabolism is copper-dependent.
Let me give you an example.
So the signal to produce a red blood cell originates in the adrenal gland and it’s the hormone erythropoietin that gets made there and signals the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. You can’t make that hormone without bioavailable copper.
Then once that signal is received in the bone marrow, it starts to make heme, the heme protein. You can’t make heme protein unless you have bioavailable copper.
And the origin of hemoglobin is the protoporphyrin ring. We can’t put four heme together unless you have bioavailable copper. Then the rate-limiting step of making hemoglobin is called ferrochelatase enzyme. And that’s the enzyme that actually serves as a crane to drop the iron into the protoporphyrin ring to create hemoglobin. And ferrochelatase doesn’t work unless you have available copper.
And then you monitor the viability of this process and the red blood cell is monitored by heme oxygenase. Guess what? You got to have copper to do that too.
So, every facet of red blood cell metabolism is dependent on copper. And that’s what they know from 1860 to about 1970, that hemoglobin is off the copper zone. And that was considered the engine of red blood cell metabolism because that’s where the action is. That makes the hemoglobin to provide oxygen so that the cell can make some ATP. It’s really important to have oxygen to do that.
In 1972, a British team published some research about the ferritin protein. And ferritin is supposed to be in the spleen. It is in the bone marrow and it’s in the liver. But it also shows up in the blood.
And what they did is they put the spotlight on ferritin in the blood. And it made it very clear in this early literature that it was supposed to just be a small amount. And suddenly, it began to get twisted and distorted and now we got people trying to get their ferritin up into the low 100s, which is utter insanity.
And that’s what it was for about 40 years until a physiologist from University of Manchester—his name is Douglas B. Kell. He’s PhD physiologist in England who is recently knighted for his work. And he has been putting the spotlight on ferritin and just how toxic it is inside the body.
In fact, one of his signature articles is called Iron Misbehaving Badly. And so when someone publishes an article of some substance, you would expect it to be about 10 or 12 pages long and have maybe 100 citations. His article, his particular article is about 14 pages long, but it has 2400 citations.
Wendy Myers: A little OCD. We want that in our researchers.
Morley Robbins: Exactly, absolutely, we want OCD. And what’s interesting about it is he is making a very clear statement that not only does medicine have it wrong, they have it dead wrong and that ferritin is a storage protein and when it shows up in the blood, it’s a sign of damaged tissue.
And what most people probably don’t know is that each molecule of ferritin can hold up to 4500 atoms of iron. That’s a lot of iron. And I don’t know how much ferritin is in a unit of measurement, but when people start to get up into the hundreds, it gets to be a really serious problem. And the body doesn’t work right when it gets too high.
And so the analogy that I use is that many of us drive cars, many of us have had engine trouble with our cars. And when we have that happen, we take it to a mechanic. We expect the mechanic to open up the hood and look at the engine—not run around to the trunk and start measuring the size of the trunk.
And that’s what happened to medicine today around this whole issue of iron. They are completely ignoring the engine, which is called hemoglobin. They are completely ignoring the oil, which I call ceruloplasmin. And all they are doing is obsessing about how big is your trunk. And I think it’s painfully absurd. And it is causing a lot of misery around the world.
Morley Robbins: And I know it is causing a lot of symptoms because most people that I work with—I am not sure what your experience is—but most people in my neck of the woods are convinced that they are “anemic,” and that they need more iron, when in fact, as we get into both the hair test and the blood test, it is very clear that they are iron-toxic.
And what’s beginning to pop on the MAG group now is—I think it has happened twice, maybe three times now—people who were convinced that they were iron anemic start doing the mother nature protocol to increase ceruloplasmin, and suddenly the gates open up and the iron starts flooding out and their ferritin starts popping up and the serum iron starts popping up and their saturation starts popping up. And doctors are baffled by it.
One MAG-pie, I had this happen. She met with the doctor to go over the numbers from the panel that I had put together because the doctor never thought to do this. And he’s like, “Wow! Your iron is really coming up. That’s great. So what kind of iron are you taking?” She said, “I’m not taking the iron.” She said, “I’m taking the co-factors, but I am not taking the iron.”
He goes, “You are not taking any iron at all?” She goes, “Well, I am having liver occasionally, but that actually has more copper than iron.” And he got this really puzzled look on his face and he goes to his computer and says, “Patient takes iron to increase iron.”
So, he falsified the record. He knowingly falsified the record.
And what I learned from another MAG-pie who had something similar to her happen, she said that the doctor actually revealed why he did that. It’s because he said he wouldn’t get paid for the office visit if he didn’t have a statement that would comply with their protocol. So doctors are paid to give people iron to make the iron go up when, in fact, they are iron-toxic.
Morley Robbins: So, I think the level of confusion around this is staggering and it affects just about every condition that you know of, not the least of which is thyroid disease. And the whole MTHFR psychodrama is all triggered by too much iron in the liver.
What’s MTHFR all about? Methylation. People don’t have a good methylation pattern. Wonder why they don’t have god methylation patterns.
When you have low ceruloplasmin, as most people are experiencing, the target number is 35 milligrams per deciliter. Most people are between 18 and 22, which means they are about 40% low. A fever is a 4% differential. Most people have a 10 times the fever differential in their ceruloplasmin. And their body knows is, so their body is not working right.
When ceruloplasmin is too low, the body is forced to store iron. It’s not like, “Well, it’s Thursday and I think I’ll store a little bit of iron.” It’s like, “No, it must store iron.” It’s an absolute physiological necessity because the body knows it can’t mobilize that iron, it can’t use that iron because it doesn’t have ceruloplasmin.
And when the iron starts to build up in the liver, starts to change the pH of the liver, starts to change the level of oxygen in the liver, starts to change the performance of the liver, what is curious is when there’s too much iron in the liver, you can’t make ceruloplasmin. And it’s curious that there are 200 methlytransferase enzymes in the liver and guess what they require? Bioavailable copper. So isn’t that interesting?
So, if there’s too much iron, that means there’s not enough copper. And then you don’t have methlytransferase enzymes. And so then there are all sorts of problems that ensue.
Wendy Myers: Let’s go back to the basics. Why do people have low ceruloplasmin?
Morley Robbins: The biggest reason why people have low ceruloplasmin is because they take vitamin D. That’s the absolute reason.
So, what ceruloplasmin does is it doesn’t allow—what happens is when you take olive oil—excuse me, let me back up. When you take synthetic vitamin D as a supplement, that puts tremendous stress on the liver and the liver runs on retinol. Retinol is vitamin A. Retinol is very different than beta-carotine. They are not even close to being the same.
