It’s the iron, stupid

If you research either vitamin D or copper enough, you’re bound to come across Morley Robbins contrarian views eventually. I tend to listen to people who seem to have deep knowledge in tightly confined areas especially when they say everyone else is wrong. So about a year ago, I stopped trying to take vitamin D and stopped giving it to my family because of Morley Robbins.

Ray Pete’s writings convinced me to stop taking fish oil at some point. Not much happened when I stopped and I’ve since restarted the fish oil, albeit at much lower doses.

trace-elements-htma-2trace-elements-htma-1I don’t like feeling like the Lone Ranger so this year I consulted Rick Malter on my copper toxicity picture. Then for good measure I sought out Morley Robbins for a second opinion (my most recent HTMA on the right). Rick thought I was mostly on the right track but wanted me to be a little less aggressive with my copper detox because of the risk of cardiac arrest.

Morley Robbins had a very different opinion for me, saying “It’s the iron, stupid”. Okay, he didn’t say it exactly like that, but pretty close. I’m going to try to summarize his case here for my own benefit and maybe for yours. In a nutshell, my iron levels are double what they should be. This causes tremendous amount of oxidative stress in my body and most critically disables my liver preventing it from resolving other secondary toxicities.

“Think of your health problems as a Ferris wheel”, he says. Oh, but it’s not spelled Ferris, it’s Ferrous with ‘ous’. Your copper toxicity, heavy metal toxicity, tendonitis, fatigue etc are all represented by the chairs hanging on the wheel. The axle at the center of everything is your iron overload. Here’s what that looks like on my recent Labcorp test results:


iron-ceruloplasmin-copperThere is some convincing science that iron accumulation is a very underappreciated problem. It seems to be highly correlated with degenerative brain function and disease and this has been proven by studies comparing men and women and postmenopausal women. What? You mean a woman’s menses protects her brain function? Yes.

The quickest thing you can do to start lowering high iron is to give blood. This is one point on which Dr. Cutler and Morley Robbins agree. Too bad you can only do it every eight weeks. I also found quite a few other ways to lower iron which I will go over further down.

One of those ways happens to be cholestyramine… what a coincidence since I started taking it regularly a week ago. And that got me thinking, it’s possible my CIRS diagnosis is actually not a mold thing. Maybe it’s the iron.

Out of curiosity I went back and looked at my old old blood test results and guess what? My ferritin jumped from 75 ng/mlL in 2004 to 141 in 2006. That just happens to be the time period in which I went over the cliff with my health. Coincidence? Note, the normal range according to Labcorp is 30-400. Morley says to ignore that because “those ranges are for healthy people”. Some say “as a rule 25-75ng/mL is an acceptable range for most”.

Here’s what I think happened – unaware of my genetics, I inadvertently exposed myself to mold, VOCs and heavy metals. With its poor natural methylation, my body was unable to eliminate the toxins and they accumulated, resulting in deranged mineral transport and manganese depletion. That knocked out my sugar control. Or it’s possible that I  had a mild accumulation of iron going back decades which worsened my sugar control.

Anyway, being the really smart dude I am (or was), I started eating very low glycemic index foods. I couldn’t fall asleep without eating, so every night I ate large quantities of teff. That prevented me from gaining too much weight and saved my adrenal glands from the huge blood sugar spikes caused by eating bread.

BUT… teff is packed with iron and copper. I ate a little more than 1 cup every day for several years and before you know it, my health was so poor, I  was essentially disabled. By the way, I was ordering my teff in 25 pound bags and each would only last me a couple months.

So, how did I get from eating a lot of teff to disabled? Again, it’s genetics.

hemachromatosis genetic report
Click to read complete report.

Seems to me that I may have enough genetic copper related flaws (ATP7B & GPHN) to give me a mild case of Wilson’s disease and enough iron related flows to give me a mild case of hemochromatosis. It’s likely that iron overload caused an acceleration of copper accumulation. That’s because when the liver starts accumulating iron it stops performing its duties which include producing ceruloplasmin, the main copper transport protein.

multimineralOkay this is very painful to admit, but I made it all even worse by taking this Twinlab multi-mineral supplement containing iron and copper. And I probably took it for several years, ouch!!

I don’t know whether iron overload came first, or copper or heavy metals. Maybe it was just a perfect storm and it was all happening together with some surges now and then from one contestant or another. In fact, Chris Kresser in this fascinating video mentions that VOCs contribute to copper accumulation.

Watch this video and you’ll note that the mainstream medical community won’t recognize such a thing as ‘a mild case of hemochromatosis’ or ‘a mild case of Wilson’s disease’. And that’s  how I got really really sick, because the MDs I sought out, believed in those lab work “normal” ranges:

To be really fair, I have to tell you all so that my parents both have low ferretin numbers now. So I’m not at all blaming my illness entirely on genetics. It’s just one factor among many.

I’m pretty sure I can pursue both copper and iron reducing  protocols at the same time and I don’t like to get bogged down in abstract or unsolvable mysteries. I want to get healthy and don’t think I need to know everything to get there. When my iron and copper are greatly reduced, then I’ll start working on the heavy metals.

The Ferris wheel also illustrates another choice Morley Robbins wants us to make, in addition to avoiding vitamin D supplements. He says that healers divide into two camps: in the first group are the ones that want to attack the chairs on the Ferris wheel – Dr. Cutler for example who says you have to get the mercury out (or Dr. Shoemaker who says you have to get the mold toxins out).

And in the second group you have mineral balancing experts like Robbins and Malter who want to strengthen the host (you). According to Morley, when my iron levels normalize, my body will regain it’s natural abilities to detoxify and thrive on its own.

Now for the details. If you want to go to the source, visit Morley Robbins website and read his toxicity of iron posts 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41. If you’re a scientist or want to be a scientist, read Sir Douglas Kell’s Iron behaving badly article. Or checkout life extension’s overview on iron and brain degeneration.

Here, I’ll try to summarize Morley Robbins posts for you. Here goes:

The average doctor will only look at your ferritin levels. All this measures is the iron you’ve got in storage. But we should be concerned about active iron metabolism. If your ferritin is high, it means that your liver, spleen, bone marrow and probably brain have already filled in with iron. You’ve waited too long to do something about it and you’re already ill.

The vast majority of all practitioners also recommends high dose of vitamin D which is actually a hormone so should be called hormone D. High-dose vitamin D (and sunshine) depletes vitamin A, which in turn causes iron anemia.

So you’re thinking I should just take a lot of vitamin D and that will solve my iron problem. Here’s the catch, taking high-dose vitamin D causes iron anemia by lowering ceruloplasmin which reduces bioavailable copper and iron. That’s going to make me sicker. How does this happen? The vitamin D depletes vitamin A which is a precursor to ceruloplasmin.

If you’re like me, you’re now thinking “Why not take vitamin D with vitamin A to get the benefits of D without lowering ceruloplasmin?” well according to Morley the answer is that vitamin D is a powerful hormone and causes other problems: increases calcium, lowering potassium slowing the thyroid. Decreases magnesium agitating the adrenal glands. In a nutshell, it’s a can of worms.

Back to iron. Each ferritin molecule can hold as many as 4,500 iron atoms resulting in tremendous oxidative stress in your body.

Ferritin is mostly contained or stored iron. It is the free iron that is not contained or unbound that is dangerous to us.

It’s dangerous because free iron overload:

  • lowers cell pH to acidic levels
  • lowers cellular oxygen (optimal oxygen occurs at pH 7.4)
  • lowers production of ATP in the mitochondria
  • damages organs
  • nourishes harmful bacteria, fungi and protozoa
  • can change DNA
  • can help to spread cancer

Most of us are more familiar with the dangers of low iron or iron anemia, right? Well, Morley has a lot to say about that too and I’m glad because my wife and one of my daughters have very low ferritin.

He says we have known since the 1860s that iron anemia (and low hemoglobin) is a clinical indication of copper deficiency which you should read as ‘low bioavailable copper’. But iron anemia is not the only  trouble caused by low bioavailable copper. It’s more of a train wreck situation because bioavailable copper plays a key role in:

  • the creation of EPO in the adrenals which is a hormone that signals for new red blood cells in bone marrow
  • the production of heme
  • the insertion of iron into heme
  • the creation of hemoglobin
  • the recycling of iron

So, if you have low ferritin, low serum iron and/or low iron saturation, there’s a good chance you have copper deficiency as well.

At this point, it’s time to talk about ceruloplasmin (cp). If you know a little bit about it, you’ll remember that it’s the major copper carrying protein in the blood. If you have a copper deficiency, you most likely have low cp and need to increase it. But now you should not be surprised to learn that cp is also an iron transporter making sure that iron is in active circulation around the body where it should be.

Morley says “Ceruloplasmin GUARANTEES Iron Mobilization.” So I wonder if it wouldn’t be more accurate to say that the axle of the Ferris wheel is actually ceruloplasmin.

Want to read the science behind this? This report titled Metabolic crossroads of iron and copper shows the interactions between copper and iron are complex and far from understood at this point. The biggest take away from reading it for me is that your liver is at the center of this universe. I’m going to start doing liver flushes again on a regular basis, maybe aiming to do them quarterly…

Can I go off on a little tangent here? My wife also has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which Morley says is caused by copper deficiency. Partly I mention this because Hashimoto’s is so widespread, affecting up to 10% of the population in the US and possibly 20% of women in the US according to Dr. Izabella Wentz.

So now I’ve got copper toxicity myself, my wife has copper deficiency and low ferretin, my oldest daughter has very low ferritin and my youngest daughter has high RBC copper. So you can see I’ve got a lot of interest in ceruloplasmin now.

Summarizing a little, you understand that we need adequate levels of cp to bind and transport both copper and iron so that it’s bioavailable. You understand that inadequate levels of cp cause iron and copper to get stored and circulate in a dangerous and harmful free state.

So now, Morley wants us to ponder what happens to the person with copper deficiency or iron anemia who takes copper or iron supplements. Some of them may have healthy levels of ceruloplasmin and those people will probably respond well to supplementation.

But the vast majority probably have low levels of ceruloplasmin, just like my wife and I.

Here’s Morley:

So , given ALL of the above, WHY in the world do practitioners — of ALL flavors — mindlessly administer IRON, given that it will ONLY CAUSE the Oxygen levels to DROP EVEN FURTHER, given the fact that Unbound Iron LOWERS pH?!? And not one single word is EVER mentioned about Copper status, Ceruloplasmin status or the status of B-Vitamins that are very much a part of Iron metabolism…

For the record, my MD and functional medicine doc are both very open-minded and supporting me wholeheartedly in my battle for recovery! Without them, I’d be nowhere because the lab work costs a fortune if you have to pay for it out-of-pocket. THANK YOU.

