So you have been told you’re anemic, now what? I tested low in iron and this protocol wants to increase copper to decrease unbound iron, so how does that solve anemia? I have low iron.

Examples of common questions we see include:

  • I have low iron, what do I do?
  • I’ve been taking supplements for low iron, but now I hear that I shouldn’t be doing this, what do I do instead?
  • I tested low in iron and this protocol wants to increase copper to decrease unbound iron, so how does that solve anemia?

It is important to have the full context of whether or not you have true iron deficiency. Iron in the body is supposed to be moving, not stored. Generally, the blood tests focused on by practitioners are not showing what is actually stored, often it’s using incomplete markers or not looking at other important connections to the “low iron” aspect.

If you have low iron in blood, it is likely that you have high-unbound iron in the tissues, organs, etc.

The Root Cause Protocol (RCP) aims at making the unbound iron bound by increasing ceruloplasmin (bioavailable copper).

For instance, if you have had your ferritin tested, it is a marker, which doesn’t accurately reflect your storage of iron. Hemoglobin is a better marker, but even when it is low, there is more happening than you not having enough iron.

Additional learning is available below via the resources shared below.

If you want further personalised help, consider doing the Full Monty blood test and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and then obtain help from either Morley or one of the RCP consultant.



Retinol deficiency = anemia

Hodges, R.E., et al. (1980). “Vitamin A deficiency and abnormal metabolism of iron”.


Iron Toxicity Articles:

Iron Toxicity Post #26: Red Blood Cell metabolism is by inference Iron metabolism

The objective of iron metabolism is mobilization, and ceruloplasmin is the metabolic agent to guarantee that functional requirement is met.

Iron Toxicity Post #60: ‘Am I really anemic?’ or said another way: ‘Not known because not looked for’

Questions you can ask your physician.

Iron Toxicity Post #59: A Tale of two irons and the hepcidin peptide that regulates them

The chaos, confusion, clinical conditions and currency of hepcidin

Iron Toxicity Post #30: How blood pressure gets tweaked.

Learn about how the body pH affects magnesium and calcium, its role in intracellular and extracellular matrix, also its impact on blood pressure and insulin.

You have ‘anemia’ of chronic inflammation, which means you are iron toxic, and it’s being stored in your tissues.

Your iron isn’t low, it’s non-functional: Make it functional by raising ceruloplasmin.

You’re not low in iron. You most likely have ‘anemia of chronic inflammation’. Read all about it!

Iron Toxicity Post #71: There is no iron deficiency anemia on planet earth, but there is a pandemic of anemia adiponectin deficiency

Adiponectin is a little discussed hormone whose dysfunctions are the gateway to insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, diabetes, etc.



RCP website:


Extra resource: (premium membership)

If you are a member of our RCP Community, this provides some additional information on the topic.

What did Morley learn this week #1

Can we use Magnesium Citrate?

No, magnesium citrate is not recommended on the protocol. Two principle reasons:

1) The Citrate molecule irritates the bowel and prevents sufficient time for the Magnesium to get absorbed.

2) The Citrate molecule causes the ceruloplasmin (ferroxidase) protein to lose its enzyme function.


Without sufficient levels of the ceruloplasmin ferroxidase enzyme functioning properly, our bodies cannot oxidize the iron and load the iron into hemoglobin and transferrin so that the iron can be transported through the blood to where the iron is needed and eventually taken back to the bone marrow and recycled to make new red blood cells.


Therefore, due to low ceruloplasmin ferroxidase Enzyme function the unbound iron will not be functional.

When used in a product, Mg carbonate is often coupled with citrates to create a drink that is Mg citrate, and that is not recommended, although it is a popular product.


This study by Prof. Kell explains how anti-oxidants can act as pro-oxidants – including ascorbates (synthetic vitamin C), and citrates.



Kell, D.B. (2009). “Iron behaving badly: inappropriate iron chelation as a major contributor to the aetiology of vascular and other progressive inflammatory and degenerative diseases”


Lovstad, R.A. (1996). “On the mechanism of citrate inhibition of ceruloplasmin ferroxidase activity.”

Osaki, S. et a. (1964). “proof for the ascorbate oxidase activity of ceruloplasmin.”


Relevant threads on MAG FB group:

What does a search of the Magnesium Advocacy Group show up for citrates?


Extra resource: (premium membership)

If you are a member of our RCP Community, this provides some additional information on the topic.

15-16th April 2019 – Q & A with Morley and Kristan

What types of magnesium are recommended?

There are different types of magnesium, many provide slightly different version, which can benefit. On the RCP, we encourage a diversity of different magnesium; one type of magnesium is not better than the other, it is individual to what you may tolerate.
We do recommend you starting with mineral drops (as listed in the manual) as it can be added in slowly.  We also illustrate that the adrenal cocktails are also important to take when you are taking magnesium. It helps to support your electrolytes when taking magnesium.