And keep in mind that our heart is 100%muscle, but our liver is 100% fat. And if you take the liver, you were to squish it out so that it’s one cell in height, it would cover seven football fields. It is a pretty dense organ, but it loves fat. It especially loves vitamin A.
And when you have too much D only supplements, it chases the A out. And vitamin A and retinoic acids are an absolute necessity to make ceruloplasmin.
Another reason why you would have low ceruloplasmin is there’s not enough magnesium. Magnesium is very important in the production of ceruloplasmin. You don’t have enough copper. The American diet is very hard on certain minerals. As you know, one of them is copper.
And in order to absorb copper, you got to have fat in the diet. Do you know anybody who’s on the low fat diet? Most of the people in your practice! Most people have been trained to be terrified of fat. And you can’t absorb copper unless you have fat. So there are a number of reasons.
Another is that high fructose corn syrup is very hard on the liver, and it really throws imbalance in the liver if you have low levels of copper and too much iron.
Calcium, a lot of people take calcium supplements. That’s very destructive to this process. It disrupts the production of ceruloplasmin.
Wendy Myers: Vitamin C as well, ascorbic acid.
Morley Robbins: Ascorbic acid, absolutely. I think there’s still a lot of confusion around that. “Oh gosh!”
Linus Pauling did ascorbic acid. I happened to know someone who is in his living room and I asked him, “What exactly are you taking?” It wasn’t ascorbic acid. It was right from the horse’s mouth.
So, I don’t believe all of this hype about “Linus Pauling did this or Linus Pauling did that.” But what I do know is that there is a material difference between ascorbic acid, which is the shell and the whole food vitamin C, which has an enzyme tyrosinase at the core. Inside the tyrosinase enzyme is a three-sided pyramid. And at the points of that pyramid is a copper atom. So there are four copper atoms inside that tyrosinase molecule. That’s absolutely essential for making ceruloplasmin.
So, the body that can’t make it then becomes iron-toxic. And what happens is as the iron builds, magnesium drops. As the magnesium drops, inflammation starts to build. And it is very clear that there’s a relationship between the concept of inflammation, it’s called chronic inflammation and there’s even a classification called the anemia of chronic inflammation.
And I think what is happening is many people are being classified as anemic because their ferritin is low, which is not the right molecule or not the right marker to use. But it has been used with prevalence.
And it’s showing up low and then people are getting iron supplements, getting iron infusions and it’s throwing the body into an absolute […].
I’ve got a client in Stuttgart, Germany who’s 34 years old. She was deemed anemic by her internist. She got two infusions. It went south very quickly after those infusions. And she started to have night sweats—I mean dripping night sweats.
And then she went to change the bed after a week of this taking place. She pulled back and she noticed that the mattress cover was bright red where she had been lying. And then she realized that that was the iron coming out of her sweat.
So, it really begs the question. So what are the hot flushes? What are hot flushes when you have a menopause? Is that the body still trying to get rid of iron? And she’s been doing the protocol and she has had an amazing recovery because of that.
And I got another client in Los Angeles. A week before she was set to deliver, the doctor, they do blood test before the due date. They discovered that she was “anemic” and gave her an iron infusion. She almost died and the baby is a hot mess now because of that iron.
And so I guess maybe I’m trying to do is the sound of a bell here. The people really need to step back and rethink what this whole mineral is all about.
Probably the best analogy that I can come up with is everyone is probably seen a ventriloquist act. Our parents grew with Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen and a lot of notable ventriloquists out there.
And everyone loves the dummy because the dummy is very funny and the dummy is doing all sorts of funny things with their hand. And they are yammering away and we are just launching our heads off. And we start to ignore the comedian who is making it all possible.
Wendy Myers: Is that a big pharma doctor analogy where the doctor is the dummy?
Morley Robbins: Yeah, the dummy is the doctor. But inside our body, the dummy is iron and copper is the comedian.
What you will find is that in every iron enzyme, there is either copper or vitamin C or ceruloplasmin hiding in the background.
And they don’t like to talk about that. You have to really dig to find it. But it is an absolute fact that iron can’t do diddly without copper.
So think of it this way. You, I’m sure, have worked in a building (or maybe you do work in a building) that has steel girders. And these steel girders are made of iron that’s been made into steel with some carbon added. Do they use that iron to transport electricity around the building? Or do they use copper wires?
Wendy Myers: Copper wires.
Morley Robbins: Yes. That’s what the human body is. We have iron sulfur clusters that are very instrumental in different functions of our mitochondria and other aspects of our body. But we don’t use iron to transmit electricity and energy. It is all about copper.
And we have fascia from the tip of our toes and the top of our heads that’s made by a copper-dependent enzyme called lysyl oxidase. It’s an energy grid in the body.
The nerve covering, the covering around the nerves is a myelin sheath. That myelin sheath must be made with lysyl oxidase, which is copper-dependent. There’s no iron there. Iron doesn’t play any metabolic role?
And so I think a lot of the research has become distorted to make iron out to be this metabolic hero when, in fact, I think it’s more structural and it is absolutely dependent on copper in order to make anything happen.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Clearly, the body is extremely complicated like you are discussing with iron metabolism and issues too simplistic […] measures your ferritin levels. And it’s low. “Well, then take iron and fix the problem.” There’s no way. The body is far, far more complex.
Morley Robbins: That’s exactly right. And what’s frightening is the sheer simplicity with which they approach these complicated problems.
And I think that thyroid is pretty complicated. I think you would agree with that. I think vitamin D metabolism is complicated. It took me about 18 months to figure out vitamin D metabolism. And then when I started to get into it, I was like, “Whoa!” And then it has taken almost a year to really begin to understand what this whole dynamic is around iron.
And I truly believe we’ve got it backwards. I truly believe we need to rethink how we think about it, how we measure it and how we interpret those results, particularly with the need to have the Rosetta Stone.
The Rosetta Stone from understanding iron metabolism is called ceruloplasmin because if you don’t know what the ceruloplasmin level is, you cannot interpret an iron panel.
One of my clients over in Spain, she was going to get the iron panel and she specifically asked for the ceruloplasmin from the technician. He’s like, “Oh, this is interesting.” He says, “Very rarely that anyone would ever ask for that.” And he said, “Whoever came up with this panel really understands iron metabolism.”
There’s no pride of authorship here, but it’s very clear what the literatures say. If you don’t know what ceruloplasmin is, you don’t really understand what iron is doing in the body.
