We analyzed published data on the levels of serum 25(OH)D in apparently healthy individuals from the Russian Far North. The total sample included 2061 subjects of various age and ethnic groups. The serum levels of 25(OH)D and its age dynamics in the northerners living in towns are similar to those of the inhabitants of the temperate climate zone of Russia. Data on the age-related changes in the vitamin D status of the indigenous Arctic people with the traditional lifestyle are scanty. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations in the indigenous and alien population of the high-latitude regions reflect the seasonal changes in the daylight duration. The level of vitamin D decreases in winter and reaches minimum in February, i.e., after the end of the polar night. We compared data on rural Russian and indigenous people and found ethnic differences in the 25(OH)D concentrations; however, the vitamin D status of various indigenous groups of the Russian North is poorly studied. We could not find publications that analyze the 25(OH)D concentrations along with the direct assessment of food consumption. The available data do not contradict the opinion that the traditional food products are beneficial. However, there are no studies to support this opinion. There are little data on the effect of foods from marine mammal catch, marine and freshwater fishery, and venison on the vitamin D status of the indigenous people of the Russian North.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Göring, H. and Koshuchowa S., Vitamin D—the sun hormone. Life in environmental mismatch, Biochemistry (Moscow), 2015, vol. 80, no. 1, p. 8.
Mostafa, W.Z. and Hegazy, R.A., Vitamin D and the skin: focus on a complex relationship, J. Adv. Res., 2015, vol. 6, p. 793.
Huotari, A. and Herzig, K.H., Vitamin D and living in northern latitudes: an endemic risk area for vitamin D deficiency, Int. J. Circumpolar Health, 2008, vol. 67, p. 164.
Engelsen, O., The relationship between ultraviolet radiation exposure and vitamin D status, Nutrients, 2010, vol. 2, no. 5, p. 482.
Zerwekh, J.E., Blood biomarkers of vitamin D status, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2008, vol. 87, no. 4, p. 1087S.
Wallace, A.M., Gibson, S., de la Hunty, A., et al., Measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the clinical laboratory: current procedures, performance characteristics and limitations, Steroids, 2010, vol. 75, no. 7, p. 477.
Kozlov, A.I. and Vershubskaya, G.G., Vitamin D and the health of northern residents, Nasledie Beringii, 2016, no. 3, p. 344.
Blazheevich, N.V., Spirichev, V.B., Pereverzeva, O.G., et al., Calcium-phosphorus metabolism and the provision of vitamin D in the Far North, Vopr. Pitan., 1983, no. 1, p. 17.
Potolitsyna, N.N., Boiko, E.R., Orr, P., and Kozlov, A.I. Provision of vitamin D of the indigenous people of the European North of Russia, Vopr. Pitan., 2010, vol. 79, no. 4, p. 63.
Kozlov, A., Khabarova, Yu., Vershubsky, G., et al., Vitamin D status of northern indigenous people of Russia leading traditional and “modernized” way of life, Int. J. Circumpolar Health, 2014, vol. 73, p. 26038.
Lehtonen-Veromaa, M., Mottonen, T., Irjala, K., et al., Vitamin D intake is low and hypovitaminosis D common in healthy 9- to 15-year-old Finnish girls, Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 1999, vol. 53, no. 4, p. 746.
Lamberg-Allardt, C.J., Outila, T.A., Kärkkainen, M.U., et al., Vitamin D deficiency and bone health in healthy adults in Finland: could this be a concern in other parts of Europe? J. Bone Miner. Res., 2001, vol. 16, no. 11, p. 2066.
Cutolo, M., Otsa, K., Laas, K., et al., Circannual vitamin D serum levels and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis: Northern versus Southern Europe, Clin. Exp. Rheumatol., 2006, vol. 24, no. 6, p. 702.
Brustad, M., Edvardsen, K., Wilsgaard, T., et al., Seasonality of UV-radiation and vitamin D status at 69 degrees North, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2007, vol. 8, no. 6, p. 903.
Holvik, K., Brunvand, L., Brustad, M., and Meyer, H.E., Vitamin D status in the Norwegian population, in Solar Radiation and Human Health, Bjertness, E., Ed., Oslo: Norw. Acad. Sci. Lett., 2008, p. 216.
Andersson, A., Bjork, A., Kristiansson, P., and Johansson, G., Vitamin D intake and status in immigrant and native Swedish women: a study at a primary health care centre located at 60°N in Sweden, Food Nutr. Res., 2013, no. 5, p. 20089.
