Sunshine vitamin protects your heart

I've written to you quite a bit about the importance of taking a vitamin D supplement, saving yourself from having a vitamin D deficiency and I hope you've taken my advice -- because falling short in this essential nutrient could damage your heart and put your life on the line.

If your blood levels fall below 20 ng/mL (or 50 nmol/l), your risk of heart disease jumps by a third, according to a new study. And if you already have the disease, those same low levels will increase your risk of the most severe form of it by 20 percent.

The damage doesn't end there, I'm afraid.

The lower your levels, the higher your risk -- and if your D drops below 10 ng/mL, your risk of coronary atherosclerosis doubles, according to the new study.

What's really disturbing here is that having a vitamin D deficiency is are incredibly common -- in part because the mainstream still believes that 20 ng/mL is perfectly adequate.

That's a dangerously outdated idea, because other studies have shown that these "adequate" levels of D will damage your heart, immune system, brain and more. Low D will also raise your inflammation levels and of course lead to weak and brittle bone.

So forget the "adequate" levels recommended by the mainstream. Emerging science confirms that you need an absolute minimum of 35 ng/mL, or roughly 90 nmol/L.

Now, I've already seen some headlines tied to the new study suggesting that you can just lay out in the sun to get the D you need to prevent heart disease.

Sorry, but it's just not that easy.

It's true that your body was designed to make vitamin D from sun exposure, but sun is not always the best way to get it.

Sun exposure is inconsistent, and how much D you generate from it will depend on everything from your skin color to the amount of cloud cover. Even seasonal changes to the angle of the Earth will affect how much D you can get.

And of course, too much sun can cause skin cancer.

It's safer and easier to take a D supplement. I recommend a minimum of 2,000 IUs per day, but heart disease patients may need more -- in some cases, double that level or higher.

A holistic medical doctor can test your levels and help decide how much you need and the best way to get it.