I think that’s one of the most important messages for people to get from this conversation. There are some fundamental blood markers that people need to have an understanding of before they start popping iron supplements or start getting iron infusions because I think it is completely off-base without that understanding.
Wendy Myers: Let’s talk about the testing that people should be getting a correct iron panel because most physicians, as you say, if they suspect you have fatigue or anemia, they will just check the ferritin. What should they actually be testing? And if you can’t get it from the doctor, where can you go?
Morley Robbins: Yeah. Real quick digression on iron poor blood. I grew up with—maybe you didn’t because you were still young and all that. I’m an old guy.
But in the 1950s, there was a product called Geritol. You probably have heard of it. And it was presented as what to take when you had “iron poor blood.” As soon as that company promoted that product, they were taken to court because it was an absolute lie that iron would improve the vitality of the individual.
It took 10 years for the courts to resolve that, and it was eventually decided that they had to take the ads off the air. But in that decade, they had already sealed the deal. And now everyone thinks, “Oh I’m tired. I need more iron.” That’s the origin. It was the early 1950s.
Morley Robbins:: So how do you test for it? What I started to focus on are eight different markers. I do a magnesium RBC, red blood cell measurement of magnesium. I do a plasma zinc and a serum copper and a serum ceruloplasmin.
And then I look at the iron side of the house, and I look at serum transferrin. I look at serum iron levelin the blood. I look at TIBC, total iron binding capacity, which when you divide the serum iron by the TIBC, you will get the percent saturation. And then the last thing I look for is ferritin.
Many doctors will do the iron side of the panel. Invariably, when people ask for the magnesium RBC, they will get back serum magnesium, which I bet out of a thousand people who have ordered it, maybe 10 have gotten it done right. I think it must be the labs that just revert to the serum measurement.
And the reason why I look at the zinc and copper is I don’t buy into this confusion about zinc and copper. Oh, my gosh! But it’s important to see how iron is affecting the zinc status in the blood particularly the plasma.
And very often, people will present with low zinc. And many people will even think that they have pyroluria because of a loss of zinc when, in fact, that’s not the case at all.
What is pyroluria? It is dysfunctional red blood cell metabolism principally because ferrochelatase is not doing its job to put iron into the center of the protoporphyrin. And why is that not happening? That’s because there’s not enough bioavailable copper.
So, that’s why it is important to really understand the different components of the blood test. And if people are not able to get that from their physician—or as I like to refer to them as the favorite mineral denialist—they can order it from Request a Test. If you go into the website, there is an index over to the left that says, “Test packages.” Go there.
And then there’s an alphabet menu in the center. Go for the letter M for Maggie and there is a magnesium copper zinc panel with iron panel. That’s the one that people aren’t getting.
It costs $179. I want folks to understand that 100% of that goes to the lab. I don’t see any part of that. I probably should raise the rates and skim off some, but I don’t think like that. But the cost is $179 and that gives people a lot of the insight.
And I often want people to do a hair test to get a broad array of the minerals so we can put that blood test in the context of what’s also going on overall inside the body. But particularly for people who are having issues with their iron, that’s the panel that seems to have the best impact for understanding what’s going on.
Wendy Myers: And so let’s talk about the 30 articles you have written over the last years or so on iron toxicity. And you post these in your MAG Facebook group, the Magnesium Advocacy Group, which has over 50,000 members which the listeners can join if they like. There are lots of good info and knowledge with people in there.
So let’s talk about what you have written about in the articles, which is the connection between magnesium and iron.
Morley Robbins: Yeah. I have actually just written number 35. And we are coming up on 58,000 members.
Wendy Myers: Wow.
Morley Robbins: So what have I learned? What I would invite folks to do is take a piece of paper and draw a big giant X on it. And the line that’s coming down is magnesium status from cradle to grave.
As we age, we deal with more stress and we lose more magnesium. It’s pretty straightforward.
When we’re 16 and we break up with our boyfriend or our girlfriend, “Oh, it’s the end of the world,” and it’s always stressful. But when we are in our 60s, our spouse dies or our parents die or there are some economic crises in our life, that’s a different magnesium burn rate. So there is an acceleration of magnesium loss.
But the line going up is iron status, cradle to grave. And every day we are on this planet, we are adding iron in our body—and they forgot to tell us that.
There is a lot of iron needed for the first 10 to 12 years of life as we are developing bones and getting our infrastructure under way. But after that point, we are adding iron.
And we happened to live in one of the most toxic countries in the world because they have been adding iron to our food since 1941. It’s like, “I didn’t now that.” It’s called “iron-enriched,” but the only people who are only getting enriched are the pharmaceutical firms.
But the point is that the iron was added in 1941. They’re not adding any organic iron. They are adding iron filings. It causes rust immediately.
Wendy Myers: It’s literally chips, like little micro iron chips. Our bodies can’t absorb that.
Morley Robbins:No, not at all. Our bodies store it, but don’t absorb it.
And so in 1972, the FDA sought to increase the amount of iron by 100%. And 37 scientists from around the world came to Washington DC to testify and basically said, “What are you trying to do? Kill them?” And so they backed off magnanimously and they only increased it by 50%.
And then in the 1980s, they added something called high fructose corn syrup. What does that do? Well, high fructose corn syrup has the unique ability to lower copper levels in the liver and increase iron levels in the liver. It is not the right direction to go in.
And then in the 1990s, what did they do? They added GMO, the GMO pesticides. And what do they do? The exact same thing that high fructose syrup does.
So we have this toxic load of iron being added to our body. And it builds year by year. And it especially builds in guys’ bodies. Women have a biological advantage because you have a monthly blood loss.
Wendy Myers: Yehey, for once.
Morley Robbins: Yeah, that’s right. Absolutely. Women live longer for two reasons. One, they are smarter and they have monthly blood loss.
Actually, it was a cardiologist by the name of Jerome Sullivan who figured that out in medical school. He’s sitting in class one day and said, “Wow! This must be why…” And he set out to prove that he was right and he changed to cardiology because of his curiosity.
That works great for 40 years for women. And then as soon as they entered menopause, they are adding iron at the same exact rate as men.
What’s changed in the modern era here is that women are adding way too much supplemental iron because they are being crazed about their iron status because their doctor doesn’t know how to interpret a blood test.
And so, there’s a significant uptick in iron levels in people, but it is presented as low iron—again, anemia of chronic inflammation. And when there is too much iron and not enough magnesium, the body will present in a chronically inflamed state.
And in the literature that I am reading, there is a reference to the fact that dietary iron overload acts the same way in the body as an infection. And what is very well-known in the world of iron research is that when the body is under assault by a pathogen, it causes an infection, the body will sequester iron.
