Innate Wisdom Podcast
Season 1 | Episode 4
What Your OBGYN Won't Tell You Part 1 with Morley Robbins: Precocious Puberty, PCOS, Amenorrhea, Heavy Periods, Acne & Hair Loss
What It's About:
Today, I’m excited to welcome one of my teachers and mentors, Morley Robbins. His own health issues led him to seek answers he couldn’t find in the mainstream, leading him to leave his job as a hospital executive and to become a healthcare consultant, wellness coach, and self-taught mineral expert, spending hours researching the metabolic interplay between 3 key minerals: magnesium, bioavailable copper, and iron, on a daily basis. The primary focus in his work is to master mineral metabolism, and to understand and harness its foundational impact on our health. He regularly confers with world renown mineral experts, speaks at wellness conferences and on podcasts and radio shows. He has performed over 5,500 consultations with clients in over 45 countries, has developed a unique metabolic diagnostic blood test, and teaches his research on unique mineral dynamics and concepts through his Copernican Institute, also known as the Root Cause Protocol Institute. Oh yeah, and he’s the author of Cure Your Fatigue.
Listen to hear more about:
- Precocious puberty & delayed puberty
- Natural solutions for Amenorrhea
- Why you get PCOS
- Hormonal contraceptives
- The truth about the Copper IUD
- How to support yourself on birth control
- Why women menstruate
- Why you're anemic
- Why you have acne
- Why you're losing your hair
- How minerals work
- And much more!
[00:00:00] Loren: Morley, I'm so excited to have you on the Innate Wisdom Podcast. I cannot tell you how honored I am as one of your students and mentees. This means so much. Welcome.
[00:00:12] Morley: Well, I'm thrilled to be here. I'm looking forward to our dialogue. I think you've put together some really thought provoking questions, and I think it's gonna be a good exchange.
It'll be a lot of fun.
[00:00:22] Loren: I agree. I agree. Well, before we dive into the questions, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and what led you on the path you're on today?
[00:00:36] Morley: I'll give 'em a thumbnail sketch cuz it's a fairly lengthy journey. But I affectionately refer to myself as a pre-med retread. I had designs on being a doctor when I was in college, and Gordon Galloway, my organic chemistry professor, made sure that was never gonna happen.
So if you don't go into medical school, you're gonna go to business school, become a hospital administrator to boss around the doctors. And that's exactly what I did. And did that for about 12 years. And then I wanted to make life more exciting and more challenging, so I decided to become a healthcare consultant and solve problems for hospitals and health systems.
So I did that for 20 years and he was pretty good at it, and, when you're a consultant, you live out of a suitcase, you live out of airplanes. And after 20 years of pulling a suitcase behind my back, my body developed a frozen shoulder and said, “We're done with this. You're not gonna do that anymore”. And it was a not so subtle message from the universe that I had a higher calling apparently, and went to a health food store, asked for some supplements.
They told me to go see Dr. Liz. I said, I don't do witchcraft. And I suffered for months. And then I went back and they said, Look, go see Dr. Liz. And of course, I think a lot of people know that Dr. Liz is now my wife. She, uh, healed. I had full range of motion after two sessions with her, which was absolutely mind blowing.
And she used a phrase that really triggered a torrent of curiosity on my part. She talked about the innate healer. I didn't say anything to her at the time, but I thought to myself, Well, if there's an innate healer in each one of us, why do we need these doctors? And so I set out to find a, who is this innate healer?
And now I'm 11 years in doing daily research for two to three hours a day. And guess what? I know who the innate healer is, and I'm just ornery enough and arrogant enough to say that I think it's the network of enzymes that are run by bioavailable copper. And again, most people out there follow the meme of U anemic and your copper toxic, and we know that it's just the opposite, that people have very, very low levels.
Bioavailable copper, and as a result they have iron dysregulation. So it's been a fascinating journey to begin to piece together this mosaic of truth about what really runs the body, especially the human body, and what destabilizes it. And we know it's stress. Many different forms of stress. There's physical stress and there's environmental stress, and there's emotional stress, but there's also metabolic stress.
Those are the four classic forms of stress. They're really hard on magnesium and copper, and as soon as magnesium and copper gets compromised, iron begins to take over the body. That's really the basis of the root cause protocol is to get people to recognize that foundational relationship between those key minerals.
The other obvious issue is how is oxygen being dealt with in the body? And what most people don't know is that all the chemicals in the body, the hormones, the neurotransmitters, the entire immune system responds to oxygen status in the body. It's amazing. And if you can't regulate oxygen and you can't regulate iron, you're gonna have a whole pack of trouble.
And it turns out there's only one mineral that does that. And it's copper. That's the best kept secret on the planet, and that's what this conversation's trying to bring greater awareness to.
[00:04:34] Loren: Yeah, absolutely. I love what you said too about the innate healer. That's one of the reasons the podcast is named what it is.
I think that's super funny, and innately, we have everything we need to heal inside of us. It's just sometimes we've forgotten how to use those tools.
[00:04:54] Morley: We've all gotten birthday presents or holiday gifts that were really cool, but someone forgot to put the batteries in them. You don't have batteries. They have really cool tools or toys or whatever you got.
That's where the problem is, and that's what minerals bring to the metabolisms. They're a source of energy and it's like, it's basic, but people don't realize it. Especially they're practitioners. They've not been trained in these foundational concepts, and you can't really fault them for the focus of their education.
What you can challenge them, though, is on their level of curiosity. That's where I think we need to raise the bar and get them to realize that there's more to the story.
