CORVALLIS, Ore. — Vitamin E protects health or increases the chances of dying, depending what headline you read. With vitamin D, most Americans are woefully deficient, but too much has been associated with constipation and kidney stones, according to the National Institutes of Health.
To help sort through the confusion, Science Pub Corvallis will begin its fall season with the latest research on these two micronutrients. Oregon State University researchers Adrian Gombart and Maret Traber will discuss their work on vitamins D and E respectively, beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 13, at the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis.
Both scientists are affiliated with OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute.
A professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Traber uses state-of-the-art laboratory techniques including mass spectrometry, stable isotopes, cell models and zebrafish embryos to understand the absorption and metabolism of vitamin E and related micronutrients. She and her colleagues have shown that vitamin E, an antioxidant, helps the body deal with a variety of stresses, such as those associated with exercise and smoking.
Gombart, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, specializes in vitamin D and its role in the immune system. His research has demonstrated that this vitamin, which is actually a hormone, induces an antimicrobial gene and helps protect against bacterial and viral infections as well as promotes wound healing.