That’s exactly what’s happening. People’s bodies are pulling the iron back out of the blood because it senses that there is threat there. It’s acting as though there is an infection. And so that is creating all sorts of confusion.
Morley Robbins: But in terms of some of the insights that I am getting from the articles, basically what the articles are doing is connecting dots for people, helping people understand that it isn’t iron anemia, it is iron toxicity, that every conceivable condition that people have ever heard of is produced by iron-induced oxidative stress.
If the body, and particularly, if the liver, is overwhelmed with iron, it can’t make three key antioxidant enzymes called superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Those are three most important antioxidant enzymes in the body with the exception of ceruloplasmin. And all four of them are dependent on bioavailable copper. Isn’t that interesting?
Wendy Myers: Yeah.
Morley Robbins: And what is even more fascinating is when you find out that the modern antibiotics cause about 40% decrease in the functionality of those antioxidant enzymes. That is a significant event, 50% loss.
So, try picturing a walk without your leg and without your arm. It’s about 40% of your body. And that’s what is happening. People are completely unaware that the medication that they are taking is destroying that function.
And what’s really ironic is that the superoxide dismutase is in fact Mother Nature’s antibiotic. And the reason why people got the infection is they don’t have enough bioavailable copper because they have too much iron in their diet. That’s what’s twisting everything up.
Wendy Myers: Everyone eating gluten and grains and rich gains, hamburgers and anything made with gluten and grains, guess what? You are getting a ton of iron with that every single day. And people are doing that three times a day.
Morley Robbins: That’s right. But the truth of the matter is it was never about gluten. That was all smokescreen. It’s about the iron that they have been adding to the wheat flour.
So you read Bill Davis’s book, Wheat Belly—which is an excellent book. I gobbled that up years ago—there are three parts to the book. And the second part is about the co-morbidities of so called “gluten sensitivity” or “celiac sensitivity.” And there are nine chapters in that second section.
I studied that. I was looking at it and I was like, “Well, eight of the nine are clinical signs of magnesium deficiency.” So when I read that book two or three years ago, whenever it was, I didn’t understand the iron issue. Now, I look at it and go, “That makes perfect sense. It never was about gluten. That’s all smokescreen.” It is about the iron because people with gluten sensitivity and Celiac can go to Europe and they can eat the wheat there.
Wendy Myers: That’s me. That’s me. Why? They don’t enrich the wheat.
Morley Robbins: They don’t enrich the wheat. They refuse to enrich the wheat. And so people need to understand when it says “enriched flour,” that means they are adding iron filings to it. And they have enriched flour in what—like you were saying, hamburger buns, in sandwiches, in pizzas. The list goes on and on and on.
Morley Robbins: Well, my roommate from college, his name is Dave. And I think he was the model that Michelangelo used to make his statue, Dave. This guy is just ripped. He is just incredible. And we are about the same age. He’s 62 or 63.
I saw him at my daughter’s wedding back in October and he was a little less—I said, “You need to get a blood test, man. We got to find out what’s going on.”
So unbeknownst to me, he went back. His wife is a doctor. She’s a radiologist, but she focuses on wellness now. And I haven’t talked to him since that wedding. And then I saw him at my younger son’s wedding just a couple of weeks ago in Colorado, and he had gotten the blood test. Guess what his ferritin was, 705.
Wendy Myers: Oh!
Morley Robbins: The bell start ringing violently at 300. So he’s at 705.
He started to flow my protocol. You start to change your diet obviously when you start to do the protocol, but also to start to get blood. So he started to donate blood and ferritin came down in 40 to 50 point increments.
And then he was reading some of the articles that I was writing. And he says, “Cereal!” He’s been snacking on cereal for years. He cut out the cereal and his ferritin dropped 250 points. That’s what’s killing America. It’s the food that we are eating not knowing that it has been “enriched.”
Wendy Myers:Yeah. So that’s what I want to ask you. It begs the question. How do you get rid of iron and how often should people be bloodletting or giving blood?
Morley Robbins: Great question! Not to imply that all the other questions aren’t great because you always ask good questions.
The research is very clear that people who donate blood live longer than people who don’t donate blood.
Wendy Myers: Oh, I’m going to start donating blood.
Morley Robbins: Yeah. You can do it. The restriction here is you can only do it every 60 days. I think a lot of people who do regularly give blood either do it once a quarter or a couple of times a year. And again, they outlive the people who don’t.
If someone has elevated ferritin, I encourage them to donate blood. I’ve had some clients who have notably elevated blood and they are working with lobotomists to do it on a regular scheduled basis. A lot of people that I am working with have ferritin between 100 and say 250. And so they are just doing the routine every 60 days, donating.
And what’s amazing is how great they feel when they start getting rid of that ferritin. And what you have to do is to go back and read Douglas Kell’s Iron Misbehaving Badly and you’ll run to the blood center. You will never let your ferritin get above 50.
And so people who think that ferritin needs to be up around 100 don’t get it. And that would include most endocrinologists on this planet and most people who are chasing thyroid conditions. And cardiologists prefer to see ferritin between 20 and 50.
So, that’s one of the best ways to get rid of excess iron, blood loss. There are other notable ways. If you want to have some fun, take your boyfriend, spouses, best friend, neighbor, whatever. Take their tools and leave them out on the lawn in the rain. What’s going to happen? They are going to get rusty. And they are going to freak out.
But then what you do is you take a bucket of vinegar and you drop the tools in the bucket of vinegar. Have you ever done that?
Wendy Myers: I have not.
Morley Robbins: You just haven’t lived.
Wendy Myers: I am not very handy. Sorry.
Morley Robbins: You flew off to Hawaii and to Europe and whatever and you are not taking rusty tools and putting them in vinegar? Oh, my gosh! And what happens when you do that is the rust comes off. And it does the exact same thing inside our body.
So drink apple cider vinegar. Maybe take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water and have that at least once a day.
Wendy Myers: My problem is I have stainless steel hammers. I don’t have iron ones.
Morley Robbins: Touché.
Wendy Myers: I like my hammer shining.
Morley Robbins:Yeah, right. So apple cider vinegar is really good. Colostrum has lactoferrin. What does lactoferrin do? Lactoferrin is the enzyme that grabs too much iron out of the digestive tract. It’s very effective.
Another very proven agent is quercetin. It’s a great chelator.
Wendy Myers: The bee pollen, mm-hmmm…
Morley Robbins: Yeah. And there’s an article by Mercola about IP6. It’s also called […] And what is IP6? It’s inositol 6-phosphate. It’s also known as phytic acid.