So what can we do to raise cp? Here are a few things:

  • supplement magnesium
  • avoid taking vitamin D supplements
  • take cod liver oil which provides natural forms of vitamin D and A
  • get vitamin E in your diet with wheat germ oil
  • take diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • eat lamb, beef liver, goat, goat milk, pork,venison and rabbit  because it has high nutrient density (a perfect balance of copper, zinc, iron, retinol, b vitamins and choline) to help rebuild the liver (cp is made in the liver)
  • take milk thistle
  • lower your manganese if it’s high

And a few things to avoid:

  • the citrate form of vitamins/supplements
  • artificial forms of vitamin C like ascorbic acid
  • high-doses of vitamin C (1500 mg or more?)
  • high doses of zinc (more than 15 mg?)
  • iron supplements or supplements containing iron
  • DMPS (if you have high iron)
  • binging on high copper/iron foods

This is just an overview and I recommend getting a hair test analysis and personal consulting with Morley Robins. If your iron is high like mine, you may also want to read the Life Extension guide for hemochromatosis, a genetic condition that causes chronic iron overload.

After studying the natural methods for lowering iron I’ve decided on these:

Cholestyramine – Iron is excreted in bile so any binder that prevents the recirculation of bile by moving out of the body will reduce iron (I also use charcoal which does adsorb bile). This one is not so natural, I know. My MD prescribed it for CIRS so I was already taking it.

ip6-reviewIP6Phytic acid—also called inositol hexaphosphate, or IP6—is comprised of six phosphorus molecules and one molecule of inositol. In foods, phytic acid binds to iron and other minerals in the digestive tract and may interfere with mineral absorption. As a purified extract of rice bran, taken between meals so it will not bind to minerals in the digestive tract, phytic acid is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, where it acts as a potent mineral chelator. Phytic acid binds to any free iron or other minerals (even heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium) in the blood, which are then eliminated through the kidneys. Phytic acid removes only excess or unbound minerals, not mineral ions already attached to proteins. Phytic acid is such a potent—but safe—iron and mineral chelator that it may someday replace intravenous chelation therapy such as the mineral-chelator EDTA or iron-binding drugs such as desferrioxamine (Desferal). Because of its ability to bind to iron and block iron-driven hydroxyl radical generation (water-based) as well as suppress lipid peroxidation (fat-based), phytic acid has been used successfully as an antioxidant food preservative.

lactoferrin-reviewLactoferrin – Lactoferrin’s primary role is to sequester free iron, and in doing so remove essential substrate required for bacterial growth. Antibacterial action of lactoferrin is also explained by the presence of specific receptors on the cell surface of microorganisms. Lactoferrin binds to lipopolysaccharide of bacterial walls, and the oxidized iron part of the lactoferrin oxidizes bacteria via formation of peroxides. This affects the membrane permeability and results in the cell breakdown (lysis).

An iron-binding protein analogous to the iron transporter transferrin; it binds and sequesters iron in areas outside of the bloodstream such as the mucous membranes, gastrointestinal tract, and reproductive tissues (Jiang 2011). It is present at high concentrations in milk, and is secreted by immune cells (neutrophils) as an antibacterial compound at sites of infection or inflammation (Paesano 2009; Brock 2012).

Experiments also suggest lactoferrin may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and may influence the expression of inflammatory genes (Scarino 2007; Paesano 2009; Mulder 2008). Evidence suggests low-iron apolactoferrin may be protective against iron-mediated free radical damage; it reduced iron-catalyzed formation of hydroxyl radicals in vitro (Baldwin 1984). Dairy inhibits iron absorption because it contains lactoferrin. It can decrease or eliminate the side effects of nausea and constipation caused by iron supplementation.

Contrary to the antiviral and antibacterial actions of lactoferrin, very little is known about the mechanism of its antifungal action. Lactoferrin seems to bind the plasma membrane of Candida albicans inducing an apoptotic-like process.

Each lactoferrin molecule can reversibly bind two ions of iron, zinc, copper or other metals. It is demonstrated that lactoferrin is involved not only in the transport of iron, zinc and copper, but also in the regulation of their intake. Presence of loose ions of zinc and copper does not affect the iron binding ability of lactoferrin, and might even increase it.

Rutin – Polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid (Kono 1998), quercetin, rutin, chrysin (Guo 2007), punicalagins (from pomegranate) (Kulkarni 2007), and proanthocyanidins (from cranberry) have been shown to bind iron in vitro (Lin 2011). In an in vitro binding study of 26 flavonoids (a type of polyphenol) isolated from a variety of sources (including tea catechins, hesperidin, naringenin, and diosmin), several were nearly as effective as desferoxamine at chelating ferrous iron when supplied at a 10:1 flavonoid/iron ratio.

If reading this has piqued your interest in copper, please have a look at my next post about fighting copper toxicity with copper.

So, what do you think? Am I on the verge of a breakthrough?

UPDATE – Feb 9th, 2018:

After writing this post, I made lots of changes to my supplements and my sleep deteriorated steadily. I had been sleeping well 10 to 14 nights per month, but that dropped down to one good night of sleep per month. After nine months without sleep, I started experimenting, searching for the cause of my lost sleep. It’s now February 2018 and I’ve narrowed it down considerably and believe the issue is vitamin A deficiency.

When I wrote this post I was taking 20,000 IU vitamin A daily based on the Carl Pfeiffer Treatment Center protocol for copper toxicity. I just restarted taking vitamin A so I don’t know for sure what will happen. BUT, it’s worth noting that the liver is one of the primary storage centers in the body for both vitamin A and copper. And, they are antagonistic to each other. There are a bunch of studies about this in rats, but it’s hard for me to make sense of it.

Here’s what I think happened in my body – copper in my liver antagonizes the vitamin A that I get from food leaving me deficient in vitamin A. The next step is also way over my head, but I can see there is a clear link between glucose metabolism and vitamin A (fatty acid metabolism too, which has also been an issue for me). The bottom line – if gluconeogenesis doesn’t happen properly in your liver, I don’t think you can get a good nights sleep. Finally, I started high dose vitamin D in an attempt to improve my sleep.

Ironically, my sleep did not improve but my ceruloplasmin went up, not down! Moral of the story? Don’t fix what ain’t broke. And maybe don’t fall for everyone pushing an alternative viewpoint. And one more thing, my MD says high ferretin is a natural consequence of inflammatory processes – just ignore it and focus on the underlying infections. When you’ve solved the core issue, your ferritin will come back to normal. And that core issue for me and others with copper toxicity could be the CBS upregulation SNP.







110 thoughts to “It’s the iron, stupid”

  1. Stephanie,
    You wrote: “High levels of storage D (anything over 20 ng/dL) causes severe hypercalcemia (high blood calcium)…”

    First, I think you might have meant ng/ml rather than ng/dl. Big difference.

    Secondly, your statement is too general…. “might cause” is better than “causes”.

    Thirdly, 20 ng/ml is hardly considered a high level of vitamin d-25, the so called storage form, although the 75 ng/ml you mentioned later might be on the high side.

    You don’t mention what your vitamin d-25 level was bfr you started with daily supplementation, nor what your serum calcium was at that time either.

    Have you had your serum calcium revert to below 10 since you ceased taking supplemental vitamin d3?

    Depending on your age, if your serum calcium level has been persistent above 10.2 while your vitamin d-25 level has fallen low (below 20 ng/ml) you probably need to check your parathyroid gland.


  2. Hey Daniel,

    Check out magnesium threonate. It’s the only form of magnesium (supposedly) that is able to cross the blood brain barrier. I struggled for years with sleep issues, but now I take 1500 mg of mag threonate about an hour before bed and sleep like a baby.

    Cysteine is also supposed to be good for sleep. I get mine from bone broth. Good luck.

  3. Hi Eric. Apologies for the slow reply. Zinc combined with Creatine Monohydrate led to a significant improvement in sleep for me. Your B12 article also was extremely helpful. I supplemented B12 after reading that and noticed immediate benefits. I also had candida like symptoms which were eliminated by taking potato starch (rich source of resistant starch) which increases acidity in the large intestine. Broccoli Seed Extract has been helpful for me also. I think a combination of Baccopa, Lions Mane and ginseng may also be helping my brain, it’s hard to say though because the effects, according to the research, are not immediate. I’ll be doing lots of fasting this year also so hopefully that renders some results. Stay well and happy new year.