[00:05:41] Loren: Absolutely. Absolutely. I love that you said that too. I think there's so much to be said about the foundations and a lot of the time we think the solution is like this grandiose, complicated, complex, maybe confusing, needs to be super hard. Sometimes people think it needs to be super hard, but a lot of the time the solution is actually quite simple and easy to implement.
[00:06:05] Morley: What's important, and I think that's a very important point, when you focus on simple solutions, it doesn't mean it's easy. It takes tremendous discipline to refine down thinking so that you get to the level of simplicity.
That's the work of Einstein and other scientists, that if you can't explain concepts to a child, then you don't understand the mechanism. I think that's where a lot of health practitioners are lost in this very artificially complicated construct, and it's not, It really is not so. That's the challenge is getting more people to embrace that.
[00:06:42] Loren: Totally. There's also a saying that it takes longer to say less than more.
[00:06:51] Morley: No, it does. Who was it who said it was, I apologize for the length of the letter. I didn't have time to make it a one pager.
[00:06:59] Loren: Yes, yes. So true. So if we can apply that to the practitioner world, sometimes it doesn't need to be, you know, an eight step or this completely intricate thing.
The foundations really do a lot of work for you and sometimes they take care of everything. So,
[00:07:19] Morley: And I think what you see in your own practice is that simple concepts work. I think what happens is practitioners who spent many years and many dollars getting their certifications, their licenses, their degrees, they're really protective of all that effort.
I think they're putting an elephant skin over their mouth, but it's just, that's human nature to want to be recognized for all that effort, they do understand it, But I think they also need to be open to, maybe there's a whole other way of thinking about this.
[00:07:51] Loren: Mm-hmm, I completely agree. That's very well said.
Well, today's theme of this podcast is really what your obstetrician won't tell you. And so taking kind of the paradigm that you've described, I wanna bring that into the spirit of this topic. And I'm hoping we can actually start with the topic of menstruation. The current age a girl gets her first menstruation or menses is 12 years old.
And I've noticed, however, this is not the case for a lot of those girls in the younger generation. I started to notice it, when I was young, I danced. I was in dance school and a lot of the girls actually got their periods at eight or nine. I was one of the later ones, even though my period came at a very average age, and now I'm hearing girls getting their periods at seven or eight as young as seven or eight.
So bringing that paradigm into this topic, what do you think might be the cause here for this super early onset of menstruation?
[00:09:00] Morley: No, it's a really important question. The other side of it is, if we were to interview your great grandmothers, they were probably closer to 15 or 16. And what's happened over the last, certainly the last 80 years since 1941, is iron fortification programs that started with iron filings.
Yes, I did say filings, but iron filings being added to the wheat flour. And then of course, supplements and prenatals and other sources of iron have been added to the routine. And there's a very simple rule that people need to understand about iron. There's only one way to get rid of excess iron and that, and that’s through blood loss. There's no hormonal or metabolic pathway to regulate iron status.
Gravity is the only thing that's going to deal with lowering iron status. And again, that's not well understood. As I look back on women that I've consulted with over the last 10, 11 years, I'd say the average age is from more between 12 and 13. But to your point, I've done consults with two young women both age eight, and it's, again, it is a shock and it's entirely, I think, the wisdom of the body saying, There's too much iron, I've gotta start dumping it.
I don't think it's well understood. I don't think it's at all healthy in the short term. It makes sense long term, that doesn't make sense. My guess is that the earlier you start, the earlier you're gonna go into menopause. I think there's a window when women can actually have menstruation and I think it's about 40 some years, maybe 45 years.
And the other side of it is the number of women who think it's okay to stop menstruating in their early forties. No, that's not good at all. You really want to get into your late fifties, cuz again, the woman's body is designed biologically to be dumping iron. And it's a very important dynamic. And as I tease, there's only two reasons why women outlive men.
One is women are smarter. That's a biological fact. It's like they have iron loss. And they are constantly lowering the toxicity of iron in their body through their monthly menstrual cycle. Very important concept. So I think the early onset is a function of the body sensing there's too much iron and we've gotta start the process of lowering the iron impact.
[00:11:48] Loren: Yeah, that's so interesting. A couple of thoughts came up there in your answer to that question. I've learned in the root cause Protocol Institute, through your work, that iron can potentiate estrogen and increase estrogen as well. Do you think that that also could be part of the reason for the early onset of the menses?
[00:12:10] Morley: It certainly would be a factor. The whole issue of estrogen, it’s obviously an essential hormone, but I think what people have been trained to believe is that the body runs on hormones. I don't buy that. I think the body is really regulated by minerals and hormones are used to move minerals and to ensure their absorption.
But I don't ascribe to this idea that the menstrual cycles are all driven by estrogen and progesterone. I think it's really driven by the dynamic between iron and magnesium and coppers in the thick of it as well. But this idea that estrogen would be causing that, that's an intriguing idea that you could certainly connect the dots.
If someone is low in copper, as I would suspect a lot of young women would be today, that means that iron is gonna be more dominant. And so if iron is dominant, and there aren't sufficient copper enzymes like Ceruloplasmin to regulate that iron, well the body's going to bring in estrogen as a plan B antioxidant.
And could that influx of estrogen be influential in the early onset? It certainly could be a very significant factor. I've never thought of it that way, but it certainly makes sense. I would argue that it's a lot simpler. There's just too much iron. We gotta get rid of it, and so the body probably senses that there isn't adequate copper, there's too much iron. When we better start the cycle, that would certainly drive the process, I think.
[00:13:51] Loren: Yeah, I think you make a really important point too. A lot of practitioners and a lot of people trying to heal themselves really look at the hormone level as the ultimate level. But when you look further down the line of order of operations, there's minerals which run enzymes, which run hormones.
Then you have the metabolic function happening with all that.