We’ve been trained—like circus bear—to believe that phytic acid is an anti-nutrient. “It’s a booga-wogga. Oh, you’ve got to be careful,” when in fact, what you take phytic acid away from food, away from other minerals, it will chelate iron out of the body. It’s pretty effective actually.
Yeah, there are a lot of other agents like that that I think that—let’s see what else I was going to say. Oh CoQ1010 would be another one. It can be very effective. There are very interesting properties behind that.
And isn’t it interesting that statins that are used because people’s cholesterol is rising, because they have too much iron in the liver, the statin, what does it do? It kills CoQ10. Isn’t that interesting? So the very agent that could help them lower their cholesterol is removed, so their iron stays high. Those are some pretty proven ways to remove the iron.
What’s also important is to understand that you also need a good base of magnesium because magnesium has proven properties of being an antioxidant as a mineral. And it helps to prevent the oxidative stress that is caused by iron.
It’s just what’s happening in a lot of people’s body is that the balance of power is tipped to iron because most people are magnesium-deficient. And most people are, in my opinion, iron-toxic.
A lot of people agree. They’ll buy the magnesium. They’re like, “I get that. But I’m sure I am iron anemic.” And when you start to get into the literature, then you start to realize that PCOS caused by oxidative stress and just by iron. Ooh, diabetes, that is a buildup of iron in the pancreas.
What’s heart disease? Ooh, it’s iron-induced oxidative stress of the heart muscle. But what is it doing? It is killing the magnesium and B6. That’s what iron loves to do.
Morley Robbins: One of the things that I am learning is that people, a lot of their symptoms are a manifestation of histamine intolerance. It is fascinating when you start to get into it.
So what enables histamines to build up in the body? Well, mast cells increase inner state when there’s no magnesium and low bioavailable copper. Those are the two conditions that are needed to make more mast cells. Interesting!
And where do histamines get stored? Principally, in the mast cells. And so people who are low in magnesium, low in copper tend to be very sensitive—sensitive to their environment, sensitive to their food, sensitive to stress. And what does it trigger? It triggers the release of histamines.
Now, here is the interesting part. What are the enzymes that are needed to break down histamines? There are three—DAO diamine oxidase, MAO, monoamine oxidase and HNMT, histamine N-methyltransferase . Wow! Isn’t that interesting? All three of them require magnesium, copper and B6 in order to work.
So, if you are low in magnesium and you are low in copper (because you are high in iron), you are going to have a histamine nightmare. And guess what whips up histamines into a frenzy? Iron! And guess what histamines produce? Hydrogen peroxide. And guess what happens when iron mixes with hydrogen peroxide? It’s called the Fenton reaction , F-E-N-T-O-N. Put a hyphen between “Fe” and the “nton” so you recognize iron there.
And when you mix iron with hydrogen peroxide, it creates the hydroxyl radical. What’s the hydroxyl radical? It is the most destructive chemical in the human body? Maybe that’s what’s building up in the liver causing these digs to the DNA.
When you read any article on oxidative stress, what they will trouble you with in the first paragraph is how oxidative stress causes impact to the proteins, the nucleotides and the DNA from the hydroxyl radical. Every article will talk about it! And it will cause single strand breaks, double strand breaks. It will cause damage to the DNA.
And what I find fascinating about all that is where all the repair enzymes are. Well, there are three that are really important. There’s DNA ligase one, DNA ligase two and DNA ligase three. One repairs the genes. Tow repairs the single strand breaks. And three repairs the double strand breaks. All three of those enzymes are magnesium-dependent.
So, if you’ve got too much iron, you are not going to have enough magnesium, your repair enzymes aren’t going to work. And so you are going to get these defects.
Morley Robbins: And what I think is questionable now and I am going to sound like an absolute [headache] is I am beginning to wonder if these MTHFR transcription errors are really proving it.
Or—this is going to sound really bizarre, people are going to go, “Oh, what is he talking about?”—could it be that when you get a lot of iron together, it becomes magnetic?
The liver builds up with iron. Could the liver be causing the genes to be improperly structured because of the magnetic field that’s being created? What’s the magnetic field? If you change the magnetic field of the liver, would these gene expressions be changing? I don’t know. I think it’s a bizarre question to ask.
But what I do know is that one of my mentors—he’s a very gifted physician, MD, PhD who trained at NIH. I actually had a chance to meet with Dr. Watson of Watson & [Crick]? And in their conversation, [Res] asked Dr. Watson, he said, “I just have one question. Could you please tell me more about the immutable nature of genes?”
Dr. Watson burst into laughter and he said, “Oh Res, that’s not how genes work. That’s for the little people. They’re flipping on and off all the time.”
That conversation took place in the early ’80s. So I am beginning to question all of this full rant about the transcription errors because very few people that I know of have really gotten better by following these very provocative protocols that aren’t correcting the source of the problem which is excess iron in the liver.
Those are some ways to get rid of the iron. I hope that answers your question.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, absolutely. I’m also going to ask. People have low ferritin, can they donate blood as well? What is your advice surrounding that? Should they be correcting their magnesium-copper status first if they have really low ferritin levels? How does that work?
Morley Robbins: You’re on a roll. So I tend to be very conservative. Any time there’s ferritin at least over a hundred, I encourage them to donate blood. If it’s below 50, but they have no issues that I suspect are related to iron dysregulation, what I do is encourage them to do the protocol. And what we’re finding now—again, it’s only two or three people where it’s been documented. The numbers are beginning to pop up, and it’s clear that they need to then donate.
So, again, if there isn’t ceruloplasmin, the liver won’t let go of it. You must have ceruloplasmin to have ovalization of the iron.
When you get into the literature, what you’re going to find is that the word “ceruloplasmin” is being very methodically edged out. They don’t really want the public to know about ceruloplasmin. When Holmberg and Laurell discovered it in 1941, in their Swedish laboratory, they thought it was [reverential]. They thought they had found the Holy Grail.
Big Pharma hates ceruloplasmin, hates it with a passion. And so what they’re trying to do now is trying convince people that ceruloplasmin is causing the inflammation, not the iron. It’s the ceruloplasmin causing the inflammation. And they’re trying to attack ceruloplasmin.
So, yeah, I tend to be very conservative about the blood donations. And if someone has low ferritin, but they have a serum iron that’s like 20% to 40% higher than what I think is considered ideal, then I also ask them to consider at least donating once.
Anyone can donate blood, but again you want to be very careful that you don’t compromise them given any other factors that might be in play.
