Conventional medicine still believes high cholesterol doubles your heart attack risk.1 If you’re a regular reader, you know this is flat-out fake news…
But doctors continue to buy into this lousy advice and prescribe cholesterol-lowering statins.
It’s what they were taught at medical school. And it’s what they continue to be taught in the Continuing Medical Education courses they must take to maintain their medical license.
And because Big Pharma helps fund the costs of these programs2,3, this $23 billion-a-year4 statin scam isn’t going away any time soon.
We know cholesterol doesn’t double your chance of heart attack, but a common nutrient deficiency does…
I’m talking about vitamin D.
A new meta-analysis published in the European Heart Journal examined the relationship between vitamin D levels and cardiovascular disease (CVD).5
The researchers looked at data from 268,000 cases of people with CVD and compared it to a control group with healthy hearts. In addition to vitamin D levels, blood pressure and cardiac imaging were also tracked.
They found that more than 150,000 of the participants with heart disease had vitamin D levels that were low or critically low…
They are doubling their heart attack risk.
This backs up earlier research. In one study, 95% of patients with the acute coronary syndrome had low vitamin D levels.6 In another study of 10,170 patients, low vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, and early death during nine years of follow-up.7
Vitamin D helps your heart in many ways. Eliminating a deficiency can:
- Reduce arterial stiffness, a key predictor of heart attacks
- Increase nitric oxide production to relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation
- Prevent oxidative stress
- Support healthy blood pressure levels
- Lower biomarkers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein
Most doctors will tell you that levels below 30 nmol/L are considered deficient. I’m afraid I have to disagree… While helpful, 30 ng/mL is on the lower end of where I want you to be.
I tell my patients that I want them somewhere between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL.
As one of the first doctors in the country to test vitamin D levels, many of my patients were surprised by how low their vitamin D levels were. Fortunately, they live where it’s easy to bring levels up quickly and easily.
But even if you don’t live in sunny South Florida, I suggest getting outside into the sunshine to increase your vitamin D naturally.
Boost vitamin D levels like your ancestors did
I encourage them to boost their levels as their ancestors did – with practice; I call gentle tanning. Here’s how it works:
- Take it slow at first. Start gradually if you haven’t spent much time in the sun. If you’re fair-skinned, go outside for about 10 to 20 minutes daily. You can push it to about an hour if you have a darker complexion.
- Put some skin in the game. This means peeling down and getting a good area of your skin exposed. You can roll up your sleeves and pant legs. But do wear a hat. Your face gets enough natural sunlight exposure every day.
- Pay attention to the time. Get out in the sun when your shadow is shorter than you are. Typically, that’s between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. That’s when the sun is highest and the rays are strongest, so you can get good exposure over a short time. Just 10 minutes in the midday sun can give you 10,000 IU of vitamin D.
I understand not everyone can get outside as often as they want. In that case, look for a full-spectrum lamp. You can find these lightboxes online. Look for one that gives off 2,500 to 10,000 lux of light to mimic the sun.
It’s also a good idea to supplement. I recommend vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. That’s the type of vitamin D made by your own body. Take 5,000 IUs a day or more. And combine it with 45-90 mcg of vitamin K and 600 to 1,000 mg of magnesium to increase absorption.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. “High Cholesterol Doubles Your Risk for Heart Disease.” https://connect.bcbsnm.com/health-and-wellness/b/weblog/posts/cholesterol-doubles-risk. Accessed on April 7, 2022.
2. Bartoli D. “Changing CME.”https://www.pharmexec.com/view/changing-cme-q-a-with-diane-bartoli-vp-gm-epocrates. Accessed on April 8, 2022.
3. Brody H. “Pharmaceutical industry financial support for medical education: benefit, or undue influence?” J Law Med Ethics. Fall 2009;37(3):45160.
4. “Hyperlipidemia Drugs Market Worth $22.6 Billion by 2022.” Grand View Research. www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-hyperlipidemia-drugs-market. Accessed on April 7, 2022.
5. Zhou A, et al. “Non-linear Mendelian randomization analyses support a role for vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular disease risk.” Eur Heart J. 2021 Dec 5;ehab809. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab809. Online ahead of print.
6. Lee JH, et al. “Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with acute myocardial infarction.” Am J Cardiol. 2011;107:1636–1638.
7. Brøndum-Jacobsen P, et al. “25-Hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, and early death.” Arter Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012;32:2794–2802.