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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Vitamin E Scholar wins 2013 Nutritional Sciences Award

By Michael McBurney

Dr Maret Traber, Director of the Oxidative & Nitrative Stress Laboratory, Linus Pauling Institute was awarded the 2013 DSM Nutritional Sciences Award at the 20th International Union of Nutrition Sciences (IUNS) meeting in Granada Spain. The DSM Nutritional Sciences Award forms part of the DSM Bright Science Awards program. It is granted every 2 years and alternates between the fields of human and animal nutrition. In 2009, Drs Michael Holick and Heike Bischoff-Ferrari shared the DSM Nutritional Products Award for their contributions to research on vitamin D.

Vitamin E is an essential micronutrient required for growth and health. It functions as a powerful antioxidant, protecting our cells, tissues and organs from damage due to free radicals. In her more than 200 research publications, Dr Traber is a major contributor to our understanding of the role of vitamin E in human metabolism.  She has studied the bioavailability of vitamin E, its antioxidant function, and helped define daily requirements.

In presenting the award to Professor Traber, Dr Marcel Wubbolts, DSM’s Chief Technology Officer, commented on the importance of this work: "As we are moving towards a world with probably 9 billion people in 2050, food and nutrition security becomes one of the most important quests for our society. Food and nutrition security is an important new Sustainable Development Goal from the United Nations that aims at securing both the right amount and quality of food for all people on our planet. Understanding the role that nutrients play in improving people's health is an essential part of this."

Congratulations to Dr Maret Traber for her lifetime award and thanks for her leaderships and contributions to the field of vitamin E research.


Brigelius-Flohe R, Traber MG. Vitamin E: Function and metabolism. 1999 FASEB J 13:1145-1155.

Traber MG, Stevens JF. Vitamins C and E: Beneficial effects from a mechanistic perspective. 2011 Free Rad Biol Med 51:1000-1013

Lebold KM, Traber MG. Interactions between α-tocopherol, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and lipoxygenases during embryogenesis. 2013 Free Rad Biol Med online Aug 3