Wendy Myers: And what is the ideal range of ferritin? I know you need to look at context about a full iron panel, but what is the ideal target range for ferritin?
Morley Robbins: The leading cardiologists look for ferritin being between 20 and 50. And the reason why they keep it low is that they know that too much ferritin means too much iron. And there’s too much iron, there’s going to be oxidation on the heart muscle. And they know that that’s going to be a factor.
See, the properties of iron that are really important for people to understand—there are three that I think are really noteworthy: iron (particularly, unbound iron) causes a drop in pH. Hmmm… that’s not good. When there’s a lower PH, that means there’s lower oxygen in the tissue because pH and oxygen are tied to each other. And so, low PH means low oxygen.
And so, what iron also does is, by inference, we know that that’s there’s less oxygen, there’s going to be less ability on the mitochondria to create ATP in the electron transport chain. And that’s by inference knowing that the pH is low, then the oxygen is low.
But what the literature is also very clear about is that iron uncouples oxidative phosphorylation, and that’s a very windy way of saying iron blocks the production of ATP. That’s not a good thing.
And so, then you begin to extrapolate from that. But what are the conditions to create cancer? Hmmm… Low PH, low oxygen, low ATP.
And the connection between iron and cancer is one for one. Anyone who has cancer, I would contend has iron dysregulation. And for some reason, oncologists don’t seem to understand that.
Wendy Myers: They don’t understand a lot of things.
Morley Robbins: Oh, yeah. But what they’ll tell you with a straight face is that the person got the cancer, and then there was this dysregulation between copper and iron. It’s like, no, it doesn’t work that way. That’s not how the body works.
When you really begin to understand the metabolism of iron, and the metabolism of copper, and the vital role that ceruloplasmin plays, and if the ceruloplasmin’s not right, then you’re not going to have iron […] And when iron is not right, it’s very disruptive to the cell.
And there are two ways to get iron into the cell. There’s through the front door, which is using transferrin; and then there’s the backdoor and it’s called the dimetal transporter portal (DMT1). And that is the non-transferrin bound iron. And that I believe is what’s really doing us in.
That’s where the dietary iron is coming in, particularly the non-heme—what that means is non-meat iron—is coming in through a backdoor. And that’s what’s overwhelming ourselves and overwhelming our ability to metabolize.
Wendy Myers: Can you talk about the connection between iron and the body’s use of it in relation to infections and viruses in the body?
Morley Robbins: Yeah. So, a minute ago I was learning to the fact that when there’s too much iron or too much unbound iron, the energy level goes down. ATP goes down.
My wife and I has studied with a physician over in Dallas named Jerry Tennant, a very gifted physician. He’s an ophthalmologist who became very ill because of the work he was doing with laser technology. He was the guy who actually developed laser technology for eye surgery and stuff like that.
He contracted a viral infection that took him out of commission for seven years. And over the course of that illness, he came to realize that if he could make one cell work, he could make them all work. And so he started to de-engineer and then reengineer how do we make cells work, and it was all based on getting energy production back up.
Well, it turns out that the human body—let me do it this way.
So, we all drive cars and all those cars have batteries. The battery of the average car has a voltage of -12 volts. Well, humans has a body. We put out a charge of -25 volts. That’s actually pretty interesting. And as we lose energy, that voltage actually drops. From -25, it goes down to -20, and -15, and 10, and zero. And then it flips to positive. It goes from a negative voltage to a positive voltage.
Cancer is +30. Infections are in the low negative voltage area. And what happens is as the energy production goes down (because the iron accumulation goes up), that’s when the pathogens wake up. And so, bacteria, and fungus, and virus, and parasites all thrive in a low-energy environment.
And this was completely lost on [Pasteur], who in my own opinion is one of the greatest frauds in the planet. But it was not lost when his nemesis, his archrival [Antoine Bonjour] who understood this whole concept of energy and the pleomorphism of these organisms.
But the basic gist of it is that as iron builds, energy drops, and the pathogens wake up their inner body. They don’t come from Mars. They don’t come from a person who just sneezed next to us. We’ve got them in our body. The pathogens wake up, and they feed on that iron buffet. And they need that iron because they use the iron to create bullets that are called “oxidants”.
We know what an antioxidant is, but we’ve never thought about what’s the inverse of an antioxidant—it’s an oxidant. It is an oxygen molecule that has been distorted because of extra electrons or it’s paired up with a hydrogen that has an extra electron. And that’s what creates a lot of the problems inside our body. And those antioxidant enzymes I eluded to a while ago neutralize those oxidants.
When the liver is not swimming in iron, it is not prevented from making those antioxidant enzymes. So, the pathogens are coming from the buildup of iron that’s depleting our energy reserves and then they thrive in that environment.
Wendy Myers: Very, very compelling.
Morley Robbins: Very interesting way of looking at it.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. So, what advice would you have for any listeners addressing this topic, especially those that have been told that they are anemic?
Morley Robbins: Where would I start? I think it would be very helpful for people to spend a little bit of time on the Magnesium Advocacy Group and look through those posts or they can go to my website GotMAG.org. I think I’m up to like 32 or 33 on the website, but they’ll get the gist of it.
But they need to spend a little bit of time understanding the physiology of iron and that it’s completely dangerous to study iron in isolation of the other mineral that makes it work—that would be copper—and its agent for making things happen which is ceruloplasmin.
So, it’s like we all know who Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are. They were team. We never think about one over the other. And actually, I think it was actually Ginger Rogers who made Fred Astaire look so good. As every woman I have ever talked to said, “Yeah, she was dancing backwards in high heels by the way, I might add.”
But the point is that copper and iron and joined at the hip of ceruloplasmin. So people need to really internalize that.
They also need to understand that copper is not the bad guy. We’ve had that conversation ad nauseam. But people can go to podcast—what? Ninety, 91 or 91 and 92, whatever they are—and listen to our discussion about that.
But they need to understand that copper needs to be complexed in ceruloplasmin, and 95% of it is supposed to be in the ceruloplasmin. That’s really important to understand.
And so, they need to sit with that understand. And then they need to, I think at the very least, get a full handle—I’ve referred to it as the “full monty iron pannel.” But they need to really get all of those markers and be able to look at it in proper context. And if they want to share that with their Mineral Denialist, that’s great. And if they want a second opinion, they’re certainly welcome to work with someone else. I would be happy to help people do that.
And one of the things I’m going to do later this fall is create a school for mineral metabolism and teach people how minerals really work and get away from all this distortion that I think exists in a lot of people’s thinking about minerals.
