'Scientific Strabismus' or two related pandemics: coronavirus disease and vitamin D deficiency

KARA M. , Ekiz T., Ricci V., Kara O., Chang K., ÖZÇAKAR L.

BRITISH JOURNAL OF NUTRITION, cilt.124, sa.7, ss.736-741, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 124 Konu: 7
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1017/s0007114520001749
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.736-741


The WHO has announced the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak to be a global pandemic. The distribution of community outbreaks shows seasonal patterns along certain latitude, temperature and humidity, that is, similar to the behaviour of seasonal viral respiratory tract infections. COVID-19 displays significant spread in northern mid-latitude countries with an average temperature of 5-11 degrees C and low humidity. Vitamin D deficiency has also been described as pandemic, especially in Europe. Regardless of age, ethnicity and latitude, recent data showed that 40 % of Europeans are vitamin D deficient (25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels <50 nmol/l), and 13 % are severely deficient (25(OH)D < 30 nmol/l). A quadratic relationship was found between the prevalences of vitamin D deficiency in most commonly affected countries by COVID-19 and the latitudes. Vitamin D deficiency is more common in the subtropical and mid-latitude countries than the tropical and high-latitude countries. The most commonly affected countries with severe vitamin D deficiency are from the subtropical (Saudi Arabia 46 %; Qatar 46 %; Iran 33.4 %; Chile 26.4 %) and mid-latitude (France 27.3 %; Portugal 21.2 %; Austria 19.3 %) regions. Severe vitamin D deficiency was found to be nearly 0 % in some high-latitude countries (e.g. Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Netherlands). Accordingly, we would like to call attention to the possible association between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality pertaining to COVID-19. Given its rare side effects and relatively wide safety, prophylactic vitamin D supplementation and/or food fortification might reasonably serve as a very convenient adjuvant therapy for these two worldwide public health problems alike.