Retinol Depletion in COVID-19

Creative Commons License

Sarohan A. R., Akelma H., Araç E., Aslan Ö., Cen O.

Clinical Nutrition Open Science, vol.43, pp.85-94, 2022 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.nutos.2022.05.007
  • Journal Name: Clinical Nutrition Open Science
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.85-94
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Retinoic acid, Retinol, SARS-CoV2, Type-I IFN, Vitamin A
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No


© 2022 The AuthorsBackground and aims: COVID-19 has been a devastating pandemic. There are indications that vitamin A is depleted during infections. Vitamin A is important in development and immune homeostasis. It has been used successfully in measles, RSV and AIDS infections. In this study, we aimed to measure the serum retinol levels in severe COVID-19 patients to assess the importance of vitamin A in the COVID-19 pathogenesis. Methods: The serum retinol level was measured in two groups of patients: the COVID-19 group, which consisted of 27 severe COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit with respiratory failure, and the control group, which consisted of 23 patients without COVID-19 symptoms. Results: The mean serum retinol levels were 0.37 mg/L in the COVID-19 group and 0.52 mg/L in the control group. The difference between the serum retinol levels in the two groups was statistically significant. There was no significant difference in retinol levels between different ages and genders within the COVID-19 group. Comorbidity did not affect serum retinol levels. Conclusion: The serum retinol level was significantly lower in patients with severe COVID-19, and this difference was independent of age or underlying comorbidity. Our data show that retinol and retinoic acid signaling might be important in immunopathogenesis of COVID-19.