Pellagra Food Resource Report

Pellagra Food Resource Report - Pellagra Food Resource...

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Pellagra Food Resource Report By: Kyrk Roberts December, 2005 AP Environmental Science  Neidhart Pd.A3 1
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Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disease caused by dietary lack of niacin and protein, especially the essential amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is also a precursor for protein, so if there is a deficiency in niacin and protein, then tryptophan production will be diverted into protein, leading to a deficiency of niacin. Pellagra is most common in parts of the world where the population consumes large quantities of corn. Poverty is also common among victims of pellagra. Pellagra is characterized by skin eruptions, digestive and nervous system disturbances, eventual mental deterioration, diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia. If pellagra is untreated, death is the usual outcome. Pellagra is common among people who live in rural South America, where they live of corn during the winter. Pellagra is also a common disease of malnutrition in Africa, and was formerly endemic in northern Italy. The traditional food preparation method of corn by native new world cultivators, who had domesticated corn, required treatment of the grain with lime, an alkali. It has now been shown that the lime treatment makes lysine nutritionally available and reduces the chance of developing pellagra. Pellagra became common only when corn became a staple that was eaten without the
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Pellagra Food Resource Report - Pellagra Food Resource...

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