Morley Robbins

Morley Robbins has spent over a decade reading more than 7000 articles on the interaction between food, sunlight, minerals, vitamins and hormones both natural and artificial and came to the conclusion that vitamin D supplements are not healthy and can prove fatal.
Most people are suffering from copper, vitamin A and magnesium deficiency coupled with an excess of iron.

Material on this page taken from Morley’s interview with Stephanie Center here

Vitamin D is not a vitamin and not a single substance but rather a class of 17 fat soluble seco-steroids. Molecules in the vitamin D complex are therefore better classed as hormones performing powerful ‘signalling’ functions, meaning that small variations in their concentration can have very large effects on physiology.

Vitamins D an C are the most commonly prescribed vitamins in Functional Medicine so it is vital to understand their function and the possible dangers associated with inappropriate prescription.

Vitamin D production starts in the skin where ultra-violet light acts upon cholesterol to produce Vitamin D3 – a precursor to useful Vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 is transported to the liver where it is transformed to what Morley refers to as ‘Storage D’ or ‘Circulating D’.

The kidneys are responsible for creating the next stage of Vitamin D or “Active Vitamin D” (Robbins) which is the useful form useful for maintenance of good health. Each stage of production requires the presence of Magnesium and ‘hydroxylase’ enzymes. So:

Vitamin D3 + 25 Hydroxylase + Magnesium →Storage Vitamin D
Storage D + 125 Hydroxylase + Magnesium → Active Vitamin D

What is measured?

Typically, only levels of Storage (inactive) D are measured, inferences are drawn from this and supplementation recommended or not depending upon this value alone. This is a flawed procedure as Storage levels vary with the seasons (sunlight exposure) and so absolute levels are not so meaningful.

What is the significance of low levels of Vitamin D?

Looking at the chemical formulae above, we can see that if either Magnesium or Hydroxylase levels are low then production of Active D will be compromised.
Morley points the finger at magnesium levels and identifies the root cause as copper deficiency. (Hart et al 1926)

Copper deficiency → Iron Increase in liver → Reduced Magnesium → Low active D

Psychological stress affects the levels of both magnesium and copper, and modern farming methods are effective at reducing copper in food production.

Are high levels of Vitamin D better than low levels?

A 2013 study by Mhammed Amer found no decrease in all cause mortality in subjects with Storage D (25 OH D) at levels of greater than 21 nano-grams per millilitre. Most people are therefore OK and levels recommended by doctors are unnecessarily high.

Vitamin A (retinol) and in particular the ratio of A to D is important, with natural intake via foods such as milk, cheese, meat, fish, and eggs providing an ideal balance.
Sunlight breaks down retinol into retinoic acids which are necessary for Vitamin D function.

Receptors in the gut can admit vitamin A or vitamin D but not both at the same time so that flooding the gut with D supplements will inhibit the uptake of vitamin A and cause even the D to stop working.

Too much D intake is therefore actually harmful.

Excess stored vitamin D in the body can persist for up to 4 years!

Iron is not our friend – Robbins

Excess iron → low copper → high cholesterol → high D3 precursor but inhibition of active vitamin D.

Iron builds up over time and contributes to the ageing process. Blood donations help with this.


  • All disease begins with energy deficiency
  • Energy keeps the pathogens at bay; they cannot invade a healthy body
  • You didn’t have a disease; you were out of balance
  • Homeostasis takes energy
  • When you lack energy, you invite in the toxins.
  • These facts are not taught in mainstream or functional medicine and that is a crime against humanity

More from Morley’s website “The Root Cause Protocol”

  • What D3 you take in the body, the body decides what it becomes. This means that the body decides on what metabolite it will become and not necessarily the one they typically test (.25 vitamin D).
  • Vitamin D is usually stored in the liver, it is the same way a cod stored it in its liver. 
  • Humans have more than a dozen different forms (metabolites) of 25D and the typical vitamin D test works on two of them. 
  • In children, .25 vitamin D doesn’t always show up accurately, as kids have most their 25D in, epi-3 25D (another form of vitamin d that’s not generally tested). 
  • When .25 vitamin is low, 1.25 vitamin d is often high. The former does not usually get tested.

Otto Warburg worked out that cancer metabolism is characterised by the breakdown of glucose by anaerobic fermentation even though oxygen is available. Johannes Fibiger found that deficiency of either retinol or copper leads to this type of metabolism.
Excess D3 blocks retinol absorption and is therefore causative in cancer.

Most people therefore need:

More: bio-available copper – vitamin A1 (retinol) – magnesium – sunlight – fresh food

Less: D supplements – iron


Ep 46. The Unknown Truth about Vitamin D with Morley Robbins.
Interview with Stephanie Center

The Root Cause Protocol

Iron in nutrition. VII. Copper as a supplement to iron for hemoglobin building in the rat. PDF
Hart, Steenbock, Waddell, Elvehjem, Van Donk, Rilsing 1928

Iron behaving badly: inappropriate iron chelation as a major contributor to the aetiology of vascular and other progressive inflammatory and degenerative diseases – Douglas B Kell

Relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality – Muhammed Amer, Rehan Qayyum 2013

Renal potassium-wasting induced by vitamin D – Ferris, Levitin, Epstein

Vitamin D supplementation and falls: a trial sequential meta-analysis – Bolland, Grey, Gamble, Reid
“In pooled analyses, supplementation with vitamin D, with or without calcium, does not reduce falls by 15% or more. Future trials with similar designs are unlikely to alter these conclusions. At present, there is little justification for prescribing vitamin D supplements to prevent falls.”

The effect of vitamin D supplementation on skeletal, vascular, or cancer outcomes: a trial sequential meta-analysis – Bolland, Grey, Gamble, Reid
“Our findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation with or without calcium does not reduce skeletal or non-skeletal outcomes in unselected community-dwelling individuals by more than 15%. Future trials with similar designs are unlikely to alter these conclusions”

Calcitriol directly sensitizes renal tubular cells to ATP-depletion- and iron-mediated attack – R A Zager

Suppression of Iron-Regulatory Hepcidin by Vitamin D– Bacchetta, Zaritsky, Hewison
Vitamin D suppresses hepcidin and ferritin synthesis which causes increased iron storage in the cell.

Oxygen, pH, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation – Wilson, Harrison, Vinogradov
Increased cellular iron lowers pH and oxygen