Pellagra: rough skin (dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, death)
Chemistry of food o Joseph Goldberger (1920s) makes the connection between diet and pellagra. In mental institutions, the staff did not develop it, but the patients did (they were given poor quality food, low protein food). o Mississippi State Penitentiary: one group received normal food, one group received high-protein food. The first group would develop pellagra. o Exposure to pellagra (to make sure it was not infectious): he ‘infected’ himself and he did not get it. o P-P factor: vitamin B3 (niacin) RDA: recommended daily allowances (to prevent deficiencies) o Ascorbic acid: 90 mg o Thiamine (B1): 1.2 mg berry berri o Niacin (B3): 16 mg pelagras o Vitamin B12: 2.4 μ g pernicious anemia Vital amines vitamines vitamins (Casimir Funk) o Vitamin B2 is an amine o Vitamin C is not an amine, but the term stuck Stress vitamins: B and C Contraceptive pills might lower vitamin B levels. Laxatives might lower vitamins A and D levels. If you are taking a multivitamin supplement, there is no reason to stop, but if you are not taking one, there is no reason to start. 20 mg of niacin can treat Pellagra 2000 mg of niacin can help lower cholesterol (under doctor prescription) 200 μ g of folic acid can treat anemia 800 μ g of folic acid can treat neural tube defect (spina bifida, due to lack of folic acid in the mother during pregnancy) o Flour is fortified now with folic acid. Folic acid could also prevent Alzheimer’s disease (School sisters of Notre-Dame) Vitamin B12 was thought to help heart disease, then not anymore Vitamin B6 was thought to be important carpal tunnel symptom, then not anymore Antioxidants were supposed to have anticancer and preventive cardiovascular diseases properties Free radicals are very reactive species o H – O – H becomes -O – H o Antioxidants will give electrons to free radicals (because molecules don’t like to have only one electron) o Antioxidants convert reactive free radicals into more stable species which are less likely to cause damage (the result will be a free radical, but more stable than the first).
Chemistry of food o Free radical formation: environment pollutants, poor nutrition and the body’s natural metabolism can rob normal oxygen atoms of crucial electrons. The crippled atoms that result are known as ‘free radicals’. o Oxidative damage: free radicals attempt to replace their missing electrons by scavenging the body, robbing electrons from healthy cells. This process of robbing and pairing of electrons creates a damaging free radical chain reaction in our bodies that erodes our cell membranes and can alter the way cells encode genetic information from the DNA. o Oxidant quenched: antioxidant molecules have the ability to lose electrons without initiating a chain reaction. Scientists believe that antioxidants nutrients beta carotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium help provide our bodies with the proper nutritional support to quench free radicals and promote healthy cells. It is always best to get antioxidants from the diet than from supplements.
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- Spring '11