And I think it’s important for them to do the testing, and then if they find that they do have—what I really encourage people to understand is that there is a major difference between iron deficiency—which is very rare on this planet despite all the […] speaking about it—and the condition of iron dysregulation which is very common on this planet because most people don’t have enough ceruloplasmin to spit at. That’s the problem.
And it’s not by accident that this has happened. The food system I believe has been designed to enable that to happen, and that may be a topic for another discussion.
But the point is people need to understand how vital the ceruloplasmin is, but also how the liver responds to proper stimulus to allow the production of that enzyme to be made again. And we’re seeing it time and time, and time again with the […]. There clearly is a mechanism. And it doesn’t involve a lot of sophistication and a lot of wizardry, it’s just using basic minerals, basic vitamins, and allowing people to eat real food and kind of get on with the way.
Wendy Myers: And customize to their body chemistry for what they need as an individual.
Morley Robbins: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.
Wendy Myers: And can you talk a little bit about—because obviously this discussion can induce some iron phobia in a lot of people. Should people still be eating red meat and liver which contains a lot of iron if, in fact, feel that they’re iron toxic? How is that different?
Morley Robbins: So, there’s a big difference between heme iron, meat iron, and non-heme iron. And the body absorbs about 20% of the iron in meat and it absorbs about 5% of the iron from the non-meat sources.
So, yeah, meat as a rule is very rich in iron. But when it’s coming from an animal, I’m inclined to think that there are other nutrients there that are going to help you metabolize it.
The way I approach it is I do encourage people to eat beef liver, not calves liver because a calf is going to have great—it actually turns out that liver has more copper than iron. Actually, it has twice as much copper as iron, although we’ve been trained like circus bears to believe it’s just iron in the liver. It’s not. It has copper, and zinc, and iron. And so, that copper in that beef liver is very important to help your liver rebuild itself make that enzyme.
But what I encourage people to do is don’t just focus on a steak, eat lamb, or goat, or venison, or rabbit—all of which are much richer in copper than a cow. I believe I’m one of these old guys that thinks that beef is a good thing. And we had a lot of benefit from animal-based protein and the animal-based fat in the meat, particularly the fat. But I think we need to have diversity in our meat.
And I think it’s important for people to step back and ask themselves, so why do they only want me eating chicken and beef? Why have I been corralled into chicken and beef?
And then, once you come to that question, then ask yourself, “Is GMO corn and GMO soy the natural diet of chickens and cows?” And of course, we know that’s not the case.
And so, it really begins to free you up in terms of realizing that there are a lot of different varieties of meats that can be very effective.
So, if someone is deemed iron toxic, I think the key is don’t panic about it and be very thoughtful about measuring it and understanding how it happened. The most important thing they can do is stop taking multivitamins that have iron supplements, stop taking prenatals that have iron supplements, stop allowing your doctor to do iron infusions—a very bad thing to do.
I think that that’s going to change a lot of people because there are a lot of people out there who swear that, “The only way I get through the day or the way I get through the month is I get my injection or whatever.” They’re forcing issues in their body that are very damaging.
And so, I think that they can undertake the changes in their diet as I just talked about with the meat, undertake the ceruloplasmin protocol. It’s prevalently posted on the Mag group.
Wendy Myers: Your Facebook group?
Morley Robbins: My Facebook group. And know that their body is going to begin to work with that mineral once it has the right enzyme in proper […]
Wendy Myers: And I assume you’re against taking iron supplements as well? You did mention that in your list.
Morley Robbins: Yeah. I think that’s a bad idea.
Wendy Myers: Yeah.
Morley Robbins: I mean, when you can put a magnet in a cereal box and pull out cereal—and they’ve done that—it’s like, “No.”
And the thing is what’s important to do is if someone truly believes that they are “iron anemic,” this is what I would recommend. I would recommend that they increase their intake of magnesium, that they increase their intake of bee pollen which is a wonderful source of vitamins (particularly B2 which is riboflavin), and I would encourage them to increase their intake of whole food Vitamin C because all of those are known agents to increase the functionality of iron metabolism. And they are all water soluble.
Then, if that still didn’t correct it, then I would say, “Hey, let’s turn to cod liver oil, and let’s get some retinol into your liver because you probably have been dancing with a certain supplement to your demise, and you’ve been hosing your liver’s ability to make ceruloplasmin. So let’s the cod liver oil back in the game, get the retinol back in the game. And what you’ll find out is that retinol regulates iron metabolism.”
And I just read an article just a couple of days ago that clearly implicates that—this is back in the 1940s when they didn’t know anything. They were just a bunch of fools back then. But what they discovered is that people who are short on retinol were deemed anemic. And they gave them retinol, guess what happened? The anemia went away, without giving them iron.
And so, I think there are a lot of things we can do thoughtfully to study it, to measure it, and to use non-iron supplements to correct it long before we start poisoning people with iron.
What happens with supplemental iron is it is in fact perceived as a poison by the body, by the liver, and there’s a sudden mobilization of glutathione which burns up a lot of magnesium (because you can’t make glutathione without magnesium in Phase 1 detox), and it burns up a lot of magnesium.
And guess what happens when people take iron supplements? They get constipation. Why would they get constipation? Because they burned up a lot of magnesium, which then affected the methylation and it affected the potassium status, both of which are highly implicated in constipation all because of the iron.
So, it’s viewing the issue with a much more global perspective to understand what’s really going on and not an adolescent who’s watching Billy Murray’s Caddyshack and saying, “Oh, you need more iron. Oh, let’s get you more iron.” And that’s what most people [are doing].
Wendy Myers: I like that analogy.
Morley Robbins: Yeah. Actually, I think that’s what most doctors get their final training, the Caddyshack School of…
Wendy Myers: They show that film in class.
Morley Robbins: Exactly.
Wendy Myers: And I’ve read that iron buildup in the liver can cause anger because the liver is the seat of anger in traditional Chinese medicine, can you talk a little on that? That’d be one of the reason why people in the United States tend to be very aggressive, just as a culture. There’s a lot of angry people here even though they enjoy a lot of privilege.
Morley Robbins: Yeah. You know, there’s an expression that a person has “their ire up” referring to their anger is up. Well, that’s referring to iron. And, it’s actually iron in the liver and iron in the amygdala.
When the body starts to store iron, it’s going to go to the liver first, then it’s going to go to the pancreas and the kidneys, and that’s going to go to the endocrine glands, and then it’s going to go to the joints, and then eventually, as we age, it’s going to go to our brain.
And 100% of all neurodegeneration is caused by a buildup of iron because of the lack of ceruloplasmin. And it’s the enzyme form of ceruloplasmin, not the immunoresponsive in form.
