Pellagra is a disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin B3 (niacin or nicotinic acid). Although it can lead to death, it is preventable through a balanced diet. It was historically found among populations subsisting primarily on corn. Along with health issues, pellagra raises concerns over the role of diet in good health, the economic conditions that can hinder a balanced diet, and cultural traditions surrounding the consumption of corn and its role in foodways.

Symptoms and Cure

The symptoms of pellagra include itchy and scaly skin, inflammation of the mouth, diarrhea, nervous system disturbance, mental impairment, and, eventually, death. Historically, pellagra was associated with poverty and was assumed to be an infectious disease because, in the United States, it tended to appear in rural areas in ...

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