Why are corn based diets associated with pellagra?

Why are corn based diets associated with pellagra?

The reason a maize-based diet predisposes to pellagra is that the proteins of maize are particularly poor in tryptophan, so that a diet in which there are few other sources of protein provides insufficient tryptophan for nicotinamide synthesis.

Does corn cause pellagra?

Primary pellagra is most common in developing countries that depend on corn as a staple food. Corn contains niacytin, a form of niacin that humans can’t digest and absorb unless prepared properly. Secondary pellagra occurs when your body can’t absorb niacin.

What are the 4 D’s in pellagra?

Pellagra defines systemic disease as resulting from a marked cellular deficiency of niacin. It is characterized by 4 “D’s”: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death. Diagnosis of pellagra is difficult in the absence of the skin lesions, and is often facilitated by the presence of characteristic ones.

Why does diet rich in leucine lead to pellagra?

Leucine seems to act by distorting the nicotinamide-nucleotide pattern of red blood-cells, though total nucleotide levels are not affected. Supplements of this aminoacid seem to exacerbate the mental symptoms associated with pellagra.

Who is most at risk for pellagra?

In the United States, individuals most at risk for developing pellagra are alcoholics, as a result of malnutrition. Both alcoholism and not consuming enough green vegetables, seafood, meat, and eggs commonly cause primary pellagra.

Where is pellagra most common?

Pellagra is common in poor parts of the world, such as Africa and India, where corn (or maize) is a staple food.

Can pellagra be reversed?

Pellagra can be reversed by giving niacin accompanied by a high energy diet that is rich in all other B-vitamins, zinc, and magnesium that are important for optimum metabolic reactions in the body.

Can pellagra be prevented?

The primary prevention of pellagra involves an adequate diet. Food sources of niacin and/or tryptophan include nutritional yeast, eggs, bran, peanuts, meat, poultry, fish with red meat, cereals (especially fortified cereals), legumes, and seeds.

What are signs of pellagra?

Symptoms of pellagra include:

  • Delusions or mental confusion.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Weakness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Pain in abdomen.
  • Inflamed mucous membrane.
  • Scaly skin sores, especially in sun-exposed areas of the skin.

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