[00:14:16] Morley: That's not to deny that hormones aren't powerful. A pinch of a hormone. If we were to use it as salt on potato chips, a pinch of a hormone would be enough to salt nine tons of potato chips, which would fill the average football stadium. I think they're very powerful chemicals.
I get that, but I don't think the body runs on that mechanism. It doesn't make sense to me as a biologist and just using my thumb to measure an inch, it just doesn't pass that test.
[00:14:46] Loren: That's totally fair. I just think a lot of people have tunnel vision, and so hopefully this conversation broadens that tunnel to more horizons and larger pictures.
[00:14:59] Morley: I think the last two years have been a real invitation to realize that there's more to this story. And I think that's been a surprise for us all. And I think that what's exciting about this podcast is you're inviting people into a dialogue that I think might help simplify their lives, might help explain what's going on.
If they take the time to listen to these types of conversations, I think they'll be genuinely excited about what they learn.
[00:15:28] Loren: Well, thank you, I hope so. Well, going back to the age. These women, these females actually are experiencing menstruation, it's early onset. But I've also noticed kind of the opposite too.
I've noticed a lot of girls and women are experiencing amenorrhea, which is the loss of a period, and I see this more and more, especially in grown women, especially those that have PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. What are your thoughts around this and how can women support themselves?
[00:16:03] Morley: Great question. So I have this very wild idea that all of the conditions that exist in the medical dictionary that begin with the letter A acne, anemia, arthritis, amenorrhea, all of those conditions can be solved with vitamin A.
And what a lot of people don't know about is that the 1934 Nobel Prize went to three physicians who were curing anemia and pernicious anemia with the same product. It's called beef liver folks. And there's a lot of vitamin A, a lot of retinol in beef liver. A lot of people are not aware of the pioneering work of Robert Hodges or Dr. Simba at Hopkins. And these are just amazing experts in retinol. And we have a narrow casting around retinol and a broadcasting around vitamin D as you well know. And so most people are not aware they have no working knowledge of retinol. And I think that's really what's behind this loss of menstrual cycle.
And I think it's very unsettling because again, the biology and the physiology of the woman is set up for monthly blood loss, and there's a lot of mechanisms that need to be working in sync with that, and it's well orchestrated. But if the lubricant, the retinol is missing, I really shouldn't use that term because retinol, it's actually an alcohol, I didn’t know if you knew that or not.
And it plays a pivotal role in our mitochondria, no less. To put it in perspective, for women who are listening to this, there are 40 quadrillion mitochondria in our body. So that's 15 zeros. That's a lot of mitochondria. And so every cell has 500 mitochondria. Wow. I remember my high school biology textbook had a picture of a cell with like two mitochondria, maybe three.
And so the average cell has 500. Average liver cell, 2000, kidney 4,000, heart 10,000. My favorite is the average mature egg in a woman's body, 600,000 mitochondria. And what most people don't know is that each mitochondria is supposed to have 50,000 atoms of copper in the center, there's a little swimming pool in the center of the mitochondria called the matrix.
It's actually called the copper matrix pool. And so suddenly we've got this, “Oh wow, that's a lot of copper”. And people don't know what changes have been made in the farming and food system to make copper MIA. And so there's this total disconnect, and I think it's playing out in these women who are losing their menstrual cycle because again, a real sign of vitality for a woman is her menstrual cycle.
And not just a menstrual cycle. One that's regular, one that is maybe five days long, not three days, not seven or nine days, but around three days. And it's like clockwork, 28 days. And so that's not a regular finding as you well know in the female community. So I think that the fact that the menstrual cycle disappears is, to me, the book ends of menstruation either too early or it disappears, is iron dysregulation.
And what people don't realize is the central role that retinol plays with copper, To ensure iron gets regulated in the body. And that's not well understood, even in practitioner circles, much less the public. But the research is very clear that copper and retinol play very well together and they, working as a team, create and activate a whole network of enzymes and metabolic pathways to keep iron in its place.
So, very, very important for people to understand that.
[00:20:37] Loren: Yeah, I think those were incredible points. One that really stood out to me that I would love to touch on is the fact behind the matter of eggs, so mature eggs and how they have 600,000 mitochondria in each one. I think this is important.
You're welcome to chime in, but one of the issues that also comes up, and we'll talk about pregnancy as well later, but there's this idea that eggs, our eggs are disappearing as we get older. But for me, what you're saying and the connection between iron and magnesium and copper, It's really these eggs are not able to create enough energy to sustain themselves any longer.
And the less energy we're able to produce, the more eggs we're going to lose. And so I have a lot of women coming to me with very low follicle counts, very low ovarian reserves. They can be improved a little bit. There is opportunity and hope there, but there's not a lot of explanation behind why they're lost.
Most of the research that I can find really is just on smoking, and that reduces the egg count. But this just makes so much more sense when you say it like that.
[00:21:57] Morley: I would identify two obvious issues. One is the overwhelming abundance and overload of iron in humanity. Iron is always dominant in the body.
Average woman has about 4,000 milligrams of iron and should have about 90 to a hundred milligrams of copper. That's a big difference between 4,000 and a hundred, right? So that's important for people to understand, but when that a hundred milligrams of copper goes down to say 65, and when that 4,000 of iron goes up to say 5,000 or 6,000, well that's a very significant, the whole ratio, dramatically different.
And so Jamie Collins at, uh, University of Florida in Gainesville in 2019, he and his team wrote a very important study about how too much dietary iron kills the bioavailability of copper. Well, if you've got this fertilization mechanism, called the menstrual cycle. And if it's too overwhelmed with iron, well what do you expect?