Magnesium Chloride – a good all rounder, can be used transdermal on skin

or baths, found in mineral drops

Magnesium Glycinate – often calming so a good one for nighttime

Magnesium Malate – can be a stimulating magnesium so good for start of    day

Magnesium Oxide/Magnesium Hydroxide – good in small doses throughout the day, the hydroxide version is good for making magnesium bicarbonate

Magnesium Sulphate – small oral doses, best in bath

Magnesium Taurate and Orotate – cardiovascular health

Magnesium Threonate – brain injuries, PTSD, depression, neuro conditions, anxiety (though many other types of magnesium can be suitable too – it is individual to what you may tolerate)

Magnesium bicarbonate (Mag Water) – one of the co-factors, improves absorption


Not recommended:

Magnesium Citrate – see this FAQ

Magnesium Glutamate

Magnesium Aspartate

Best magnesium for anxiety?

There is no particular type of magnesium that is suited for anxiety for everyone.  You may have to trial certain ones and work out what suits you best.  You can check out the FAQ for the different types of magnesium that we recommend and do not recommend.

As we stated in the FAQ about the different types of magnesium, adrenal cocktails are important part of the protocol when you are adding in magnesium.

Also slowly get onto the protocol



Anxiety and RCP on Facebook:

RCP website:

What is the best magnesium for migraines?

Many have found implementing the RCP has helped with migraines, especially focusing on magnesium and adrenal cocktails.  Also make sure you get plenty of potassium food sources in your diet.

Morley has stated that sign of copper dysregulation and excess oxidative stress is behind many migraines.  The protocol aims at increasing bioavailable copper and helps to reduce oxidative stress.  Magnesium’s role is managing the oxidative stress, so often-just magnesium can help but doing the protocol helps to restore the balance so migraines are reduced.  Metabolic and emotional stress is also implicated because it triggers magnesium loss, which then can trigger migraines.

“ may be possible that stress causes magnesium excretion, leading to hypomagnesaemia, which triggers a migraine.”

Edelstein, C., Mauskop, A. (2009). “Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine.”




Relevant threads on Facebook:

I’m pregnant and I have low iron

The Root Cause Protocol (RCP) is ideal during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  The only exclusion is diatomaceous earth (DE) and stabilized rice bran since we do not know the effects it has on the baby since they can be detoxing.

Find out how minerals is so important to pregnant Mums and breastfeeding Mums.  There is no anemia of iron deficiency, it is just lack of functional iron, big difference.  Use the RCP to help get the iron functional.

However, using ferritin only blood test to determine iron deficiency is not a sign of iron vitality.  It takes bioavailable copper as expressed via ferroxidase enzyme function, which lowers as the pregnancy progresses. You need bioavailable copper to load iron into ferritin. So low ferroxidase means low ferritin.  You need more bioavailable copper not more iron.

Normal hemoglobin (Hgb) for women is 12.5-13.5.  When a woman is pregnant, this level stays the same for the first half of the pregnancy.

During the second half of the pregnancy, Hgb should drop to between 8.5-9.5. This is called hemodilution. (which is the research of Dr. Steer who examined 150,000 live births)

“Maximum mean birth weight in white women was achieved with a lowest haemoglobin concentration in pregnancy of 85-95 g/l; the lowest incidence of low birth weight and preterm labour occurred with a lowest haemoglobin of 95-105 g/l”

Steer, P. et al. (1995). “Relation between maternal haemoglobin concentration and birth weight in different ethnic groups”

Healthiest weight babies are born to Mom’s with low hemoglobin.

Pregnant women’s copper can be difficult to assess as ceruloplasmin, a key protein for copper is very high because you are supposed to do a notable download of copper into the fetus’s liver during the last trimester.  Zyklopen is bioavailable copper, is mostly in uterus during pregnancy.

“Copper depletion may also be caused by high‐dose iron supplementation, raising concerns particularly in pregnancy when iron supplementation is widely recommended. This review will cover the basic physiology of intestinal iron and copper absorption as well as the metabolism of these minerals in the liver.”

Doguer, C, Ha, J-H, Collins, J.F. (2018). “Intersection of Iron and Copper Metabolism in the Mammalian Intestine and Liver.”

Cod liver Oil is a wonderful source of retinol, which is essential to make ferroxidase enzyme, which is key to the proper and natural regulation of iron in the human body.  Vitamin A toxicity is usually due to synthetic supplemental vitamin A not from food sources such as unfortified cod liver oil, grassed fed beef liver, grassed fed butter, eggs, and heavy cream.

Under normal conditions, the complete download of iron occurs between the baby’s birth and the placenta’s birth providing the practitioners do not tug on the umbilicus cord.  Delaying the clamping will enhance the full download of iron through the cord. It is preferred to leave it until it stops pulsating.

“An alternate strategy recommended by the WHO to improve the infant’s body stores of iron is delayed cord clamping after birth [55,56]. The timing of delayed clamping varies between studies but is generally done between 1 and 5 min after delivery, or at the end of umbilical cord pulsations [57]. This can impart an estimated 80 mL of blood transfer after 1 min and 100 mL by 3 min which will impart an extra 40-500 mg/kg of iron…”

Cerami, C. (2017). “iron nutriture of the fetus, neonate, infant and child”

Animal based retinol (vitamin A) is very important.  It is supposed to be downloaded in mother’s milk during the first 18-24 months of the baby’s life.