  4. Hi Eric,
    I went nearly 2 years with almost no sleep whatsoever. This began about 2.5 years after starting on synthetic D3 supplementation prescribed by my functional medicine doctor. Of course, I did not correlate the sleeplessness to the D3 at the time, and I continued with D3 supplementation for more than 4 years, suffering from severe, intractable insomnia the entire time. However, I know now know that it was the D3 supplementation, because I am now almost completely back to a normal sleep cycle. (My whole life I have been a prolific sleeper.) In addition to my sleeplessness (which started out somewhat slowly for a month or so, and then became acute within another 30 days after that), I developed high blood pressure, which within the same time period, went from normal (all my life) to stroke level: 220+/110+ and I also developed seizures (for which I had no history). I landed in the hospital 15 times over the course of 2017. No doctors I saw, including those at Cleveland Clinic had any answers as for what was causing these symptoms. So, they put me on high blood pressure medications (3), seizure medication and anti-anxiety medications to control my symptoms. They tried me on a number of sleep medications and nothing worked. By this time I was literally becoming psychotic due to lack of sleep, yet nothing would put me to sleep! Trazadone was the last one they tried and that caused my liver function tests to become alarming. Then, it was discovered I was also becoming hypothydroid (no disease, negative for Hashi’s), with a very low conversion of T4 to T3.
    So,, after seeing many, many doctors, including specialists of various kinds, I decided that I could not live the rest of my life like this. I started searching for a doctor who would at least try to get to the cause(s) of my symptoms. Thankfully, I found a very highly regarded holistic doctor (an MD who gave up on western medicine). They immediately ran a ton of tests which were never run at any hospital I had been to, and the first thing that provided a clue was the off-the-charts high ionized calcium. Serum calcium was only 1 point above range, and STORAGE D {25(OH)D} was 75 ng/dL. Yet this is what is commonly held to be a ‘good range’ for “vitamin D” – yet what I was to learn was that this level is TOXIC! I also had a few other tests which, despite being in lab-indicated ‘normal’ range, my doctor considered to be abnormal.
    Ultimately, I was diagnosed with hypercalcemia and severe deficiencies in potassium, zinc and magnesium and high copper. Unfortunately, no matter what type of magnesium I tried, it all resulted in severe diarrhea. It was in looking for ways to get more magnesium into my body, that I found Morley Robbins and joined his Magnesium Advocacy Facebook group and then was fortunate enough to see him in person when he came to my area. My new holistic doctor approved wholeheartedly with The Root Cause Protocol and has been helping me with this path ever since. This is what I have learned over the course of the past year:
    High levels of storage D (anything over 20 ng/dL) causes severe hypercalcemia (high blood calcium), which sometimes requires an ionized calcium test to discover, as the human body will go to great lengths to keep serum levels of minerals within a very tight range. As I indicated, my storage D was 75 ng/dL (considered ‘optimal’ by western medicine) and my serum calcium was only 1 point above range most of the time, and therefore, doctors ignored it. In reality even 1/2 a point over range is very damaging and dangerous because the body is going to great lengths to maintain mineral homeostasis. High serum calcium is DEADLY. It only takes a few points over range to cause renal failure and many people who have overdosed on synthetic D3 supplementation never get a warning like I did with my insomnia, high blood pressure and seizures. Instead, they end up in renal failure and on dialysis. There are a number of people in a Vitamin D Recovery group on Facebook with whom I have chatted who had that happen to them. They had no idea they were being overdosed on D until they ended up in hospital with renal failure. Here’s the thing, high levels of storage D, cause a massive rise in calcium. If the body does not take in sufficient calcium to meet the demand increase cause by the D supplementation, it starts stripping calcium from the bones. This is the OPPOSITE of what people believe vitamin (hormone) D to do. I went from perfect bone density to osteoporosis in just one year all due to my synthetic D overdose. Synthetic D literally stripped my bones of calcium and put it into my blood where it calcified my tissues and organs.
    In addition to causing hypercalcemia, vitamin (hormone) D is a melatonin antagonist and a destroyer of retinol (vitamin A). Synthetic D destroys both melatonin and your body’s ability to synthesize it and your liver’s ability to store retinol. In addition, it causes your kidneys to purge your body of potassium. Without potassium, the body cannot tolerate magnesium and all this is happening while calcium levels in the blood continue to rise.
    Lack of magnesium, lack of potassium, lack of retinol and lack of melatonin are the PERFECT storm for developing severe, intractable insomnia. NIH study where they were shocked to find the inverse relationship between melatonin and synthetic D.
    You are making your situation worse by taking any synthetic vitamin D. Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is a powerful hormone which bypasses all of the body’s fail-safe mechanisms by which D must pass when obtained from the sun – which protects the human body from excess. Synthetic D disrupts all of the minerals in the body, specifically those that control sleep. This is not to mention the iron/copper dysregulation on which Morley Robbins concentrates. It does that too. No one has ‘copper toxicity’ they merely have copper that is unbound and iron which is immobile. People DO have synthetic D toxicity.
    I also note you mention taking vitamin A. There is no such thing as safe vitamin A supplementation either! The vitamin A, just like iron supplementation, is not bio-available because it must be bound to a carrier protein too. The only safe way to get vitamin A (retinol) is animal based. The best place to get it is grass-fed beef liver once a week. This will serve to fix the excess copper, by making ceruloplasmin, and it will serve to purge the liver of the buildup of synthetic D. In so doing these things, it will also help rectify the sleep issue. However, one must implement ALL of the Root Cause Protocol to cure the intractable insomnia. One needs to increase potassium and magnesium as well, but it is easier said than done due to the severe mineral imbalances caused by the D supplementation. So, basically, what I’m saying is that the RCP WILL cure your insomnia. It will NOT be overnight – it has taken me 9 months after finally reaching full implementation (and reaching full implementation took 3 months) in order to achieve NIGHTLY sleep of more than 6 hours without interruption. But it gets better every week now. The Root Cause Protocol has a brand new website and new guidelines that I wish had been around a year ago when I started, but it makes things a lot more clear.
    I know sleeplessness is agony and I hope this helps you.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story Stephanie!! I wish I had read it when you posted, but it was so long I postponed until now… funny thing is, I received new blood work showing my ceruloplasmin dropped to 18 and free copper went up to 30% (from 25%). My HTMA also showed a drop in Mg. So I started looking at Morley Robbins old posts again and found, joined and have restarted the protocol. It has changed since I first got interested in Morley’s work, and this time, I’ll go all in (as best I can). Please come back and post an update when you hit a year on the RCP!

  5. Hi Eric,
    I came across your blog yesterday and everything you say makes sense. I was diagnosed with Kayser-Flescher rings (Copper deposits) in eyes in 2015 and proceeded to have tests done to see if Wilson’s disease. Had low ceruloplasmin, very high free copper and high copper in liver from biopsy. They couldn’t diagnose me with Wilson’s because a major marker is the high copper in urine which I had very little.
    I did the Mensah Medical which for a year which did not help much and have taken 50 to 100 mg of zinc a day since 2015. After coming across Morley Robbins, I happpened on your blog. It totally makes sense to me
    About the bioavailability of the copper and that we need it. One symptom is exteme itching. I dad my genetic testing done and it did show I had a problem detoxing and a year ago I got an uptake
    From 23 and me that I had 1 gene for hemochromatosis. I looked it up and people said that with high iron
    Their skin itches from the inside out. I then discovered that I had a high iron from blood work.
    If it were at all possible to talk to you about all this. It seems you have been going through the same
    Thing. I have been experiencing extreme insomnia also. Please let me know

    1. Hi Elizabeth, have you read my other posts about copper? Very sorry to hear of your insomnia, it’s awful. Have you tried a Candida challenge? People with copper problems often have gut infections and in my case that’s what seems to control my insomnia…

  6. Hi Eric.

    I found you whilst researching the Morly Robbins protocol. I greatly appreciate your honest update.
    My experience with magnesium supplementation has always been subpar, not sure if it means I should keep trying other “forms” of it. It was interesting to hear that your adoption of the protocol had sub-par out comes. Particularly with sleep. My biggest problem is also poor sleep.

    1. Hi Daniel, I found that Candida infection is to blame for most of my insomnia. I mention it because I use to supplement very large quantities of magnesium but have come to learn that it creates an alkaline environment which favors candida. I’m going all out now to eliminate candida so I’ve cut down my magnesium to about 400 mg daily and I balance it with acidic supplements. Increasing my zinc also improve my sleep substantially.

  7. Thank you Eric,
    It is so confusing! I was about to do the vit C loading but you say ( I assume it is from Morley) that you are not supposed to take more than 1500 vit C a day? What about Linus Pauling? Is he not right?
    What is the optimal level for iron?

    1. Sorry Alina, this post is so old I don’t remember exactly what the vit C limitation was about. I know Malter was concerned about cardiac arrest from too aggressive copper dumping from Vit C… I’m taking 4.5 g raw C daily now.

  8. everything makes sense. I figured out the same thing about my self on the iron overload about 8 months ago.(I have lyme as well). I could not prove it and everyone thinks I am crazy since my ferritin is in the normal range 200??? Anything I did to flush the iron out made me sicker but I managed to get it down to 130 lately. SInce then I am giving blood as well weekly, not a donation though. (lyme is proved to be transmitted by blood transfusion…). THe lab is happy to take extra blood from me every time so I can get rid of it without giving lyme to someone else. Not sure how to deal with heavy metals though. Lyme is in control due to other treatments but this iron overload is a nightmare. It is going very slowly and it is painful to get rid of it….milk thistle is great help though.

  9. Hello, Eric.
    Morley Robbins will be the opening presentation this November in Hershey PA at meeting of Functional Genomic Analysis, sponsored by Bob Miller of Tree of Life and NutriGenetic Research Institute. The main topic is mTOR and autophagy which gets to the body’s in/ability to remove toxins.
    Bob does biweekly webinars, Thursday nights. S
    Stephanie Seneff from MIT was a repeat guest this past webinar, speaking about her work on glyphosate and sulfates.
    I’ve completed their functional genomic analysis course … intense and invaluable.

    PS when I moved to Colorado from Maryland I was sick, over and over and over again, to the point of panic attacks. I’m thinking the main culprits were altitude, dehydration, stress from working with nasty corporations, genetic variants compounded by malnutrition that I am only now starting to grasp.

      1. Hi there .. I have Hemochromatosis and please be aware that your iron transferritin saturation % is low…if you donate blood it will put you are rise of iron defisciency… be wise and talk to your dr, before removing any blood..

  10. hi there,
    i am wondering if you or anyone in your family has been tested for h pylori?
    my iron panel was super similar, ferritin 98, serum iron 68, iron saturation % 21.
    i had h pylori without heartburn, the main symptom.
    i only tested for h pylori because i had a b12 deficiency. I took zero medication or supplements and ate meat daily so it was odd.
    i was discussing this diagnosis with my family and low and behold my mother and one of my 2 brothers have had it. They did not know it can be contagious and therefore runs in families (not genetic).
    after 2nd treatment for h pylori, my iron panel is ferritin 68, serum iron 109 and iron saturation % 35.

  11. I’m interested in why you say to not use the citrate form of any vitamin/mineral.
    Dr Sircus says that Mag Citrate is the best form, but I have also heard others say that chloride is better.
    Your thoughts?

    1. The theory is that the citrate interferes with ceruloplasmin… I use magnesium glycinate as it has some of the highest absorption and best tolerance results.

  12. Hi Eric,
    I haven’t read the post entirely yet nor the comments (but will) so please forgive an repetition.

    I think that the logical way to look at it is that our health is primarily dependent on a functioning structure. The structure is like a house and minerals are the building blocks and from that everything else hangs.
    I also like water fasting for a rapid detox/repair (and this can be painful but ultimately worth it (natural hygiene)) rather than liver flushes.
    I think that Cutler and Robbins are both correct . A strong house with good foundations is a good basis to start from but this depends on the level of toxicity at first.
    Fasting can be a great way to getting the body functioning efficiently and opening up the elimination pathways that wont work properly under normal circumstances then a combined effort of nutrition (Robbins) and enhanced elimination (Cutler).

    So if the structure is so dilapidated and full of crud (toxins, metals etc) & you don’t know where to start, fasting can be a lifesaver.
    Its first detoxifies what it can then later rebuilds then detoxifies further and so on.
    I think nature shows us the way – All we have to do is observe.

    1. I think I’ve made good progress through fasting but may never use the master cleanse again because I found I have deep gum pockets and fear the effect on my teeth of all that syrup! If I could figure out some recipe involving coconut oil I think that might work well for me but I need some other ingredient to add to the oil…

  13. Hello Eric,

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I’ve been on a more Weston Price/ancestral diet for many years and constantly study in this field. It’s wonderful to come across someone like you who I feel I can learn from.

    I have been researching various people with whom to have a hair mineral analysis test with. I have been studying the work of Morley Robbins and have been feeling he may be the person I choose with the potential of then completing his training.

    I am also considering choosing another practitioner for my partner so I can learn methods from another expert. I have watched some of Dr Robert Selig’s videos and have recently come across the works of Paul Eck and Dr Wilson, but am not yet very familiar with their work. I am also aware of Wendy Myers. Although it doesn’t seem she personally handles clients so I think I’ve rules her out. I am interested in working with primary person as oppose to someone they trained. This is because I want to ensure I am guided by someone who knows more than me. I’m sure you could understand that desire.

    My questions are…

    1. Do you still recommend Morley Robbins?
    2. Who else would you recommend?

    I’m guessing you are familiar with the company Organic3 that offers products in alignment with Morley’s protocol? The reason I mention this is because when I recently spoke with a woman who works with that company, she said she cured her Lyme’s disease (among other things) with the raw milk cure. I’m guessing you’re familiar with that remedy, but I’m happy to share more about this should you wish.

    Thank you for carving this path and sharing it for so many to learn from. I really appreciate your time and am grateful to see your level of interaction on this post.



    1. Thanks Leslie, I’ve abandoned Morley Robbins protocol in favor of Dr. Rick Malter. If I were to go for training probably I would probably choose Malter personally.

  14. Hi Eric,

    What a great post, for me a lot of new insights.
    I think I have iron toxicity (high ferritin (150) and high iron saturation (55%).