It's gotta have energy in order to do its work. And if it starts to bubble and it doesn't have the energy, and if it can't clear the oxidative stress, well then doesn't it make sense that Mother Nature being this wise entity is gonna start to take things offline? It's like this organism doesn't have the capacity to support life.
So then let's take away that whole mechanism. I think it makes perfect sense.
[00:23:35] Loren: Yeah, that's definitely in line with what I see in real life too.
[00:23:43] Morley: And again, I think it's important for people to look at it from an energy paradigm, not from a disease paradigm. And we've been conditioned. So when the system is set up, oh, you're broken, you've got a disease, you've got, you've got some pathogen or whatever, it's like, Well, wait a minute, maybe it's the energy that's missing.
Cuz if I have the energy, I've got the recycling, I've got the regulation, and oh, by the way, I'm gonna be keeping the pathogens in check when I have good energy. And realize the power of that electric fence inside their body.
[00:24:16] Loren: Absolutely. Yeah. When we aren't able to create enough energy to support all the functions in our body, our body will start to make trade offs. That is really kind of how I explain it.
And compensation. It's trade-offs, and it'll only support what it can. And sometimes those, reproduction is technically not one of the super essential functions to keep our bodies alive. Definitely the human race. Yes. But if our body's struggling to create energy to keep us alive, it's going to choose to keep us alive versus reproduction.
[00:24:51] Morley: Yeah, absolutely true. It's absolutely biological.
[00:24:54] Loren: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I would love to move the conversation to hormonal contraceptives, there's a lot that we haven't been told about hormonal contraceptives, like the birth control pill and other hormonal contraceptives like the depo shot, implants, et cetera. Can you elaborate on how these hormonal contraceptives can affect our metabolic function and our mineral balance?
[00:25:19] Morley: I'll share what I know. I don't want people to think that I'm holding myself out to be some expert in this area. I've read many studies that are very revealing about what's happening, especially with the birth control pills and the studies in the late sixties and early seventies were a little alarming.
And again, what the listener needs to understand is I started out my work, you know, back to the very first question, what's the thumbnail? I started out my work focusing on magnesium, and magnesium loss, and it took me about seven years to figure out “why does the magnesium keep leaving the body?” Well, it's because there's too much iron.
Why is there too much iron? Because there's not enough copper. And so now I'm incredibly protective of copper status and the protein ceruloplasmin, it's the master antioxidant enzyme in the body, and it's a big deal. And there are eight copper atoms inside that protein. You've never heard that before. You don't know what that means.
And so I've identified between 20 and 24 enzyme functions that are done by this one protein. That's a big protein. It's like 1,066 amino acids, which is big, but it's not the biggest protein in the body. But it's certainly not the smallest, either more than a thousand amino acids. It means that it has some sway in the body, but it's especially important for regulating oxygen and iron.
And people don't, They've never thought to question the oxygen and the iron in their body. Iron’s the master prooxidant on the planet means it likes to create rust, and oxygen is the second most reactive element on the planet. After fluorine, gas, oxygen is the next most reactive element. And right after that is ozone.
Ding, ding, ding. I'm very careful about introducing forms of oxygen into a body that doesn't have enough bioavailable copper. And the reason why I'm bringing this up is that these studies back in the sixties and seventies were noting the impact that the birth control pill had on copper status and ceruloplasmin status.
And so in an ideal state, there should be about 100 units of copper in the blood, and there should be about 30 units of ceruloplasmin, and the ratio is 3.33. What they were finding back in the day. There were quite a few studies done at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The copper levels were going up into the two hundreds.
Ceruloplasmin was tripling into the seventies, as high as the seventies, and that means that there was a complete loss of copper metabolism in your body. These birth control pills have a significant impact on the ability for copper to regulate iron and oxygen, and no one talked about that. And the other thing that's important to know is that in those, certainly for many, many years, there was a series of pills you would take and then there were some blanks and people didn't know that the blanks were iron supplements, and that's a problem.
Again, the theme is you’re anemic. Well, what's very, very important for everyone to understand in this dialogue, there is a difference between how iron shows up in the blood and how iron gets stuck in the tissue. They’re very different media. And so the belief system is that iron in the blood is perfectly representative of iron in the tissue.
No, it's not. Not even close. And if the iron can't get out of the tissue because there's a very important exit doorway called ferroportin, literally iron doorway, then guess who the doorman is? It's a copper doorman. If copper's not there to open the door and accelerate the release of iron and hook it up to the transport protein transferrin, or get it into ferritin, the storage protein, you can have a mess on your hands.
And that's where I think a lot of people find themselves is this unwitting buildup of iron because no one ever told them about copper and they've been taking birth control pills and it's confusing the body. And to your point, I think what's gonna be a very understandable correlator is “is it gonna affect estrogen?”
And yes, estrogen is going to rise in a body that doesn't have bioavailable copper. And that's the hard part for people to understand is that the copper can be high, but if it's not properly bound to its protein, then it's not bioavailable. It's a very different beast from all the other minerals, copper absolutely needs to be properly housed so that it can do its work through these enzymes, and so estrogen will rise in a condition like that where the copper is coming out of the ceruloplasmin and it's being called ‘unbound copper’.
It’s technical term, it actually goes back to some work by Carl Pfeiffer in the sixties. He was referring to the fact that there were certain agents that cause copper to become unbound from ceruloplasmin. Well, then that got shortened to copper, became unbound, and then it transitioned into copper toxicity.
To put it in perspective for people. So we know we've got about four to 5,000 milligrams of iron in the body. We've got about 90 to a hundred milligrams of copper. So that's the body level. Well, let's go into the blood. When we get to the blood, 70% of the iron in the body is found in the blood. Let's make the arithmetic a little easier.