Iron Toxicity Article:

Morley discuss iron levels, hemodilution and pregnancy


Facebook video:

How to book in with a RCP Consultant?

You can find RCP directory here

You do have the option of having a consult with Morley Robbins:

Nearly all RCP Consultants can work with people anywhere since the consult is usually conducted through video conferencing.  Choose someone that you resonate with, either read their short introduction in the directory or follow Magnesium Advocacy Group on Facebook and look for the signature of RCP Consultant to see if any stands out for you.  You can either Private Message the potential consultant or contact them through the RCPC directory.

It is preferred to have the ‘Full Monty’ blood test and hair tissue mineral analysis, this provide a broader picture of what your body is doing metabolically and combined with a consult, it is very effective.

Is the practitioner I’m working with RCP certified?

You can view a full list of RCP Institute Graduates here.

How to raise hemoglobin? I’m pregnant and my hemoglobin is low.

Iron does not increase hemoglobin! We have “known” this since 1855!

‪The factors that are far more important are:

  • ‪Retinol has proven properties to increase Hgb (likely by dual affect on lowering H2O2 and making copper more bioavailable.)
  • Bioavailable copper is involved in 4 of 8 enzymes to make heme, esp. the 1st (rate-limiting) and last, where copper is the “Crain-operator” in ferrochelatase enzyme to insert iron into heme. (Iron does not “insert” itself!)
  • Bioavailable copper is key to making anti-oxidant enzymes, especially, ferroxidase, SOD, catalase and GPx that must be optimal to make Hgb. More iron only increases the “accidents with Oxygen,” aka “Oxidants” that must then be neutralized!
  • Another key requirement to make new blood (Heme>>Hgb>>RBCs) is energy! Erythroid cells with low bioavailable copper cannot make energy.

‪Oh, how I wish your doctor understood half of what I’m saying here.  The reason why RCP consultants don’t know how to use “Heme Iron tablets” is because we understand the truth of blood metabolism— not the mythology that is based solely on iron.

‪Hope that sheds new light and regrettably greater complexity on this Hemoglobin thing. Again, these comments are based on scientific truth, not clinical mythology!

A votre santé!

Morley M.Robbins



The RCP increases bioavailable copper and retinol.

Hemoglobin in pregnancy is in the FAQ on pregnancy.


Relevant thread on Facebook:


Extra resources: (premium membership)

If you are a member of our RCP Community, these provide some additional information on the topic.


Q and A session12-13th August 2019


Q and A session 23-24th July 2019

~ 42 minutes in

Q and A session 23-24th July 2019

MTHFR and Epi-genetics

It’s very vogue and hip to talk about Methylation. But truth be known, most practitioners and websites know very little about the truth of this metabolic condition and how impacted it is from Choline deficiency, Copper deficiency and Iron-induced Oxidative Stress
Lack of bioavailable copper affects the Methyltransferase enzymes that we rely on.

I learned last night talking with Kitty Martone, who runs a very popular & informative FB group on Estrogen Dominance, as we were creating a Podcast for our communities… In her formative years as a nutritionist, she spent many years working with Robert Marshall, MD, who specializes in Gut Health and pH balance. What they learned in his Center, through regular 23andme testing, is that the “Methylation issues” that surfaced on initial MTHFR testing changed and improved as the metabolic health of the client improved.

Now that is an absolute bombshell, and confirms what I have long suspected: Genes flip “On” & “Off” all the time — depending on the metabolic load & stressors of the individual… And no one ever thinks to “test their ‘broken’ genes” — again. So, as the mineral dysregulation that’s at the head of all this chaos subsides, the stress on the genes changes and metabolic function improves.

A votre sante!

Morley M. Robbins


Iron Toxicity Articles:

Iron Toxicity Post #17: Could ‘Folate deficiency’ be an EPI-genetic deficiency of bioavailable copper?

How folate deficiency and it relates to ceruloplasmin and epigenetics like MTHFR.


Iron Toxicity Post #38: Why Vitamin D and iron is not a good idea!

Vitamin D and excess unbound iron creates destructive hydroxyl radicals (OH*) in the body.


Iron Toxicity Post #40: Medication can cause iron induced oxidative stress!

Pharmaceutical drugs cause collateral damage to the mitochondria.  Review the 72 most popular drugs that can impact on the mitochondria.


Iron Toxicity Post #47: The truth about the cause of mitochondrial dysfunction (as least as I see it)

How the key (copper) and the fuel (cardiolipin) prevents mitochondrial dysfunction in the lipids getting rusty.


Relevant threads on Facebook


Extra resource: (premium membership)

If you are a member of our RCP Community, this provides some additional information on the topic.


What did Morley learn this week #2

Ready to learn more about RCP?

Join Our Newsletter

To receive regular updates on RCP news and events, please add your name to the e-newsletter list below.