    I read in your article that Rutin binds iron. Coincidentally I took Rutin last week for the first time. And woah, for 3 days I was sweating a lot, extreme fatigue and sensitivities raised a lot (MCS and EHS).
    After 3 days I felt very good.

    I wonder, could this be due binding iron which my body didnt removed it properly, or my poor sluggish and fatty liver have a hard time on it? Or is it something else? Rutin have more properties (antifungal).

    Thanks in advance.

  15. UPDATE: after writing this post, I made lots of changes to my supplements and my sleep deteriorated steadily. I had been sleeping well 10 to 14 nights per month, but that dropped down to one good night of sleep per month. After nine months without sleep, I started experimenting, searching for the cause of my lost sleep. It’s now February 2018 and I’ve narrowed it down considerably and believe the issue is vitamin A deficiency. When I wrote this post I was taking 20,000 IU vitamin A daily based on the Carl Pfeiffer Treatment Center protocol for copper toxicity. I just restarted taking vitamin A this morning so I don’t know for sure what will happen. BUT, it’s worth noting that the liver is one of the primary storage centers in the body for both vitamin A and copper. And, they are antagonistic to each other. There are a bunch of studies about this in rats, but it’s hard for me to make sense of it. Here’s what I think happened in my body – copper in my liver antagonizes the vitamin A that I get from food leaving me deficient in vitamin A. The next step is also way over my head, but I can see there is a clear link between glucose metabolism and vitamin A (fatty acid metabolism too, which has also been an issue for me). The bottom line – if gluconeogenesis doesn’t happen properly in your liver, I don’t think you can get a good nights sleep. Finally, I started high dose vitamin D in an attempt to improve my sleep. Ironically, my sleep did not improve but my ceruloplasmin went up, not down! Moral of the story? Don’t fix what ain’t broke. And maybe don’t fall for everyone pushing an alternative viewpoint. And one more thing, my MD says high ferretin is a natural consequence of inflammatory processes – just ignore it and focus on the underlying infections. When you’ve solved the core issue, your ferritin will come back to normal. And that core issue for me and others with copper toxicity could be the CBS upregulation SNP (see Dr. Lam).

    1. Just out of curiosity, are you supplementing with Carnitine? Just wanted to warn that at least for me, Carnitine completely erases my ability to sleep. Even from one pill, it takes 2-3 weeks to normalize sleep again.

      1. Interesting Casper, I would guess that’s a methylation effect. Does mfolate or mb12 have that effect on you also?

        1. Hi Eric. Neither MFolate nor MB12 has any effect whatsoever. If I take a multivitamin B-complex I can taste it in my mouth for 2 days. It’s like it doesn’t go into the cells at all, just floats around in the body and doesn’t get utilized, hence the taste in the mouth.

          Why did you suspect the Carnitine effect could be a methylation issue (I don’t know much about methylation issues, so I’m curious)?

          DMSA (chelation) helped me a lot in the beginning, but after 3+ years on it, I think I’ve reached a plateau with that one. Trying to figure out what to use next. I think it’s very hard to get toxic metals out of the body, especially if methylation / detox is insufficient. It’s a real chicken and egg problem. How to get them out, when the body doesn’t want to detox anything properly.

          1. Hey Casper, read the methylation faq post on my website and you’ll notice that Freddd considers carnitine one of the cornerstones of the methylation system and cautions people to be very careful with it, IIRC. I think the theory is that sometimes when only one ingredient is missing in the methylation chain, and you supplement it, the reaction start up quickly, too quickly for your comfort.

            Yes, if your detoxification system is not up to the task, any therapy that challenges it can cause the effort to fail whether it’s treating a gut infection, Lyme disease, viral infections or heavy metal chelation, or all of those – everything has to go through your liver kidneys and probably lymph…

    2. Hi Eric. Long time no talk, glad to see you are somewhat better and have opened comments again! 🙂

      I have to say, I don’t buy the CBS or any “blame the Gene game” stance, for that matter. The Genes are not the problem for people 99.9995% of the time, we are born with susceptibilities but not with illness, it is the environmental issues, diet, toxins etc that “turn this genes on” at all. This applies 10 fold to the whole MTHFR hype on the net, MTHFR is not the problem, and most definitely not the root of any problem, just a consequence. As far as Methylation, Mercury screws that up more than any one other possibility.

      I also don’t see why CBS, if it was even an issue for someone, would cause Copper Tox, and I see he did not make any explanation for it, nor reference to it.

      He also, like many other “experts”, blames Sulfur problems on CBS, when the reality is this is a Mercury problem. This caused me to waste about 9 months going the whole genetic angle about 5 years ago, which is one reason why the whole blame the Gene game pisses me off

      I have a BIG ongoing issue with Copper, and, I have adrenal and liver issues, along with Mercury, these are a ‘package deal’ that many get stuck with

      I have a question for you, did you ever get improved bile flow from the Flushes, or anything else? How well do you think it is flowing now in general? (stool colour good indicator)

      Cheers mate pulling for you as always!

      ps – yeah Copper is a big cause of insomnia, keep up that Vit A, I think A balances with D too IIRC so watch that as well, and of course the body uses a LOT of Mag to utilize Vit D, and low Mag is another VERY common cause of insomnia. Its all about balance! (something, some of us never seem to be able to achieve….)

      1. Thanks Jason, I have to say that I could not agree with you more regarding the relative importance of the genetics in relation to toxic exposures and mercury. Even though mercury doesn’t show on my hair test anymore I’m certain I still have a long way to go to eliminate it. The flushes have not restored my bile flow to where it should be and I am guessing that won’t happen until the copper and the mercury is out! After writing this update I’m much less impressed with my theory about molybdenum and CBS because it didn’t immediately correct my sleep. Yesterday I started wondering if there isn’t a stronger correlation with zinc doses since I seemed to be raising and lowering my zinc and molybdenum together. It’s such a complicated mess. I also suspect the Mitosynergy copper supplement might be the culprit as well…. Are you chelating?

        1. Damn! All that and not much bile improvement. What about CE’s and/or Castol Oil packs, have you done any significant amounts of those? Not much effect there either? (I imagine you must have)

          Note Zinc can lower cortisol initially and quickly, so is better for most of us to take at night.

          The Moly has been a lifesaver for me over the years for a few reasons I suspect, Candida toxins and Copper big ones. Sometimes my mind gets so clear from it that I only sleep 5 – 6 hours but damn I feel good those days when it has that effect.

          A sure way for me to have insomnia is to ingest too much Copper and then Sauna or chelate, which then causes dumping and stimulation and insomnia with it

          Unluckily for me, I seem to have now chelated myself into a ‘hole’ much like you did, I feel I need to, yet when I do I improve in one way and get worse in others, including ending up Copper Toxic at the end of many of the recent rounds (Cutler originally said ALA can cause someone to retain Copper, then later changed his stance so it seems overall there is uncertainty there. Starting out ALA caused me to dump large amounts of Copper, which was great, but now 2 years later it seems I am retaining it for the last year at least) I may even have a speck, my bile is very low and I have been having some pain there so I went for an Ultrasound to see if there is a blockage, Cutler mentioned ALA can exasperate a GB issue like stones. I have a couple other theories on what could be wrong, what I know for sure is something is, so for now I am stopping.

          Btw I meant to ask, what was it that you think raised your CP that last time?

          1. Your experience seems very similar to mine Jason and yes it does get really complicated when fixing one thing makes another worse. Good idea to take a break. The good news is there are a lot of other things you can work on!

            Yes I have done CEs, though never tried the Castor pack. I’m not going to worry too much about the bile since I’m not chelating and my body seems to be busy detoxing anyway. Nutritional balancing science practitioners recommend using supplements like Now Super Enzymes which contain ox bile and I think they are effective.

            Thanks for the comment about zinc, yesterday, I was researching best time of day to take in relation to sleep. It’s on my to do list to try switching to bedtime 🙂

    3. Does your Feb, 2018 update mean that you are seriously questioning the Morley doctrine? I’ve been learning about the Root Cause Protocol lately and am intrigued but with SO much research supporting that higher Vitamin D levels are healthful I’m hesitant to jump on the “Vitamin-D is bad” bandwagon. I’m not an MD so it is hard to critically evaluate all these online health gurus like Morley. Morley has gotten me questioning the value of indiscriminant supplementation which runs in my family (my mom is a serious vitamin-aholic). I’ve heard some significant cautionary advice about Chelation from folks I know in the functional medicine field.

      1. Well, I’ve been taking substantial doses of vitamin D for around four months now. Currently at 6000 IU… Fully agree that indiscriminate supplementation is not good and that’s why I do lots of testing now.

        1. Eric,

          Vitamin D, an essential vitamin, (as I am sure you know) is bad on it’s own because of the up-regulation of calcium intake it causes.

          Please let me briefly explain.

          VD3 increases the absorption of calcium in our diet, but it also signals our body to create osteocalcin.

          “Osteocalcin, also known as bone gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-containing protein (BGLAP), is a noncollagenous protein hormone found in bone and dentin. Because it has gla domains, its synthesis is vitamin K dependent. In humans, the osteocalcin is encoded by the BGLAP gene. Its receptor is GPRC6A.”

          The dramatic and painful issue is that calcium uptake by VD3 absolutely must have osteocalcin in order for that calcium to go to where it needs to. So the body produces osteocalcin in an inactivated. Without activated osteocalcin, also called undercarboxylated osteocalcin, the increased calcium uptake will be deposited in our soft tissues.

          arterial calcification
          and many more

          In order for our osteocalcin to be activated, we must have Vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7. Sadly it is almost completely void within our diets and we can only get it from either supplementation, or by knowing what fermented foods to eat, Natto being the most potent natural source.

          A third problem with not having Vitamin k2-7 in our diet is that of the excess calcium absorption. This is a problem because of the noted soft tissue deposits above, but also because the only activated osteocalcin (it acts like a glue and a transport signal/map/instructions for calcium) is in your bone, and in your dentin. Because the body detects excess calcium it pulls it from the only available source it has, your bones and your teeth.

          I should explain that I found your website because I am researching (just reading information, publications, and clinical trials) regarding k2, specifically with reducing arterial calcification. My thought process was that because all of our essential vitamins , whether fat soluble or water soluble, act as signaling mechanisms for our body to do a specific function, or set of functions. Vitamin K2 being essential for activating (as of right now we know of 11) 11 proteins through carboxylation that are otherwise created in an inactive state by our other essential vitamins.

          All that last paragraph to say that I was curious if VK2 would have an effect on ridding my body of excess metals.

          The information, and process you have come up with on your journey to being healthy is fascinating and I wish you all the luck, health and prosperity in the world.

          1. Thanks Greg! You may also want to look at the effect of infrared sauna on calcium regulation. I do take Vitamin K complex and sauna 6 days a week and will watch my calcium balance…


    This is a nutritional balancing consulting service founded by Dr. Ecks. I think that “Dr.” Wilson mentored under his teachings. It has a bunch of articles with similar information to Wilson’s site and acu-cell. Thought it might be of some insight.