Let's work with 5,000 milligrams times 70. That's 3,500 milligrams of iron in the blood, and there's 1% copper in the blood. So we've got 3,500 to one milligram of copper in the blood, and then we go down into the bone marrow. The bone marrow, a very important tissue in the body, hangs out in the long bones of the body, the long bones of the arm, long bones of the leg, the hip area and the numbers are completely different.
There's 24 milligrams of iron, but there's 47 milligrams of copper in the bone marrow. So the ratio went from like 60 to 1, 3500 to 1, one to two. And it's mind blowing. And so when people start talking about copper toxicity, where are you talking about? And most people don't know the dynamics. And the reason why the bone marrow is so important is that they're called nurse cells, they've gotta decide, are we gonna make bone?
We gonna make blood, or we gonna make immune cells today? And it's amazing. So that means there's intelligence down there. Incredible intelligence in the bone marrow, and nobody knows that. And it's such an essential part of our physiology and is a very copper rich area that people just are not aware of.
So I think that the whole issue of the birth control pill was a sharp left turn for women because I don't think women got full disclosure about what it was doing, not just for them, but for their children and for their grandchildren. And so I think there's been a real limited understanding of the situation and we're doing our level best within the root cause protocol to make people aware that there is way more to the story, especially in a pregnant woman's body.
And I know we're gonna get into pregnancy in a little bit, but in a pregnant woman's body, there's three critical enzymes that need to be firing to manage copper and iron in the mom and the fetus, and they're all called ferro oxidase enzymes. That means they're managing iron, managing oxygen and iron.
Ferroxidase and ceruloplasmin is managing copper iron in the mother's body. Then we get to another protein called hephaestin, and that's managing copper and iron in the womb, the uterus, and then we get to the third, and probably the most important, it's called zyklopen, Z-Y-K-L-O-P-E-N, and that's inside the placenta.
Here's the uncomfortable part of that information. There's not one woman listening to this whose doctor ever told her that there's not one woman who ever had those proteins measured in their body. And to me, it's a condemnation of the birthing community, whether we're talking about obstetricians or midwives or doulas or whatever.
It's like let's start focusing where it matters. Because if we're not managing copper and iron between the mother and the fetus, or between the mother's body and the uterus, let's just manage that. That's a big deal. Those are two proteins that need to be communicating with each other. Well, if not measuring that, come on, we're missing a major piece of the puzzle.
[00:35:13] Loren: Yeah, a lot of women coming off the hormonal contraceptive do have significant estrogen dominance. I think that's driven not only because of the synthetic hormones that are given at relatively higher doses than our own natural levels, but also you have this dynamic where ceruloplasmin is getting destroyed, and that's also calling for more estrogen to be created to protect.
And then you have, also, a bunch of copper toxicity, which is now a pretty well known quote unquote, I mean, copper toxicity. It's a very commonly associated issue with women on birth control or coming off birth control, but it's not well understood. It's just, oh, likely when you come off, you're gonna have excess copper. FTI.
[00:36:00] Morley: But again, let's have full disclosure. Where's that excess copper? Oh, it's in that 1% in the blood. And what people don't realize is that, again, we're back to the work of Carl Pfeiffer. He's a very smart guy. He was at Princeton, and did some very sophisticated research. And so when you blow up ceruloplasmin, again, the challenges, most of the people listening to this have never heard that word.
And it's a big deal, folks. It's the centerpiece of our physiology. And so when you blow that protein up, you lose the mechanism for copper to regulate oxygen and iron. So powerful. And what Carl Pfeiffer did was take the symptoms. As soon as copper becomes bio unavailable, iron becomes dysregulated, iron becomes toxic to the body.
And what Pfeiffer did was take the symptoms of iron toxicity and put it under the banner of copper toxicity, just to confuse the public and their practitioners. And that's the disconnect that people don't know about.
[00:37:15] Loren: Right? So just to confirm, it's not that we have an excess of copper, it's just that it's been unbound from ceruloplasmin, the actual functional protein that's allowing us to manage iron properly.
So if we try to get rid of this copper, we actually need it. We just need it to get loaded into ceruloplasmin to then do its work and magic.
[00:37:35] Morley: And the conflict we have in this conversation there. There's a couple factors for people to think about. One is people would rather believe a simple lie than the complex truth.
What Loren and I are discussing is the complex truth, but what's really playing in the background for people listening to this is, well, if it's this important, why hasn't my doctor told me? And if it's this simple, why haven't I learned this by now? I think it's the same reason cuz they didn't want us to know this and we didn't overthink it.
Again, go back to the last two years, what we've learned about ourselves and about society and about the people at the top. It's a very different world out there. And so there are agendas and there is a script. I'm convinced there's a script and it's just, we're just bit players in the script. You just need to accept that.
But that doesn't mean we don't take steps to try to help one another, which is what this conversation's about. So I think it's important for people to realize that just because you don't know what Loren and I are talking, Doesn't mean we're wrong, it just means you haven't learned this yet and that's really what this conversation's about.
[00:38:59] Loren: Absolutely. I think that's a nice reminder for sure, and we could go maybe one day, have a conversation about the whole estrogen industry. It is an industry, so hormonal contraceptives, I try to come to the conversation around hormonal contraceptives with a really objective thought process. But when you peel back the layers, if you're really curious, just go Google ‘birth control and Puerto Rico’ and you will be shocked at what you find in how the birth control pill, the first one was originated and actually came to be.
You'll realize that they don't have quite as much of our best intentions in mind.
[00:39:43] Morley: There's way more to the story folks. What we've learned within the RCP is ‘be more curious, and less concerned’. Just have fun with this. See what you can learn and see how it aligns with what you already know. And if there isn't an alignment, dig a little deeper.
