USDA and University of California, Davis, USA
Presentation Title: Vitamin B12 bioavailability and utilization, and possible interactions with folate status
Dr. Allen studies the prevalence, causes and consequences of micronutrient deficiencies, primarily in developing countries, using randomized, controlled human trials testing micronutrient supplements, food fortification, and food-based approaches to improve nutritional status, pregnancy outcome and child development, described in her ≈300 publications.
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She has increased awareness of the globally high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency, its adverse consequences and response to food-based and supplementation interventions, and uses novel methods to measure B12 absorption and functional effects of supplementation. Her current focus is on methods for assessment of micronutrients in human milk, and effective interventions for increasing low milk micronutrient concentrations.
Dr. Allen served on twelve committees of the Food and Nutrition Board, and has advised many national, bilateral and international organizations including WHO, UNICEF, Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, PAHO and FAO.
She is principal author of “What Works? A Review of the Efficacy and Effectiveness of Nutrition Interventions”, and WHO’s “Guidelines on Food Fortification with Micronutrients”.
She served as President of the American Society for Nutrition and the Society for International Nutrition Research, and received the Kellogg Prize from the Society for International Nutrition Research, and the McCollum International Lectureship and Conrad A. Elvehjem Award for Public Service in Nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition.
She is past Vice President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences, serves on the International Micronutrient Forum and the Board of the International Nutrition Foundation, and chairs the Vitamin B12 Expert Panel for NIH’s Biomarkers in Nutrition and Development.
In 2016 she received the Outstanding Investigator of the Year Award from the Vitamins and Minerals Research Interest Section of the American Society for Nutrition, and the Career Achievement in Evidence Translation Award from the Mathile Institute. In 2017 she was elected a Fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences.