Pellagra Research Paper

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Pellagra Luis Arguinzoni Florida Southwestern State College Abstract Pellagra is a nutritional disease that, if left untreated, can be fatal. It is caused by a deficiency in niacin, which is vitamin B3, and also the deficiency of the amino acid tryptophan. Pellagra has a variety of symptoms, but the main four categories of this disease are diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and eventually death. Pellagra is more prevalent in people with certain disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or alcoholism, or in people of poor economic status. This disease is preventable through proper eating habits and wide variations in food choices. There is treatment available for this disease and the US government has taken measures to also fortify our food…show more content…
Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, psychotic symptoms, peripheral neuritis, and emotional disturbances (Jagielska, Tomaszewicz-libudzic, and Brzozowska. 2007). Dermatitis usually presents in an erythematous rash, and may be especially severe in areas exposed to sunlight, with pigmentation and thickening of the skin. Heat and friction may make the rash worse. Pellagra is more common in people with risk factors for malnutrition such as those with anorexia nervosa, AIDS, chronic alcohol intake, and those living in poverty (Jagielska, Tomaszewicz-libudzic, and Brzozowska. 2007). There are at least two mechanisms in which niacin can alter brain function. One is by reducing the synthesis and release of serotonin, and the other is by reducing the synthesis and release of kynurenic acid. Tryptophan is also the precursor for serotonin, and has an importance in normal brain function (Brown. 2010). Abnormalities in serotonergic activity has varying effects on mood, cognition, and other aspects of brain…show more content…
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