Whenever I go for my annual physical, my doctor says something like, “You need to get more potassium in your diet” or “Your sodium level is a little too high” or “You need to cut back on sugars.”
I usually heed my doctors’ advice. After all, they know more than I do about these subjects, and they’re usually looking at my lab results on a computer screen when they make these recommendations.
One thing a doctor has never told me, however, is that I should get more Vitamin D in my system in case I’m ever the victim of a mustard gas attack. For some reason, that topic has just never come up.
But according to a recent study by folks at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, people who take more Vitamin D than others could be in a better position to survive a mustard gas attack.
My first thought when I saw this information was, “What are the odds of being involved in a mustard gas attack?” But my second thought was, “Look at the recent increase in terrorist attacks in the U.S. If a terrorist ever gets mustard gas, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would use it.”
If you inhale mustard gas, it’s pretty much over, no matter how much Vitamin D you have in your system. But the other way this gas kills people is by eroding the skin and attacking muscles and internal organs.
By conducting a series of tests on mice, they determined that those with higher levels of Vitamin D were able to survive exposure to mustard gas.
Even if you are never in the vicinity when a mustard gas attack occurs, taking Vitamin D could be beneficial for you. It occurs naturally in very few foods, such as the flesh of fatty fish including salmon, tuna and mackerel.
The way most people acquire it – other than through dietary supplements – is from the sun. Old Sol’s ultraviolet rays strike the skin and trigger Vitamin D synthesis.
Because it promotes calcium absorption, Vitamin D is needed for bone growth and strength. Without it, our bones can become more brittle, especially as we age.
So, making sure your Vitamin D intake is what it should be will be to your benefit, regardless of whether you are ever a victim of a mustard gas attack.