    1. some really good information there Joe! I’ve been reading Dr. Wilson’s book about mineral balancing and he talks a lot about Dr.Ecks…

  17. eric

    i was just researching into vitamin d and melatonin on google(i found out my d was a mere 8,8 ng(22 nmol) and the name ronald rothenberg came up….i noticed that both rothenberg and roth seem to have been practicing since ‘the mid seventies’ so maybe rothenberg is the illusive ron roth and he just shortened his surname for his acu-cell work??

    google gives rothenbergs california address and phone number.

    1. doesn’t look like the same guy Chris. I’m currently reading Dr. Wilson’s book about mineral balancing and very impressed…

  18. Hi Eric, nice write up, nice to hear you are getting some gains and feeling better 🙂

    There is a huge Elephant in the room missing from Morley’s and many people’s info when it comes to Copper, only a few anywhere really realize or talk about this.

    Mercury screws up Adrenal function, in more ways than one as I’m sure you know (like starting right at the pituitary). When the Adrenals are “down”, THIS alone can cause Copper to bio-accumulate, which happens to tons of Hg toxic folks, and they end up with bad anxiety, insomnia, etc etc. This is a classic case of someone being toxic with Copper that is also bio-unavailable Copper, so they are deficient and toxic at the same time, IIRC the Copper is “unbound” and this is why it is toxic, it was basically not utilized and is now floating around doing oxaditive damage (in my case I was having sharp pains right in my head). Once someone brings these levels down AND gets the Adrenals working, assuming no “other” related issues Copper now gets utilized correctly and these people and they can eat things like Avocados, tomato juice etc again, before doing this it is a very bad idea, I know first hand, whenever I do it at the wrong times I end up with “crying spells” which is a classic Copper toxicity symptom, I also get a “Copper rash” on my sides, basically my body wants to and is trying to get rid of it.

    1. I believe it Jason, I don’t think there’s anything in your body mercury can’t foul up! I will go back to heavy metal chelation for sure when I’m feeling stronger.

    2. After ramping up ALA dosage to 200mg I truly question whether the emphasis for poor adrenal function should be predominately placed upon mercury.

      Don’t you think that excess copper in and of itself, from say Wilson’s disease mutations, can seriously impair ceruloplasmin and metallothioine functionality? I’m just skeptical that mercury is being crucified as the sinister scapegoat for all medical woes when an excess of copper and iron can be just as detrimental if not more. Especially considering we have significant dietary intake of these elements on a daily basis. Maybe mercury is being framed? I’m not saying it has any beneficial value, because I haven’t read of any. If you look at Cutlers Facebook group, like Eric and myself, there have been sheepishly devoted members of their community that have been chelating for years and have made little to no progress.

      My question is what is the root toxicity that creates dysfunction. Without a personal genetic mapping I likely can’t answer that for myself. My SNPs will likely hold some revelation as to what minerals I have a tendency to absorb in excess, at this stage copper and iron should be highly suspect for anyone with chronic illness. Which in my opinion, should be more of a concern with regard to dietary avoidance compared to avoiding sources of mercury like eliminating all seafood or embarking on an extensive and costly mercury chelation proctocol.

      I would like to know the theory on why Morley is assigning blame to iron toxicity causing the copper retention? In his opinion what causes the iron retention then? Genetics or mercury?

      1. I agree with you entirely Joe and I don’t think it makes a difference where Morley assigns the blame because it will be different for each individual. For a long time I had suspected that Dr. Cutler’s ‘mineral transport derangement’ could very likely be caused by got infection instead of mercury. ultimately the got infection could be partly related to iron and copper dysfunction too. If your colon is massively infected like mine, there’s no way it can do its mineral absorption job.

  19. My. Head. Is. Spinning.

    I just want to crawl in a hole. If you are on to something, I’m doing everything backwards – and taking my kids down the drain with me. That hurts my mama heart.

    Of my 4 children, all three girls have had Vit D supplementation. My youngest daughter just started her third round of megadose D. Her second round she took the pill twice a week instead of once because it improved her reading ability and concentration. She already has joint pain issues.

    Her oldest sister has a history similar to yours. Her fatigue began after a vicious systemic inflammatory response to a vaccine booster (at age 10 or 12 to either MMR or TDaP – I don’t have her records in front of me). A rash covered her from her head to her thighs. Thousands of dollars in tests, including ruling out Lupus, all came back normal. She’s suffered from fatigue ever since. All of my girls do.

    Our second daughter has had multiple rounds of iron supplementation while the oldest (the one with the vaccine-induced rash) consistently has iron in the high normal range, perhaps thanks to a heterozygous c282y gene. (My sister and I both have hereditary homozygous hemochromatosis.)

    That was a bit of a rabbit trail. Sorry.

    I understand the disparity between US doctors trained in the sick-care that our society has ignorantly accepted under the misnomer of healthcare. What is even more frustrating to me is the lack of consistency among alternative practitioners.

    How can we know who to believe? If we don’t know who to believe, how in the world can we possibly know how to start?

    Now, add in that, by the time we find this information, our minds are exhausted – having been ravished by our bodies’ dysregulation. Disregulated by which substances? We still have no clue. Figuring that out now seems hopeless, given our marked decline in mental faculties. And our finances have been substantively depleted by the accepted medical model that has failed us and the many alternative practitioners who have not delivered their promised cures. We don’t have the resources – either mentally or materially – to explore endless trials.

    Feeling hopeless might be a step up.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful for your post. I’m sorry it took you nearly 3 decades to get here. I’m sorrier still that “here” may be yet another sand trap. Or worse yet, quick sand.

    Where does the madness end? Does it end?

    1. He he, obviously I can identify with everything you say! At the same time, every day that goes by I am feeling more and more hopeful, bordering on excited because between the iron chelation, ‘proper’ copper supplementation and sauna, big things are happening. My gut infection is clearing faster than ever and I think that’s a sign that iron overload is a significant factor in my perfect storm. Stay tuned. Very sorry to hear about your family’s challenges. I know what it’s like. Hang in there!

    2. A little history for context. I live in a state where hair mineral analysis is illegal so I have no official heavy metal diagnosis, but a Crohn’s diagnosis and my symptoms line up with those of many metal toxicities. My mother had a mouthful of amalgams and had severe depression / Bi-polar disorder at a young age, she smoked and ate shitty to cope. So I likely got a hefty dose of heavy metals from her and from vaccines for grade school. Personally I only have white composite fillings of some sort. I presume that many of us are born with high iron concentrations in our livers to begin with; the older the mother, likely the higher the in utero iron transfer. Mercury in vaccines just pushes us over the edge leading to severe chronic gut infections and the downward spiral into the never-ending health quest rabbit hole.

      What do you think of the idea of excess iron accumulation not necessarily just being genetic related (hemochromatosis “muatations”), but instead perhaps it’s partly caused by gut infections? I should note that I’m of the belief that polymorphisms/mutations are just DNA malfunctions caused by heavy metal interference, but could use further research beyond Cutler’s assertions. More specifically these infections overgrow from a weak immune system inhibited by other non-essential heavy metals like mercury and the heavy consumption of FODMAP foods. In turn they chelate (compete with our transferrin) lots of iron from a iron / meat heavy diet and use it to form dense biofilm defenses? Dr. Ettinger says biolfilms are also comprised of magnesium and calcium so supplementation and high dietary consumption of those minerals likely more harmful than helpful. My concern is what happens to the excess iron accumulated in biofilms over time? Like when the biofilm breaks down into individual elements. This is likely happening all the time since our digestive tract is basically a world war battle scenario. Leading to oxidation damage from free flowing excess iron. As far as I understand our bodies have no way of getting rid of excess iron aside from storing it in tissues/organs.

      What irks me is I’ve made no progress in doing Andrew Cutler chelation in the past half year. Symptoms and food intolerances haven’t improved. I’ve done easily over 25 rounds and I can tolerate over 200mg of ALA with no noticeable symptoms or positive boosts on or after a round. Which makes me wonder if my problem is mercury or iron. My diet has been Paleo (w. minor exceptions) for the past 5 – 6 years and symptoms only got worse compared to previously eating a random crappy SAD. I’m now thinking this was from heavy meat / red meat consumption in conjunction with certain FODMAP vegetables/fruit resulting in further awareness of leaky gut food intolerances from sulfur, salicylates, amines, etc

      I haven’t had my ferritin/iron panel tested because my last physician terminated me as his patient when I asked for the test, he refused the test because I wouldnt do a yearly physical exam and routine checkups. Never bothered to see a new doctor in the past year. Excess dietary iron just seems to fortify advancement and proliferation of pathogenic organisms. I’m also thinking it could be the first layer of heavy metals / infection that has to be breached in order to chelate mercury and other nasty non-essential heavy metals.

      I started giving blood earlier this year and I’m about to take a strict hiatus from red meat. In addition I’ll be greatly reducing animal protein, while experimenting with plant protein supplements, and restructuring my diet to reduce iron absorption through the incorporation of various plant compounds like oxalates, phenols, calcium, phosvitin (eggs), natural phytates have iron inhibiting effects. Maybe this is overkill, but its a start before getting into serious iron chelation supplements. To think for awhile I was tinkering with an all meat/fat carnivore diet. This makes the thought of the potential long-term damage frightening. I did all fatty ground beef for a week and never had such extreme brain fog and physical fatigue in my life – I was literally a zombie for hours after a meal…In hindsight this experiment led to quite a revelation in trying to reason the root cause of my symptoms. It brought me to thinking about high homocysteine and histamine, then when I read your latest blog entries – back to my iron overload theory from earlier this year.

      Thanks for taking the time and dedication into sharing your knowledge and experiences in you journey to good health.


      1. Hey Joe, I have often wondered about the mineral effects of intestinal overgrowth also but I haven’t seen any evidence that it would worsen iron overload, probably just the opposite, that the bacteria might consume iron you need and cause anemia.

        By the way, I really really dislike looking for doctors and would prefer to avoid them entirely, but my dependency on hydrocortisone forced me to look for an open minded one I could rely on. Admittedly I got very lucky with my current MD. I feel like a lot of the progress that I’ve made in the last year has hinged on getting regular blood tests. There’s no way I could’ve known my manganese was so low it was undetectable, for example. As you know, lots of the therapies we try on are very difficult and lengthy. Without knowing something about your actual chemistry, there’s too much guesswork involved and the risk of hurting yourself needlessly goes way way up.

        Any time you’re in a situation where the treatment is painful, as in iron reduction causing die-off, you need to know your numbers so you can be sure of what’s really happening, that it’s die off and not anemia, you’re experiencing.

        Just my two cents, but for me it has been worth it to seek out and open-minded MD who will order any tests I request…

        To your health!

        1. how can you tell if you are anemic or if it is die off while trying to dump your unbound iron?
          Thanks so much!