The whole objective of these conversations is just to learn to ask better questions and learn to demand better answers because we've, we've been led down a path of information, but it’s incomplete. That's very important to know.
[00:40:17] Loren: I agree. I agree well, I do have a follow up question on hormonal contraceptives or actually birth control in general.
One of the things I wanted to mention too is I've researched hormonal contraceptives at length and there is evidence that it does increase oxidative stress exponentially. And just to tie it back to what Morley is saying is that when you can't manage oxygen well, you're going to have more oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species building up that's large in part by the imbalance of copper and iron in the body.
Copper is an antioxidant, irons an oxidant. Would you wanna add anything to that?
[00:40:59] Morley: Again, I think the key is getting people to realize that if copper is not bioavailable, it can't manage iron and it can't manage oxygen. There's always gonna be oxidative stress and there'll be accidents with oxygen and they're called oxidants.
Well, the birth control pill is affecting the integrity and the vitality or the viability, if you will, of the ceruloplasmin protein. As soon as that happens, iron's status is gonna change and the volatility of oxygen's gonna change. That's so it makes perfect sense that there would be a rise in oxidative stress under the birth control pill, and that shouldn't be so, Oh, well that's just a byproduct of the pill.
It's like, wait a minute. That's the whole basis of metabolic dysfunction. As soon as you can't activate oxygen and turn it into water to release energy, we get a problem on your hands. Introducing a mechanism is going to accelerate that process and is not in the best interest of the woman. It really isn't.
[00:42:04] Loren: Right. You might find this really interesting too. I've done research on the birth control pill’s effect on fertility in general, and one of the really interesting things has been how it affects egg ovarian reserve and egg count. Yeah. And I forget exactly which one it is, but I think it reduces ovarian reserve by up to 30% at least, that they've been able to measure women coming off oral contraceptives and something like intra-follicle count by 20%.
That's not a small loss there by any means.
[00:42:41] Morley: So again, let's put that in perspective. Ideal body temperature is 98.6 or 37 degrees Celsius when there's a 4% change and it goes up to become a fever. So it goes from 98.6 to 102, that's a 4% rise. So you're talking about 20% change and 30% change. Those are enormous levels of change in the physiology of the body.
That's almost devastating for the individual.
[00:43:12] Loren: Yeah, and if we consider the oxidative stress that the birth controls causing the metabolic changes, going back to egg quality and egg count and supporting that there's 600,000 mitochondria and mature eggs, we're losing the ability to support those eggs.
That's really what I see when I look at those numbers. Yeah, I just thought you would find that really interesting.
[00:43:36] Morley: Those are really big numbers. I had no idea.
[00:43:39] Loren: There's a lot to unpack there for sure. I'll have to share my research with you one day.
[00:43:44] Morley: And again, the thing is, the package insert for the birth control pill should be one of these posters.
[00:43:52] Loren: It is! That's the thing. If you look at an actual birth control insert, it is not insignificant. So, if you're considering it, definitely take a look. Well, going back to birth control too, there are some women who forgo hormonal contraceptives for non-hormonal methods like the copper IUD, for example, Thinking that it has a lesser effect on their physiology.
Can you elaborate on any metabolic implications here? Potentially.
[00:44:22] Morley: You’re introducing metabolic copper. Again, what people don't realize is that copper is antimicrobial. That's really cool. It's like it's way more effective than silver. People don't know that, or it's certainly equally as effective, but copper goes on to help make energy and help deal with the pathogens as well.
But the thing is that the copper IUD is going to flood the body with the metal. Well, what if you have too much on it? What if you don't have any retinol in your diet? What if your body's not able to really harness that copper and begin to put it to use in the whole network of copper enzymes? Whether you're gonna have a problem, and I think there are women who have no issue with the IUD and there's some women who are absolutely overwhelmed by what happens. I think it's a function of their iron status and it's a function of their diet and their ability to properly regulate copper through its network of enzymes.
[00:45:28] Loren: Yeah, I think you make a great point there too. So in thinking about the bigger picture, it's not just about copper, it's about retinol, which is really what allows copper to be utilized properly and to get loaded into ceruloplasmin and to perform all of its amazing functions.
So going back to vitamin A, which is really important, have you ever dealt with a woman that wanted to stay, you know, a client that wanted to stay on her Paragard or the pill, and if so, how might you deal with recommendations around that for supporting herself?
[00:46:06] Morley: Very important question. Again, I think diet becomes really, really important and I'd want to know what their overall stress level is in their life.
I'd wanna know what kind of dynamics are there between copper and iron, magnesium. They really like to know what level of retinol does this individual have, and are they able to metabolize it properly? There's just too much risk in staying on that without the benefit of understanding how that copper's gonna be regulated.
So the thing is, copper's kinda like a wild horse, you know. Amazing, beautiful animal, right? But a horse in the field is no help to a farmer, right? When does it become helpful? When it becomes harnessed, when you can plow a field or take product into the market, or you know, take a ride or whatever you have to do.
That's what copper's there for. It's this incredibly useful mineral that has so many important functions that very few people know about, but it needs to be harnessed. And that's the key, is that the enzymes that are designed to harness copper, they need to be activated by a form of retinol called 13 cis retinoic acid.
No one's ever heard of it. That's another hormone in the body that nobody knows about. There's a whole network of hormones that are byproducts of retinol metabolism, and they play very powerful roles in the immune system, in energy production, and all sorts of functions in the body. But nobody knows the retinol story.
Everybody is suffering from dementia and all they know is vitamin D. And they don't know that A and D are frick and frack, yin and yang. They need to be in tandem with each other, not in isolation of each other.
