The common nutritional deficiency with an uncommon death risk

Low in vitamin D? Then there's another D you need to worry about: the "Big D," as in DEATH.

Seniors with low levels of the sunshine vitamin are 30 percent more likely to die than those who have just the right amount, according to a new study, and the risks don't end there.

D can also boost the risk of frailty. Frailty by itself doubles the risk of death, according to the study of 4,300 older folks. But frailty AND low D? That's the ultimate double whammy -- and it TRIPLES the risk of death.

That's death from all causes, by the way. Logically, that means the right levels of D protect against death from all causes.

Quite a trick, and normally one I'd dismiss out of hand.

But if there's any nutrient that can pull it off, it's vitamin D. This nutrient -- actually a hormone -- is essential to just about every part of the body and can protect against nearly every major disease.

Cancer, heart disease, brain disorders -- you name it, you'll find a role for D… so it's only natural that low levels of it will increase the risk of problems in every department as well as the risk of death from all causes.

That's bad news for most people, since most people are missing out -- a real shame since you can get plenty of D for free and with very little effort. Just open the door and step outside, because your body makes this stuff from sunlight.

So get back outside and get some D (and skip the sunscreen -- those chemical creams can CAUSE the cancers they claim to prevent). And to really cover your bases, get a D supplement. They're cheap and easy to find.

It's either that, or make sure your will's been updated.