      2. have any of you considered selenium for mercury removal?….am i the only one who reads..’acu-cell nutrition’??.

        am not suprised you are getting nowhere with cutler’s protocol for mercury joe as i got nowhere with his protocol for copper!..

        too much dietary iron from killing beautiful animals for meat leading to disease is merely a reflection because life is a mirror..

        best to mainly eat foods that reflect the sun..

        an abundance and a good variety of organic.tree ripened prime tropical fruits (all naturally low in copper!)..

        baked organic potatoes(to balance all the fruit sugar between about 2-4 pm)..

        raw organic eggs with the roots whenever attractive(notice how the yolk perfectly reflects the sun)..

        steamed organic greens for vita-minerals(perhaps they reflect our blue/green dream world?).

        fresh coconut water.

        soon an awakened spiritual master will appear showing how it is indeed possible to reverse the aging process and remain looking youthful in ‘old age’ and potentially live for hundreds of years..

        so best keep fighting for prime health..

        look at ‘kaballa’ for evidence about 2018 and to have your mind blown(be careful though as google is currently saying it may be hacked but i have my doubts about the truth in this)..

        tick tock tick tock

        1. meant…..raw yolks.. or….runny yolks with the cooked white……raw egg white is not attractive to me…

        2. Chris, I spent hours this weekend trying to hunt down Ronald Roth the author of because I would desperately like a reference for his statements about chromium antagonizing copper. I cannot find any documentation for this at all! Apparently he was an acupuncturist in Ontario and maybe Winipeg but I cannot find him…

          1. hello eric

            i was also curious who was behind acu cell and exactly why they say chromium is the best copper antagonist when it seems everyone else says its zinc.

            as chromium is a metal i am very wary about it and i have not as yet taken it again but may soon.

            as i mentioned before high dose zinc picolinate(200 g+daily) for 3 months did nothing for me but just 3 days of chromium healed my very sensitive molar(after causing it to ache badly for some days)…..i think i read that lawrence wilson says that stored copper can cause tooth decay??.

            acu-cell also say that zinc.sulfur vitamin c and chromium are all calcium antagonists(and that all are copper antagonists too )….i have noticed that all four of those individually can disrupt my sleep but i am unsure if it is released copper causing it or if its my calcium getting lower as calcium deficiency is a cause of insomnia according to acu cell and others…..tomorrow i get my hormone d result and if that is low i will be more concerned with potential low calcium as i did take a lot of zinc the past year!..

            perhaps you could put the chromium/copper question to rick malter and morley robbins or even wilson or cutler?….i wonder how many copper patients of theirs had low chromium in hair mineral tests??…..i guess though it would probably be hard for them to admit that they could be wrong about proper copper detox all this time?…

            i am in europe and so are probably less able to track down the illusive ronald roth than you are .

            1. I gave up on tracking down Ronald Roth – I’m just taking 800 µg of chromium chelate now. Previously I was on 1000 mcg chromium picolinate. I think it has low toxicity and is worth the gamble. I’m doing so many new things all at once I have no idea what’s doing what but I do feel that my gut infection clearance is accelerating.

              1. if it helps eric i have the swanson albion chelated chromium 200 mcg(chromium nicotinate glycinate)….but i guess chelate is chelate?..

                i want to get started on it again soon with molybdenum and b6(p5p) and perhaps vitamin c and msm for the sulfur.

                i look forward to seeing your next hmta graph, with hopefully lower copper and higher chromium.

        3. Chris, I have heard of supplemental selenium somehow sequestering mercury to reduce oxidation damage. I have also heard of natural organic selenium in seafood helping to detox specifically the mercury the fish contains, not mercury stored deep in tissues. I’ve been supplementing selenium at RDA doses for quite awhile now to no noticeable effect.

          This acu-cell nutrition program you mention somewhat reminds me of what Dr. Wilson (nutritional balancing) recommends for a diet. From what I recall he suggests low red meat intake and somewhat limiting animal protein. Although, some of the personal views Wilson expresses are a bit tin foil hat….From observing my spontaneous shifts in mood I think there is some degree of “spirituality” or an effect on our consciousness and sense of being (personality, perceptions, identity, etc) as it relates to the balance of our bodies minerals.

          Not sure I would touch raw factory eggs because of salmonella risk and I cant afford pastured. Over a year ago I healed a fistula by going on a low salicylate diet. I’m trying to add in higher salicylate fruits and vegetables as I reduce my iron intake from meat to see if I can tolerate them better – without aggravating what remains of the fistula. Hoping the antioxidants will help combat infections and oxidative damage.

          The competing relationship between elements is very interesting. I recall feeling my best when I was eating a lot of green vegetables, I’m guessing from their copper and antioxidant content and likely having high bio-unavailable copper.

 – Chris Kresser Iron Presentation. You might find this informational in some way.


          My gripe with standard MD blood tests is that they don’t measure what’s in the tissues, so the results are seemingly useless? Aside from perhaps acute deficiency. In all the blood tests I’ve had over the past few years I’ve never been told I had low minerals of any sort, with the exception of the popular suggestion to raise my vitamin D3 levels my doctor said I was “healthy as a horse”. Many MDs likely aren’t trained in nutrition and to detect and treat mineral overloads – they’re absolutely clueless or just plain evil. Looking back taking all the synthetic D3 was probably doing more harm than good because of the cal, mag, pot, copper, utilization side of the equation. With such major dietary changes it’s likely best to take it slow and monitor reactions. I will consider a physician in the future when I get a stable form of employment with healthcare benefits.

          If it’s not an issue of hemochromatosis then I can’t think of what else is causing individuals to retain so much extra iron. I’ve been reluctant to do gene testing because of return on investment concerns. I thought I read that you had 23andme done? Did that reveal any sign of hemochromatosis genes?

          Maybe most that get high iron aren’t eating enough vegetables to oppose its absorption with antagonizing minerals? *Shrug*. These days you see a pattern of a lot of baby boomers getting an extremely expansive list of conditions ranging from heart issues, diabetes, Alzheimers, thyroid, to various auto-immune diseases in their 50’s, 60’s, and some even in their 40s. Their offspring are getting these conditions as teenagers and young adults. My theory is that it’s partially attributed to high iron from years of eating too much animal protein. Boomers – present generation weren’t subjected to the grocery budget constraints of their parents in the great depression, except when they were still adolescents. Many boomers wined, dined, drugged, and drank themselves to death before starting families. Since then I’d guess meat consumption has increased to excessive levels as many post war 1st world nations experienced increased prosperity.

          I think in general men of the great generation and boomers tended to eat more meat than their wives or children and as a result this is reflected in their personalities and what physical health conditions they developed later on in life. Traditionally speaking. statistically men tended to die a lot sooner from heart issues and cancers. Throughout history men were predominately the hunters and I’d wager they consumed more of the kill than their kin.

          Perhaps the manifestations of excess iron are predictable in ways? Anecdotal example: In order to prevent diabetes, my father “strategically” consumed lots of meat, ate low fat (like the government encouraged), avoided eating excessive carbohydrates as well as most nutrient rich green vegetables. He has always had signs of brain fog (failed miserably at a small business), a very stoic/boring/detached personality, and physical fatigue – never wanted to do much activities or exercise. Has thyroid issues, food sensitivities, tinnitus, etc. Just some correlations from my life observations.

          I’d also like to note I’ve done a electric+rocks sauna for a year, averaging about 3, 20 minute sessions weekly and observed no benefit. Those enclosed wood infrared saunas are interesting, albeit a luxury. More of a long term project on the back burner. Your makeshift one seems like it could be just as effective aside from EMF concerns.

          I’m curious to see how your proper copper experimentation goes. The price makes me hesitant of its benefits vs simply taking cheaper chelated copper with a flushing niacin? I haven’t researched the unique aspects of the product formulation yet as it’s out of my budget for now.

          If possible could you edit my username on my original two posts to be “Joe”. I would prefer to have my username not come up in search results due to the sensitivity of the information shared. I think my avatar will be enough to distinguish any future posts from others with the same name.

          1. Will take care of your username Joe. I think general toxicity is a reasonable explanation for iron accumulation. When the liver is struggling, I imagine ceruloplasmin goes down which would probably cause iron and copper accumulation. Something like 30% of the population has the PEMT snp which causes you to need substantially more calling in your diet than normal, and you get fatty liver very quickly without adequate choline. Lots of people probably bought into the ‘eggs are bad’ thing and may have fatty liver as a result. And yes I have some hemochromatosis genes and Wilson disease genes both. Sorry to hear the sauna has not been productive for you. I totally agree with you about the blood work defect – the world is just waiting for an easy tissue mineral analysis, I wish I could be the inventor!!! That’s one of the reasons I was so interested in trying to track down Ronald Roth. Really wanted to know more about his invention. What if it really works and he is just a poor marketer?

            1. That’s a unfortunate on the iron related genes. Yea, I’ve mentioned to family a few times how we need a Star Trekesque medical machine to analyze and re-balance mineral ratios. A pipe dream for now. Otherwise manually trying to ideally balance ones minerals seems like an elusive task.


              When I thought to reduce animal protein I was curious about what amino acids would be good to supplement to help maintain muscle mass. I stumbled upon this article by Paul Jaminet that talks about how leucine is capable of helping to reduce cysteine by reducing pyruvate in mitochondria which might help in reducing potential for excess iron accumulation.

              He references studies directed towards treating neuro-degenerative disorders of the brain, but I’m wondering if it applies universally to those with symptoms of chronic fatigue and brain fog. I’ve always had issues building and maintaining muscle and leucine is a primary BCAA for protein synthesis. I’m going to experiment with leucine and a BCAA supplement as I’ve never taken isolated free form versions of those amino acids before. There could be some sort of underlying dysfunction that causes leucine wasting with regard to poor digestion. Also, perhaps there’s a SNP for that PanK2 enzyme that he mentions.

              More food for thought, not sure what its worth.

              1. Interesting ideas Joe… For now I’m just staying focused on the lowest hanging fruit and probably won’t change my diet much until I’ve cleared my gut infection. Who knows what wonderful things could happen when I’ve accomplished that!

                1. I had learned a lot for over a decade after my son’s behavior changed after receiving a flu shot. I’m also a spiritual person due to the fact that God has helped me in our recovery journey. I also used to suffer from severed migraines On the iron overload you r correct. The problem is not the non heme iron. Even the heme iron at low levels is ok; unfortunately the food industry is feeding us something else. Consider the cereal experiment. Let it sit in water, blend it in and then pass a magnet around the smoosh cereal. You’ll see iron. This iron r shavings of magnetic metal. They create so much damage in our bodies. All cereals have it and many products such as breads, flours, pastas, etc that contain the word “enriched iron”. About a decade I spoke with an author and a chemist. I asked her what cereal was the best for my children. She said tossed them all away. They’re garbage! I used to bring lunch to my son at school and I remember this boy who everyday had cereal and milk for lunch. By fifth grade, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and his mom embarked a long journey to reverse the damage by healing his gut. Now about the spiritual, I’m aware some illnesses r oppressions by the evil. Not all as some r a reflection of our spiritual state. In the book of peace which suppose to be an apocryphal book during the time of Jesus, it says that demons/parasites get out with fasting and prayer. In one of the stories said in that book, the man faster for days while in intense prayer. He looked really weak and so close to being dead towards the end; however he started convulsing and then a large worm came out of him. It’s quite interesting because not many people know about this book. Blessings and hope you recover your complete health.

  20. Hey Eric, what do you think about this. Walter Last on his site asserts that “Iron overload is not just a problem of our genes. It is a general problem as we get older but happens more rapidly in males and with liver diseases. Therefore it is probably a condition of most elderly individuals.”

