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What Roles Do B Vitamins Play?

Dr. Jesse Gregory, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida, is at the cutting-edge of research directed at understanding how variables of B-vitamin status (deficiency and/or excess) affect the rates of key metabolic processes and the resulting patterns of metabolites. What remains is to complete the connections between these outcomes, human health, and disease processes. The ultimate impact of his research is to provide a better understanding of how vitamins from the diet and supplements facilitate metabolic processes that can govern the development of disease at all stages of life. For example, it is believed that altered levels of vitamin B6 may have impacts on certain cancers, diabetes, inflammatory conditions like arthritis, and a number of cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Gregory is exploring what specific roles vitamins have in order to devise treatments for normalizing vitamin statuses. Such work can lead to refined nutritional recommendations, more effective development and use of dietary supplements, improved understanding of nutrient-disease interactions, and more effective diagnostic techniques for nutritional assessment by evaluating metabolic function. His research is novel in that it frequently works directly with human subjects in controlled studies. Further, his lab is among the first to evaluate the “big picture” of the effects of vitamin insufficiency and excess using metabolic methods.

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