Definition - What does Pellagra mean?

Pellagra is a deficiency disease caused by a chronic lack of Niacin (vitamin B3), and possibly an increase in consumption of the amino acid leucine in the diet. It's characteristics include dermatitis, diarrhoea and mental disturbances. It is often associated with an over-dependance on maize as a staple food. If not treated properly, the condition may eventually result in death.

Safeopedia explains Pellagra

Pellegra is the severe side of Nyacin or Tryptophan deficiency. The problems caused by a mild deficiency can include vomiting, fatigue, canker sores, depression and indigestion. This can be a result of a diet deficiency or the body's inability to absorb Niacin. Pellegra has increasingly severe symptoms including swollen tongue, scaly rashes, disorientation, apathy, etc.. In most cases, all that is required for treatment is a Niacin supplement taken orally.

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