    Now I have have become somewhat untrusting of such High Vitamin C (or specifically ascorbic acid) doses as it seems to lower my zinc levels too much, essential for my mental sanity, and other points but Walter Last states in his research and experience with patients

    “Individuals with iron overload problems, mainly the elderly and those with haemochromatosis (HC) may be reluctant to use vitamin C because of medical advice that it may increase iron absorption. However, from a biochemical perspective, iron overload is a problem of the redox balance with too much iron in the oxidised ferro-form accumulating in the liver. I have shown that this can easily be cured or rectified with a sufficiently high intake of vitamin C (10 grams of spaced-out sodium ascorbate/day) to normalise the overall redox potential of the body (9, 10).

    I had several HC patients whose iron levels normalised within weeks with a high sodium ascorbate intake. The success rate was 100%, while with the low vitamin C intake suggested by conventional medicine it is 0%. My first patient with hereditary HC was treated conventionally for several years with frequent blood-letting, and was close to death without bringing the iron values into the normal range. But this happened within 20 days after starting ascorbate supplementation. He was anaemic with very low haemoglobin values, and additional Meniere’s disease, also all of these normalised rapidly with the start of ascorbate therapy. Interestingly, when he reduced his ascorbate to 5 grams and also started eating meat his iron level moved up again and only normalised when increasing vitamin C to 10 grams.

    In medicine HC is regarded as an iron overload disease because high amounts of oxidised iron in the form of ferritin (an iron-3 binding protein complex) are stored in the liver and cause oxidative problems also in other parts of the body. I prefer instead to regard it as an iron deficiency disease. The body is deficient in usable iron, that is why it sends out a message to absorb more of it.

    Vitamin C not only improves the absorption of iron, it is also required to move iron in and out of ferritin tissue stores. Without adequate antioxidants, ferric iron stores may build up because iron cannot be liberated from tissue ferritin and transferred onto plasma transferrin, the main protein in the blood that binds to iron and transports it throughout the body. This step requires vitamin C for a temporary reduction of 3-valence ferric to 2-valence ferrous iron.

    A main problem is the recycling of iron from the continual breakdown of haemoglobin in the spleen. About 25 mg of iron are recycled daily in this way, but this requires a reduction-oxidation step to transfer ferritin iron in the tissue onto plasma transferrin. With vitamin C deficiency there would be only a partial recycling. Most of the iron stores build up in the liver where the decomposed haemoglobin arrives through the portal vein after its liberation from old erythrocytes in the spleen.

    This causes a very high oxidation potential in the liver, leading to various liver diseases and elevated liver enzymes. However, very high ferric iron stores in the liver would also make this organ more antioxidant deficient than other tissue. The highest vitamin C activity would be in the intestinal mucosa as these have first call on the antioxidants absorbed from food. Therefore, transferrin will preferentially pick up iron from the intestinal mucosa and avoid the liver stores as too difficult to convert. ”

    So ceruloplasmin doesn’t seem to be the only protein carrier of iron although from all that I’ve read and understand, having lower ceruloplasmin can lead to low iron levels, anemia, or at least low bioavailable iron.

    Also, I know little about the uniqueness of your situation and health, but I wanted to note that I’ve never been probably anywhere as physically sick as you, up and moving around and had energy a significant percentage of the time, and this maybe way too simplistic thinking, but I had very similar copper levels and ceruloplasmin as yours (the data you cited as a year ago). Also according to William Walsh and Carl Pfeiffer’s database accumulated over decades, as far as the biochemical dominant reason for depression goes, 97% of this group were women.

    My point in saying these two things again, and forgive me for my naivety if I’m showing it, is that by and large, the ppl that seem to have incredibly excessive copper levels that are bioavailable, are women, and I’d think that this is the result of women naturally having higher estrogen than men, the unnatural and powerful hormone of the estrogens in oral contraceptives and copper IUDs that women take.

    Of course, all the estrogen and estrogen mimickers we take in and maybe copper in fillings and other things I’m forgetting at the moment affects us all, and not just women, and can contribute to men having such a degree of excessive high bio-unavailable copper in some cases as well. And of course pyrrole disorder (one of Walsh’s other 5 main types of biochemical reasons for major depression/anxiety etc.) naturally would result in higher than ideal copper levels, but maybe not to the extent that it should become bio-unavailable and greatly stored up, like in your case, and that it would take such a ridiculously long time (compared to a month or two), to bring those copper levels back down.

    Also I don’t know what the deal is with the phenotype for most paranoid schizophrenics according to Pfeiffer and Walsh’s work as they are supposed to have high copper levels too, but I don’t know how high it becomes in male patients and if it becomes bio-unavailable with them.

    I also heard somewhere recently that I guess some minerals your body decides to excrete the excess through your hair because it saves the liver and body some processing, but may not mean necessarily that your body levels are in a giant excess. Again, I don’t even remember where I was reading this and I feel like the site was seemingly reputable, and I don’t know much about hair analyses, so again forgive me for my gross naivety if I’m showing it big time.

    But my overall point in saying all of this is that perhaps you’re copper levels always being high are not the result of excessive storage and bio-unavailability but moreso because your body is in constant need of high copper levels in your blood to constantly fight such chronic infection. According to Louise Gittleman, copper is the primary mineral in fighting bacteria. Also many Lyme disease experts are noting the link between pyrrole disorder, which a certain degree of copper excess usually accompanies it, and Lyme disease, and Klinghardt says he sees the pyrrole disorder in most of his patients. Walter Last believes that the Lyme bacteria might actually make modifications on your liver to induce the pyrrole.

    Also with your wife’s hashimoto’s disease, Dr. Brownstein, one of the prominent iodine doctors believes that most of the thyroid disorders have at least a partial underlying problem of too low iodine. Again with it being one of the autoimmune diseases, it could be the result of underlying chronic infection. Klnghardt says the myriad of possible presentations of Lyme disease, and I think even what autoimmune diseases may be diagnosed, has to do with the specific profile of metal toxicity and which other co infections you have. Klinghardt says iodine is the most important mineral for Lyme.

    So Brownstein’s assertion that iodine is needed for Lyme maybe is two-fold. Women are 9 times more likely to experience hypothyroidism than men (I know Hashimoto’s is hyper, though it can eventually move to hypo) at least partly because, again that damn estrogen, is a goitrogen, and inhibits iron uptake (while increasing copper levels).

    So hashimoto’s might be lack of iodine and the iodine helps dissolve the cysts on the thyroid that are making too much T4 and maybe this is the same thing, but iodine is one of the body’s most powerful disinfectants, killing insects, protozoa, bacteria, fungi, viral etc.

    There’s my 2 cents again, for what it’s worth.

    1. Wow Joshua, that is really interesting material. Walter Last is saying the same things about iron overload that are said about copper toxicity in regards to having a deficiency and toxicity at the same time. Charles Barker told me that he takes ferrous iron for this same reason, to make sure he has bioavailable iron. As for the vitamin C, it is always been remarkably energizing for me and never more so than when I was getting IV infusions of 25 to 50 g. I’ll keep this in my back pocket for now because I think it’s possible that by the end of the year my ferritin could be nearing normal if reports about the effectiveness of lactoferrin and ip6 are accurate. But if it doesn’t work out, I’m going to come back to this vitamin C theory. I agree with you also it’s possible that my copper toxicity is not really that. Pretty hard to know without doing the liver biopsy which is considered the gold standard if I recall. Just today I had a huge gut infection dump and if this keeps up, I’ll be clean soon which should also go a long way to sorting out what’s really making me ill. Unfortunately, because I don’t have vast amounts to spend on testing, I may never be able to tease out exactly what it was… regarding my wife, I’m absolutely certain she has a pervasive infection though not certain what type. And it is well known that infection is one of the causes of Hashimoto’s. Many thanks for sharing this info!

    2. I would like chime in that when I was originally diagnosed with Crohn’s I was diagnosed with anemia and told to take iron supplements. Looking back it was probably a mistake to supplement the doses I did. In my case and those with gut infections and leaky gut, I think anemia is caused from the cellular/tissue damage of plant lectins. I experience horrible rectal bleeding in stools from corn tortilla chips, large amounts of wheat, beans, nuts…basically all the plants with high lectin concentrations, which is the primary principle the Paleo and autoimmune diets are modeled around. The damage likely doesn’t end in the digestive tract/colon though. I would even go as far to wager that lectins are responsible for damage over time to entire organs like the thyroid and pancreas.

      It’s probably safe to say that there are other reasons for anemia that are related to a dietary deficiency.

  21. Your blog seems to be a cruel reminder of how bad chronic disease is in the 21st century and how it is basically impossible to reverse due to the catch 22 effect.

    Back in 1950 people were being totally cured of disease from fasting and juicing. Now this hardly works at all.

    You went down the rabbit hole of methylation, chelation, mold, parasites and now iron!. If you stopped hydrocortisone you would be back to where you were at the start of this mess.

    I dont mean to sound rude but i am as sick if not sicker then you and it really hurts knowing how in 2016 its basically impossible to reverse.

    Do you actually think you are going to recover? What is the plan now?

    1. hey Mike, there are so many Catch-22’s yes and even my own wife is very skeptical about all the supplements considering the mistakes I’ve made. However, I am certain that I’m recovering and when I do, this blog will no longer be a cruel reminder. Instead it will be a celebration of what modern science, teamwork, dedication and obscene persistence can accomplish. We are living in an age of miracles and mine is on its way. There are secrets known by very few which I will share when I have something significant to brag about.

      Regarding the hydrocortisone, I have tapered off and it was a disaster. But I believe I will eventually be able to taper off successfully. Hang in there Mike, there are solutions!

    2. Good comment Mike.

      Having suffered with this for almost 15 years and tried all the bloody “old surefire” remedies, and not even a dent in this disease. You start to really wonder what the hell is going on.

      I’ve even started wondering if it’s all the cell phone radiation this whole planet is bathed in now that is hindering our recovery. How can you test it when there is no safe place to go to?

      You really start to wonder, when none of the old tricks work. Nothing seems to give any relief.

      On my TODO list is to build a radiation shielded bed. You can do it quite easily with proper shielding fabric, but it’s quite expensive and that’s the biggest obstacle. But it has to be tested to see if the radiation is contributing to our problems or not.

      Another potential avenue to investigate are vector borne diseases. Ticks and their diseases have spread pretty much globally by now. A single tick can carry easily more than 10 different very complex pathogens. But not only ticks, these pathogens are being found in all biting insects now. Viruses, nematodes, pleomorphic L-form bacteria, and spirochetes.

      Modern medicine knows almost nothing about these things, and there are no proper tests for these with regard to chronic diseases yet. So you might be testing your ferritin levels and genetic markers until you’re blue in the face, but it does you little help if the underlying causal factor is an undiagnosed (or a yet undiagnosable) infection.

      1. You know I sleep in a bed shielded with aluminum screening and I found a sleep somewhat better. Recently I came across an explanation for this – those of us with high copper levels are living breathing antennas!