[00:48:03] Loren: That's a great point. No mineral or nutrient really works alone. They all have pairs or multiple pairs.
Yeah, and so supplementing just copper is not going to benefit us if we're not getting enough Vitamin A.
[00:48:18] Morley: Right? And there's a very powerful access between copper and rein in the same way that there's a very powerful access between iron and sugar. And so, the average person doesn't know that. They know there's a difference between sugar and fat, right?
But you can't absorb copper if you don't have fat in your diet, and you can't metabolize fat if you don't have copper in your tissue. That's a really important relationship between those two nutrients. And the flip side is, If you have a lot of sugar in your diet, your iron will rise in your body.
And if you have a lot of iron in your tissue, you're gonna crave sugar. It's just the way the axes work in our body, and I think it's important for people to know that and for people to realize that the iron fortification programs that they take for granted as a way to help me. Maybe there's more to the story and I need to be aware of it.
[00:49:19] Loren: Yeah. I would love to go back to the idea of the pills that you mentioned or blanks, the placebo pills, because I think that they're put in there because the idea is that women lose a lot of blood during menstruation. Right. And that iron needs to be replaced. And so, okay, while you're on your period, take these placebo pills with 75 milligrams of iron, which is an insane amount of iron.
[00:49:52] Morley: 75 milligrams? Mm-hmm. Oh wow. I never knew that. That's amazing.
[00:49:57] Loren: Yeah, I, I've looked up a couple and typically the ones with Iron, they have the Appendage ‘Fe’. Yep. And so it's definitely very interesting. That's a lot of iron . And there's a couple of brands out there. I found seven or eight brands, something like that. That said though, the idea is that women are losing too much blood during menstruation or too much iron and they need it replaced.
And there's also this concern around, Iron and the loss of blood, especially women with super heavy periods that actually do lose a lot of blood during their menstrual cycle, that it needs to be replaced. And so a lot of women may attribute their anemia also to this concept. Uh, the fact that they lose a lot of blood or they have a period so that means that they're anemia.
Of course. That's why. So what would you say to somebody that attributes their anemia to their blood loss, their monthly blood loss?
[00:51:02] Morley: And I've had that conversation with hundreds of women. So what people need to know is there's two different forms of anemia around this issue.
There is the classic anemia of iron deficiency, which would certainly justify why we've got these pills and adding 75 milligrams or whatever it might be. But there's another condition called anemia of chronic disease. It's also called anemia of inflammation. And what's important for folks to understand is that the number one element on planet Earth is iron.
36% of the Earth's composition is made of iron. Nothing comes close to that, so that's a big deal. And so what we also have to think about is that humans arguably would be the most evolved species on the planet. And so in order for anemia of iron deficiency to make sense, what that means is that the most evolved species on the planet has lost the ability to regulate the number one element on the planet.
Well, that doesn't make any sense at all. And when you get into the research, And you get into the weeds of the research, you soon discover that the missing piece of the puzzle is lack of copper. And copper has been the number one nutrient deficiency on the farm for a modest 80 years. If there's no copper in the soil, there isn’t copper in the plants.
If there's no copper in the plants, there's no copper in the animals. And if there's no copper in the plants and the animals, then it's next to impossible for humans to get the copper. And that's the nuance. The series of dominoes that need to be understood to realize that this notion of anemia, of iron deficiency on a planet that has iron is the number one element on a planet where there's iron fortifications coming out the Yin Yang, and we're supposed to believe that we don't have enough iron, then we gotta come back to iron in the blood is different than iron in the tissue. And when we do a blood test, all we're seeing is what's the status of iron in the blood? And if you really wanna know what the tissue level is, you've gotta do one of two things. You've gotta do a needle biopsy of your liver. It's very painful. That's very accurate. Or you, first, you can do a T2 MRI.
It's very expensive. It's also very accurate. But again, you first, cuz it's a really expensive procedure to do. And so people don't know that there's this shadow issue around iron status because they've been trained to believe that whatever shows up in the world is perfect, but it's not. It's not representative of what's in the iron recycling status inside the tissue throughout the body.
And that's where there's a major disconnect in understanding these dynamics.
[00:54:18] Loren: I think that's a great point. And one of the things that I find actually too, is that the women that have the most blood loss are the ones that tend to be more iron dominant and more estrogen dominant by default.
And so it's sort of the body having a purged mechanism in some way. And I would probably say that those women also need more vitamin A and copper. When I say vitamin A, retinol too.
[00:54:44] Morley: Yeah. Yeah. We live in an era where the priority emphasis is on iron and vitamin D, especially when women get pregnant. You don't hear a lot of talk about copper status, magnesium status, or retinol status, and it's like, that's just wrong.
That's not honoring the totality of nutrients that are critical for a healthy pregnancy and very healthy baby to be born at the end of the, uh, the pregnancy.
[00:55:15] Loren: Yep. I agree. They just don't get enough spotlight and they're just so important.
[00:55:20] Morley: They're not given the air time that they deserve, especially at the most critical point.
What's the greatest stress on the planet? Women giving birth. There's nothing that's greater than that. I can't imagine there being something greater than that. You think of all the, the, uh, moving parts, all the mechanisms that need to align. Tremendously important time, but it's very stressful for the body.
[00:55:44] Loren: Yes.
Very metabolically stimulating and challenging. Great, great points there too. I would love to shift the conversation slightly to something that I've been noticing a lot with women sort of in general. And one of the things that I wanna talk about is acne. So you touched on it a little bit, but I'd just love to also hear more about it.
It seems to be an epidemic in this generation, and there are a lot of women and men actually taking medications like Accutane. Right? So I'd love it if you could touch on the metabolic and mineral implications here. And you kind of touched on it before, but if you could expand a little bit, that'd be great.