But yeah, the buildup of iron in the liver does, in fact, create a more emotional state that is laden with anger. And again, as you said, the Chinese have known this for thousands of years. And what I’m seeing in some of my clients is, as they begin to address this issue, they’ve noted that they are much calmer and much less reactive to circumstances around their situations.
Wendy Myers: I noticed that as well as I began detoxing and working on my adrenal health, resting and whatnot, and detoxing generally and raising my ceruloplasmin slowly but surely. I noticed I used to be really uncharacteristically angry. And over a few years, it’s gone away completely.
Morley Robbins: It’s exciting, yeah. And I think that is a byproduct to this process that is wonderful. But I think your point about there are a lot of angry people in this country, I think that’s the source of that.
And there’s a lot of stress in life on this planet, there’s a lot of stress in this country, but I think we when you begin to piece together the changes that have been made in the food system and that it causes a buildup of iron it the liver, it begins to makes more sense.
The other thing for people to know is that the liver enzymes will rise when there’s too much iron in the liver. And when those liver enzymes start to pop up, it’s because liver tissue is dying. That’s why the liver enzymes are showing up. Their liver tissue is dying because of oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is a very fancy way of saying “rust”. And so, people need to understand—go back to my reference to magnesium versus iron. I think that at the very base of it, our life is really managing those two minerals. You have magnesium and you have iron. And what are they fighting over? They’re fighting over oxygen all day long.
So, what’s magnesium oxide? We just celebrated the 4th of July, and what did we have? Fireworks! What are those fireworks made of? Magnesium oxide. And the Chinese discovered that about 4000 years ago. You can look up YouTube videos of magnesium oxide fire, and what you’ll find is that magnesium oxide is the brightest burning fire on the planet.
Do you know what iron oxide is? It’s rust. And so, we have bright light and death.
So, we basically have this force of good and evil our body through these minerals. And then, when you
begin to realize that magnesium is very much tied to progesterone, and iron is very much tied to estrogen, you then begin to get into some of the other dynamics of the body and many other chemicals and hormones that we can talk about. But a lot of people are very mindful of that dynamic between progesterone and estrogen especially in a woman’s body.
And what are most women? Estrogen dominant, and they don’t have enough progesterone. And why are they estrogen dominant? Because they’re iron toxic. And why does the body do that? Because the body prefers to use ceruloplasmin as an antioxidant to control iron. But when you don’t have enough ceruloplasmin, the body goes to plan b, which is called estrogen, because estrogen is an antioxidant. And if there’s too much iron, you can’t have enough magnesium and B6 because that’s what it takes to make progesterone.
And what’s fascinating is one of my mentors was a gynecologist by the name of Guy Abraham. He was a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He coined four different types of PMS. And it was anxiety, bloating, craving and depression.
And what he discovered is that all four of those were ameliorated, eliminated completely when he added magnesium and B6 to their body.
And so, when women have those symptoms of PMS, it’s because the iron is building in their body. That’s syncing up with the estrogen that’s building in their body as they go through their cycle. And if there’s too much iron, it’s burning up the magnesium and B6, it’s causing those symptoms of PMS.
And what are people finding? That if they take progesterone, all that goes away.
Now, I’m not a big fan of taking hormones, as you know, but it’s very clear that there are these major pistons that are completely out of sync with each other, but no one talks about iron because it’s hiding behind an iron curtain. I think that, in fact, iron dysfunction, iron dysregulation is the fuel of all what we call “disease,” and it’s really the backbone of allopathic medicine.
But the tragedy is medicine has become a double blind experiment. Neither the doctor nor the patient really knows what’s going on.
The patient doesn’t know about iron. They don’t know that it’s the iron causing all the problems. And they don’t know the flipside of it is that the medications that are being used aren’t going to solve the problem—so, it’s a double blind.
The tragedy is it is not that doctors are bad people because we know they’re not—doctors are really caring people—but they have been trained very poorly or very incompletely or very inadequately to really understand how the body works.
And I think that’s an important message for people to be open-minded about what their Mineral Denialist really does know, and where are the blind spots, and what they don’t know, and be very willing to work with folks like you and me to get greater insight about what’s really going on.
Wendy Myers: Very, very profound. A very interesting conversation. Thank you, Morley.
Morley Robbins: You bet.
Wendy Myers: Why don’t you tell the listeners where they can learn more about you and more about iron toxicity.
Morley Robbins: The easiest way to learn more about me I guess would be you go to either my website—the GotMag.org website. And there’s a lot of information there. It has information about my background. That’s where people can order a test and things like that.
But also, the Facebook group is called the Magnesium Advocacy Group. You can just sign up for that. We’ll bring you in and let you start to go through the files and see how courageous you are to go into—there are literally thousands and thousands of articles and artifacts, and things. But there’s a lot of good information there.
And for folks that want to reach out to me, you’re certainly welcome to do either through my email address which is morley@GotMag.org or they are certainly welcome to call me on my cellphone (847) 922-8061.
Wendy Myers: You are certainly brave to give your phone number.
Morley Robbins: You know, actually, I’ve done that every time. There are a few people that will call me, but they are very respectful about it. And I appreciate that people are looking for answers to questions that they’ve got, so I’m very happy to do that.
But I’m particularly grateful for the chance to chat with you because you have a very loyal following. People really enjoy what you bring to this whole process. I welcome the platform that you create to allow people like me to […] about these because I think it’s important for people to hear this.
Wendy Myers: Well, it’s my pleasure. I have fun doing it. I’m learning a lot myself in the process.
Morley Robbins: Well, again, thanks for the opportunity. I look forward to seeing how people respond to this. Have you decided whether you’re going to do this as a one shot or it going to be split? Or how are you going to do it?
Wendy Myers: One shot. I’m going to do it one shot.
Morley Robbins: Okay, alright.
Wendy Myers: It’s a bit easier.
Morley Robbins: Okay. Well, that’s fine. However you want to do it.
Well, I hope it does help people. I know it’s going to ruffle feathers because there’s a lot of conviction about this. And I’ll leave people with this one last thought from my one of my favorite thinkers.
Mark Twain once said, “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for certain that just ain’t so.”
And my message to folks is what you think you know about iron, iron deficiency, and iron anemia, just ain’t so. I encourage people to take the time to listen to this. I mean, at this point, I guess they would have to have listened to it. But certainly, take the time to do some more research and don’t hesitate. If you have questions, feel free to reach out. I’ll be happy to have that opportunity to discuss it.
Wendy Myers: Well, thank you so much, Morley.