      2. Yeah, and supposedly those that have Lyme disease and/or co infections are often sensitive or hypersensitive to EMFs, according to Dr. Klinghardt, a preeminent Lyme disease doctor who healed himself. He stated that there are over 6000 papers showing the dentrimental effects of these EMFs.

        I looked at other sites and also listened to a professor from Switzerland (or Sweden, whoever gives the Nobel Prize) talk about this stuff. Dr. Klinghardt believes the Smart Meters that are being installed everywhere outside of one’s house by the electric company, often unbeknownst to the resident, is particularly horrible really hurting a lot of ppl’s health and those patients in his practice. He mentioned a couple, one who had been in remission and healthy from Lyme disease for 10 years suddenly undergo some deterioration of health as soon as the meter was installed while her husband, whose Parkinson’s had been stable for a while, within 2 weeks after the Smart Meter was installed, he worsened and died.

        Yeah and Klinghardt says that most of the dentriment of these waves I think happens at night time, preventing our parasympathetic nervous system (relaxing) from performing properly or being engaged and so I could see that such a bed that deflects all this would be so crucial.

        He also mentions that is very important to do away with cordless phones, which supposedly, with most of them, without them being used they are transmitting waves to us powerfully penetrating through multiple rooms. He also says get rid of Wi-Fi, special curtains, paint, move away if you live very close to radio towers, etc.

        I was thinking about the gravitational pull by the moon and how some researchers and patients attest that there are a worsening of symptoms oftentimes during a full moon or a new moon because the degree of gravitational pull acts as a signal to the bacteria in their life cycle to begin the next phase of their cycle (this may be why so many ER doctors and nurses swear that the incidence of ER visits, including I believe visits as the result of trauma or accidents because of psychiatric illness, goes up significantly during full moons).

        I was thinking, in my minute understanding, perhaps some of the negativity that the EMFs have on Lyme disease sufferers, besides overall being totally unnatural to our systems and all the imbalance that conceivably can result, including the aforementioned effect on the parasympathetic system at night, if it is also because it sends more signals to the bacteria/pathogens.

        1. I would’ve laughed at the full moon parasite connection a couple years ago, but then I started getting migraines on the full moon…

        2. Regarding more signals to the pathogens; I saw a Youtube video many years ago focused with a microscope on a petri dish swimming with bacteria (or some active organisms). The organisms were then subjected to EMF and instantly their activity increased and tendrils grew in all directions.

          So this is also one of my theories that perhaps the EMF is indirectly making the bacteria more stressed or active. I.e. they perceive an ongoing threat, thereby releasing more endotoxins to fight this invisible intruder. This in turn then makes us more sick than we would normally be.

          Now I’m going to go a little bit into the twilight zone, but there is also an extremely horrifying disease called Morgellons. This disease has been connected with genetically engineered (probably lab escaped) silicon-based some sort of electrically active nanobacteria that thrive in high EMF fields (one theory is they derive their energy from EMF fields). People with Morgellons have fibers and metallic crystals growing out of their skin. Some have horribly deformed insects and and other very strange stuff coming out of their skins too.

          One researcher who has begun studying Morgellons says he has studied blood samples of people from all over the world, and says we are all infected with it. Most people have it without readily visible symptoms.

          I only bring this up because I do not understand why we are having these strange problems with iron or copper overload and other weird imbalances, which you would think the body should be able to correct by itself. I don’t think nature made us this fragile. This is why I suspect EMF, GMOs, perhaps Glyphosate, or some other insidious agents as the real causative factor for these problems.

          To read more about Morgellon’s you can look up Clifford Carnicom and Carnicom Institute. However it’s a pretty scary rabbit hole to climb into.

          Finally…regarding Glyphosate, the world most widely used herbicide. It is everywhere now. It causes havoc in our bodies and imitates Glycine (an amino acid), thereby integrating into our bodies protein structures. You can listen here to an interview with Stephanie Seneff. It might even be the agent that is contributing to our problems with copper, iron, or lack of detox capabilities, as it interferes with many systems in the body. You want to avoid Glyphosate in your diet at all costs after you realize what it can do.

          1. the Facebook group that I’m in where everyone is taking fenbendazole renamed itself ‘Morgellon’s support group’…

  22. Morley spoke to me too but I really have no clue.
    My hair is falling like crazy. What’s going on with my iron?Martina
    My goodness…

    Your serum Iron is 75% above the “Ideal” I recommend & your % Sat is 100% above the recommended 25-30% Sat. (Please NOTE that a “Fever” constitutes a 4% differential. Your Iron markers are WAAAAAY OFF!)

    It’s not clear what are other dynamics in your body as your Thyroid #’s appear OK. But XS, unbound Iron mixing w/ H2O2 is a breeding ground for hair loss.

    Iron-induced Oxidative Stress => Hair Loss

    A votre sante!

    Iron total 175 (40-190)
    Iron binding 309 (250-450)
    Transferrin saturation % calculated
    57 (11-50)
    Ferritin 51

    T3 free 4.1 (2.3-4.3)
    T4 free 1.0 (0.8-1.8)
    Reverse T3 not yet

    1. This is pretty complicated stuff Martina and I have to do a lot more research myself! sounds like you have probably identified the source of your problem anyway. Interesting that your ferritin is not very high. That’s probably a good sign that you mmight recover quickly…

  23. If “It is the free iron that is not contained or unbound that is dangerous”, then why, next to your Iron results, is there a note written saying “should be twice as high”? (this is next to your Iron result, not your Ferritin result)

    1. Hi Mary, I’ve relabeled everything on that graphic and added a video by Kris Kesser along with my iron genetics. thanks for writing!

  24. Hi Eric,

    Thanks a lot for your insights. Ill sure be checking on those inexpensive cleanses. Which MC you reckon is productive based on your or your wife’s experiments?

    I have Hashi too and wonder how your wife is doing with her CP upping regimen?

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Little, my wife has been worse than ever, hitting new lows. Today I started her on Charles Barker’s proper copper (mitosynergy) which I will eventually write about. Hoping hoping… my wife could not handle the MC.

      1. I’m following along with intrigue, will be especially keen to hear how the MitoActivator product helps you (both) out. So far, heard good things. It’s not yet possible to get in Canada.

            1. THANKS Martin, that is a really interesting paper (although difficult to read). I updated the post with a link to it and my summary which is: take good care of your liver! I’m going to start doing liver flushes again.

  25. Hi Eric,

    Ive been battling severe autoimmune MCTD which often frustrates me as there are no such tests in Indonesia to shed some lights to my mindboggling issues.

    And just like many other patients, I rely heavily on online blogs from real people experiences. So, your post this time is worth trying. Thanks.

    One question though: there is only Scotts Emulsion Cod Liver Oil here. Will that brand be good enough to choose? And is 2000 IU Vit D too much to take?

    Your feedback is much appreciated.

    1. If you look at the Amazon review for Scott’s CLO, it says the ingredients include parabens. If that’s true you should avoid it. Have you looked at LDN? Check out

      I’m guessing the cost of importing supplements and treatments might be an obstacle for you so I would think you may want to begin with inexpensive options like liver cleansing and the master cleanse…

      Morley Robbins would say that you should not take any man-made vitamin D. You should get it from a pure cod liver oil.

    1. I see that the reference website I linked to is down… on that site it says that the DMPS combines with iron to create compounds that are more toxic than the iron itself. It says that can also happen with copper.

  26. I am not sure if your iron is really high. My transferrin saturation is 60 and ferritin about 240. But I now have a bunch of health issues. I am in the process of trying to get this sorted but the hematologist told me that it is not high enough to cause issues. But it does seem very important to get iron into a good range.

    1. So you have a bunch of health issues and your hematologist says not to worry about ferritin of 240??? what are your health issues?

  27. I don’t understand the parts about Vitamin D – somewhere in here you mentioned that D lowers iron. And you are saying you are too high in iron. But you still said you plan on avoiding vitamin D.

    Is it that D improves ceruluplasmin (spelled wrong in my case)… and in a round about way thus helps you lower your iron?

    I’m brain fogged, pardon my inability to read through all of the above.

    1. hey Mary, my wife asked the same exact question after reading the post. I need to clarify that and maybe ask Morley Robbins to make sure I have it right. I’m guessing that vitamin D lowers ceruloplasmin which would increase ferritin and lower bioavailable iron, which is bad!

  28. Did you ever consider EDTA for detoxing iron? It seems to be recommended as a good alternative to bloodletting by some people. Read the reviews on iHerb for example ( People seem to be getting good results for many conditions with it.

    I’m going to give it a try at least and see what happens.

    Another one is charcoal which could also perhaps help with a similar mechanism to cholestyramine?
    For myself I know charcoal does make me feel better, but the reason might be something entirely different. All I know is it helps. I would assume charcoal does not bind very much to iron, but perhaps it does mop some and/or bind with bile fluid.

    1. Thanks Casper, it’s funny I just researched EDTA this morning before seeing your comment. It does seem to be very effective for chelating iron but it also has a high affinity for zinc and manganese and I’m still struggling to raise my manganese level. So I’m going to pass on the EDTA and stick with more natural methods for now.

      I do use a lot of charcoal and you seem to be right that it can adsorb bile –

      1. Btw. I just realized there might be something even more effective than charcoal, and that is apple pectin powder. I had completely forgot about it, but it helps me even more than charcoal. Going to start using that again. I use the powder from Solgar. It’s extremely sticky stuff, but still does not give constipation. Actually seems to even help in that department. But try to scrape it off a spoon or drinking glass and you need dynamite.

        1. it just so happens that I used a ton of modified citrus pectin (mcp) for about three months prior to my recent blood tests, so that’s not going to be the ticket for me. There are a couple of other things that look very promising though, including lactoferrin and IP6…

          1. Yes, however MCP is not the same as apple pectin powder. I tried MCP too and it was no good for me either. Lactoferrin and IP did nothing either 🙁 But that of course does not mean they could not help in your case.

            Btw. here is an interesting note regarding iron. After your post I started to investigate the medication I was taking prior to my CFS.

            I had a severe back injury and was using Voltaren Rapid (an anti-inflammatory pain medication). I was in severe chronic pain and took Voltaren like candy (I didn’t have any clue what I was doing, I just wanted to get rid of the pain).

            Now it turns out Voltaren has a deep red coating (of course the pharma guys care more about how their pills look than how safe they actually are).

            What is this red coating?

            Iron Oxide red CI77491 (E172)

   couldn’t be that simple could it :-/

            In any case about 80% of the side effects listed on the Voltaren leaflet are the ones I now have, you start to wonder how harmful this stuff really could be…

            1. Some related pubmed articles looking at potential toxicity of nanoscale iron oxides (E172 is banned in Germany, but I could not find the reason):

              Nanoscale biogenic iron oxides and neurodegenerative disease

              Nanotoxicology: an emerging discipline evolving from studies of ultrafine particles.

              Distribution and potential toxicity of engineered inorganic
              nanoparticles and carbon nanostructures in biological systems


            2. Hmmm, food coloring on pharmaceuticals is source of iron I never even thought of! I’m wondering if you took your lactoferrin and IP6 on an empty stomach. It might not work at all if you took it with meals or other mineral supplements… I will look up the pectin thing.

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