Lebrun, J.B., Moffatt, M.E., Mundy, R.J., et al., Vitamin D deficiency in a Manitoba community, Can. J. Publ. Health, 1993, vol. 84, no. 6, p. 394.
Rejnmark, L., Jorgensen, M.E., Pedersen, M.B., et al., Vitamin D insufficiency in Greenlanders on a westernized fare: ethnic differences in calcitropic hormones between Greenlanders and Danes, Calcif. Tissue Int., 2004, vol. 74, no. 3, p. 255.
Hayek, J., Egeland, G., and Weiler, H., Vitamin D status of Inuit preschoolers reflects season and vitamin D intake, J. Nutr., 2010, vol. 140, no. 10, p. 1839.
Frost, P., Vitamin D deficiency among northern native peoples: a real or apparent problem? Int. J. Circumpolar Health, 2012, vol. 71, p. 18001.
Spasich, T.A., Lemeshevskaya, E.P., Reshetnik, L.A., et al., Hygienic significance of vitamin D deficiency in the population of the Irkutsk oblast and its prevention, Bull. Vost.-Sib. Nauchn. Tsentra Sib. Otd., Ross. Akad. Nauk, 2014, no. 6 (100), p. 44.
Spasich, T.A., Reshetnik, L.A., Zhdanova, E.Yu., et al., Appropriate prevention of vitamin D deficiency in the population of the Irkutsk oblast, Acta Biomed. Sci., 2017, vol. 2, no. 5, part 2, p. 43.
Göring, H. and Koshuchowa, S., Vitamin D deficiency in Europeans today and in Viking settlers of Greenland, Biochemistry (Moscow), 2016, vol. 81, no. 12, p. 1492.
Kozlov, A.I., Kozlova, M.A., Vershubskaya, G.G., and Shilov, A.B., Zdorov’e korennogo naseleniya Severa RF: na grani vekov i kul’tur (Health of Indigenous People of the Russian North: On the Verge of Centuries and Cultures), Perm: Perm. Gos. Gumanit.-Pedagog. Univ., 2012.
Kozlov, A.I. and Vershubskaya, G.G., Blood serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in various populations of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus: a systematic review with elements of meta-analysis, Hum. Physiol., 2017, vol. 43, no. 6, p. 135.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium, Ross, A.C., Taylor, C.L., Yaktine, A.L., and Del Valle, H.B., Eds., Washington, DC: Natl. Acad. Press, 2011.
Malyavskaya, S.I., Kostrova, G.N., Lebedev, A.V., et al., Provision of vitamin D of young children of the Arkhangelsk oblast, Ekol. Chel., 2016, no. 11, p. 18.
Malyavskaya, S.I., Kostrova, G.N., Lebedev, A.V., and Golysheva, E.V., Provision of vitamin D of different age groups of the population in Arkhangelsk, Ekol. Chel., 2016, no. 12, p. 37.
Shkerskaya, N.Yu., Ruzhnikov, A.O., and Zykova, T.A., Vitamin D availability and bone metabolism in adolescents with dental diseases, Zemskii Vrach, 2014, vols. 3–4, no. 24, p. 47.
Krivoshapkina, D.M. and Khandy, M.V., The content of vitamin D in the blood serum of children in Yakutsk, Vopr. Sovrem. Pediatrii, 2006, no. 5, p. 295.
Kozlov, A.I., Ateeva, Yu.A., Vershubskaya, G.G., and Ryzhaenkov, V.G., The content of vitamin D in school-age children in the Urals and North-West Russia, Pediatriya, 2012, no. 1, p. 144.
Koman, I.E., Sychev, D.A., and Shikh, E.V., Influence of CYP2C9 gene polymorphism on vitamin D metabolism in Chukotka children, Ross. Vestn. Perinatol. Pediatr-., 2006, vol. 51, no. 1, p. 17.
Malyavskaya, S.I., Kostrova, G.N., Lebedev, A.V., et al., Vitamin D levels in various people of the city of Arkhangelsk, Ekol. Chel., 2018, no. 1, p. 60.
Kozlov, A.I., Ateeva, Yu.A., Vershubskaya, G.G., et al., D-vitamin status of the population of the Perm krai, the Republics of Komi and Udmurtia, Vopr. Pita-n., 2013, vol. 82, no. 2, p. 31.
Beketova, N.A., Kodentsova, V.M., Vrzhesinskaya, O.A., et al., Provision of vitamins of residents of rural settlements of the Russian Arctic, Vop-r. Pitan., 2017, vol. 86, no. 3, p. 83.