[00:56:31] Morley: Some of the sickest people I've dealt with were people that took Accutane at some point in their life, and I well understand why they would do it, but I don't think it's a safe route. For dealing with the skin blemishes. So the first thing is that the largest organ inside the body is called the liver.
And when the liver can't metabolize and clear the toxins, it sends it to the largest organ outside the body called the skin. And invariably there's this embarrassment of skin blemishes, things like that. Well, it's the body saying there's something wrong with your diet. There's something wrong with the mineral status of the liver.
There's something we gotta deal with. And Accutane is a rarely powerful chemical, and it's a synthetic form of the hormone that I referred to earlier, 13 cis retinoic acid. It's really important dealing with copper, and what Accutane does is it depletes the body of copper. And it's very counterintuitive, but once you introduce that synthetic form of retinoic acid, it's going to trigger the enzyme that loads copper into its enzymes, particularly ceruloplasmin and some other very important enzymes, and it depletes the tissue of copper, it’s really good at it.
And then you've got a really serious problem with the immune system because you don't have the copper that you need to run the mitochondria, run the immune system, run the metabolic pathways, and no one's talking about it. Doctors don't know that. They don't understand what Accutane does. So the fat metabolism is tremendously dependent on copper status.
So basically what they're doing is just shutting it down and so does blemish go away? Yes. But in the short term, it works. Long term, there's tremendous impacts, second and third organ impacts because it's gonna affect organ status, it's gonna affect the immune system. There's some very powerful forums out there that talk about the danger of using Accutane, and as soon as I am having a conversation with a client, I find out they've had that in their past. I know it's gonna be a very rocky road to get them back into homeostasis. Really, really tough.
[00:59:07] Loren: Yeah. Just anecdotally too, I can tell you from the clients that I've worked with, the ones that have used Accutane, a lot of them have had PCOS or issues with getting pregnant or a combination of the two.
Yep. And so, considering how important copper is, how important retinol is, it makes sense when you can connect those dots.
[00:59:31] Morley: Absolutely. And it's again, people just don't know that there's second and third implications. Mm-hmm. .
[00:59:38] Loren: Yeah, it's nuts. I would love to also talk about hair loss, which seems to be another epidemic.
So anecdotal, I have talked to hairdressers, and have also heard this from a lot of women just coming to me for help. And it seems to be that everyone's hair is kind of getting thinner and thinner and they can't seem to control the loss of hair. No one has super thick and luxurious hair like they used to anymore.
So I'm wondering if you have a perspective on that.
[01:00:14] Morley: When we were up in Chicago, Dr. Liz had a very, uh, robust chiropractic practice. And when I started doing this work, I was working with some of her clients and I remember specifically working with a woman who was originally from Poland and she had beautiful hair.
And I asked her, It's unusual to see someone with such robust hair. I'd love to know what you do. And she turned beet red. And she said, “You won't tell anyone, will you?” I said, Oh, no .'' She said, “My grandmother in Poland taught me how to wash my hair in lard”. Wow. Right. And so I think what hair loss represents is just, it's another manifestation of stress and it's nutrient stress in our diet, but it might be just nutrient stress to the hair follicle itself.
And I think people have been convinced that they need more vitamin D, that that is their answer. And I think that vitamin D has a very noted and well studied impact on copper status, and people don't know that. And so it doesn't surprise me at all that hair loss is gonna be a phenomenon that's going to be a byproduct of all of the orientation and focus that people have about certain nutrients, especially over the last couple years.
I mean, people are taking far too much vitamin D, have no awareness of A, don't know that if you're taking D, you can't absorb A and well, they're not worried about that because they don't know what A does. We talked about that earlier. It's like it's really scary if you don't understand the other side of the equation.
And so I think the hair loss at its most basic level, it's a sign of metabolic stress and one of the graduates of the RCPC, who loves acupuncture, her name is Lynn Go, you probably heard of her, she studies at the meridian, the meridian of the kidney ends in the hair follicle. Oh wow. So why is that important?
Because what does vitamin D do? It causes renal potassium wasting. People don't know what that means. Well, basically what that means is when you lower the level of potassium in the system, you're inviting more iron. ‘Cause as soon as potassium's low in the cell, iron's gonna come in, it's axiomatic. And the loss of potassium's going to invite the shift in pH, which is going to usher in iron.
And I think that's really part of the dynamic is this overwhelming abundance of D. Intake of D is changing the pH, particularly the kidney, and it's playing out in the hair follicle.
[01:03:12] Loren: That's so interesting. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I love that connection to the meridian. Yeah. I wonder what other connections we can find.
[01:03:23] Morley: Yeah, I mean that's the amazing part is that we've trained over 500 people in the RCP Institute and they're all Curious George's, and they're constantly sending me articles and research studies and it's like there's this living library out there now, people just combing the, the research that's out there, scientific literature.
So give it a few years, we're gonna gather more and more information, but it's fascinating, especially when you look at it in an energy paradigm. So hair loss means it, there's not good energy production and the hair follicle, and the question will be why? What's missing? And that's what we need to get to the bottom.
[01:04:02] Loren: Yeah. That goes back to sort of what we were saying before, when the body. Cannot sustain all of the functions, it'll start trading or compensating in other ways. And so hair is essentially, even though, you know, we consider it essential to our maybe, uh, aesthetic, it's really not super essential minus eyelashes that keep dust out of our eyes or nose hairs that keep dust out of our nose.
But the body will be able to let go of hair if it means trading hair over heart pumping or something like that.
[01:04:44] Morley: That's absolutely true. Yeah.