Malyavskaya, S.I., Zakharova, I.N., Kostrova, G.N., et al., Provision with vitamin D of different-age population living in Arkhangelsk, Vopr. Sovrem. Pediatr., 2015, vol. 14, no. 6, p. 681.
Baturin, A.K., Sorokina, E.Yu., Vrzhesinskaya, O.A., et al., The relationship of the genetic polymorphism rs2228570 of the VDR gene with vitamin D provision in the inhabitants of the Russian Arctic, Vopr. Pitan., 2017, vol. 86, no. 4, p. 77.
Nikitinskaya, O.A. and Toroptsova, N.V., Calcium and vitamin D: analysis of possible positive and negative side effects due to their application, Russ. Med. Zh., 2011, vol. 19, no. 10, p. 651.
Viskari, H., Kondrashova, A., Koskela, P., et al., Circulating vitamin D concentrations in two neighboring populations with markedly different incidence of type I diabetes, Diabetes Care, 2006, vol. 29, no. 6, p. 1458.
Bakhtiyarova, S., Lesnyak, O., Kyznetsova, N., et al., Vitamin D status among patients with hip fracture and elderly control subjects in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Osteoporosis Int., 2006, vol. 17, no. 3, p. 441.
Kozlov, A.I., Vershubskaya, G.G., Kozlova, M.A., and Ryzhaenkov, V.G., The influence of the “traditional” and “westernized” distribution of the products of the “arctic cuisine” on the nutritional status of indigenous northerners, Etnogr. Obozr., 2017, no. 6, p. 146.
Johnson-Down, L. and Egeland, G.M., Adequate nutrient intakes are associated with traditional food consumption in Nunavut Inuit children aged 3–5 years, J. Nutr., 2010, vol. 140, no. 7, p. 13116.
Weiler, H.A., Leslie, W.D., Krahn, J., et al., Canadian Aboriginal women have a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency than non-Aboriginal women despite similar dietary vitamin D intakes, J. Nutr., 2007, vol. 137, no. 2, p. 461.
Brustad, M., Sandanger, T., Wilsgaard, T., et al., Change in plasma levels of vitamin D after consumption of cod-liver and fresh cod-liver oil as part of the traditional north Norwegian fish dish “Molje,” Int. J. Circumpolar Health, 2003, vol. 62, no. 1, p. 40.
Murashko, O.A. and Dallmann, V.K., Transformations of traditional lifestyle and nutrition of the indigenous people of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Vestn. Mosk. Univ., Ser. 23: Antropol., 2011, no. 4, p. 2.
Wiklund, E. and Johansson, L., Water-holding capacity, color stability and sensory characteristics in meat (M. longissimus dorsi) from reindeer fed two different feeds, Rangifer, 2011, vol. 31, no. 1, p. 49.
Kuhnlein, H.V., Barthet, V. Farren, A., et al., Vitamins A, D, and E in Canadian Arctic traditional food and adult diets, J. Food Compos. Anal., 2006, vol. 19, nos. 6–7, p. 495.
Göring, H., Vitamin D in nature: a product of synthesis and/or degradation of cell membrane components, Biochemistry (Moscow), 2018, vol. 83, no. 11, p. 1350.
Bjorn, L.O. and Wang, T., Vitamin D in an ecological context, Int. J. Circumpolar Health, 2000, vol. 59, no. 1, p. 26.
Wang, T., Bengtsson, G., Karnefelt, I., and Bjorn, L.O., Provitamins and vitamins D2 and D3 in Cladina spp. over a latitudinal gradient: possible correlation with UV levels, J. Photochem. Photobiol., B, 2001, vol. 62, nos. 1–2, p. 118.
Bjorn, L.O., Vitamin D: Photobiological and ecological aspects, in Photobiology: The Science of Light and Life, New York: Springer-Verlag, 2008, 2nd ed.
The study was performed at the Institute and Museum of Anthropology of Moscow State University (Moscow) in the framework of research “Anthropology of Eurasian Populations (Biological Aspects)” (project no. AAAA-A19-119013090163-2). The study was also partially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 18-09-00487).
The authors report no conflicts of interest related to the implementation of the research and publication of its results. This article does not contain any studies involving animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.
Contribution to the study. The authors made an equal contribution to the collection of materials, their treatment during the study and the creation of the text.
Translated by M. Batrukova
About this article
Cite this article
Kozlov, A.I., Vershubsky, G.G. Systematic Review on 25-HydroxyvitaminD Levels in Various Populations of the Russian North. Hum Physiol 45, 565–575 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0362119719050062
- vitamin D
- 25-hydroxyvitamin D
- vitamin D status
- indigenous population
- natural light