Vitamin B — nicotinic acid
Deficiency of nicotinic acid (also known as niacin), one of the B-complex vitamins, causes pellagra. Pellagra was known as the "disease of the four D's" — dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and death. The disease is specifically characterized by: Dermatitis: A rash on areas of the skin exposed to light or trauma and ulcerations within the mouth Diarrhea Dementia: Mental disorientation, confusion, delusions and depression Death, if untreated. Pellagra, once a puzzle, was solved by Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929). Serving in the Public Health Service, Dr. Goldberger proposed that pellagra was due to a nutritional deficiency and in 1915 began experiments with Mississippi prison inmates (who "volunteered" in return for full pardons). Dr. Goldberger fed them a poor diet he believed caused pellagra and within months, many developed the disease. Their symptoms of pellagra were reversed when meat, fresh vegetables and milk were added to their diet. Niacin, Dr. Goldberger subsequently showed, was the principle that had this remarkable effect. A readily-available B vitamin, niacin cures pellagra and prevents it. The name "pellagra" comes from the Italian "pelle", skin + "agra", rough = rough skin, referring to the skin problems in pellagra.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • vitamin B — n 1) VITAMIN B COMPLEX 2) any of numerous members of the vitamin B complex esp THIAMINE * * * any one of a group of water soluble vitamins that, although not chemically related, are often found together in the same kinds of food (milk, liver,… …   Medical dictionary

  • Nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate — Identifiers CAS number 5502 96 5 …   Wikipedia

  • vitamin B (complex) — n. a group of unrelated water soluble vitamins found in liver, yeast, etc., including: a) vitamin B1 (see THIAMINE) b) vitamin B2 (see RIBOFLAVIN) c) …   Universalium

  • vitamin B (complex) — n. a group of unrelated water soluble vitamins found in liver, yeast, etc., including: a) vitamin B1 (see THIAMINE) b) vitamin B2 (see RIBOFLAVIN) c) vitamin B6 (see PYRIDOXINE) d) NICOTINIC ACID e) PANTOTHENIC ACID f) BIOTIN g) INOSITOL h) PARA… …   English World dictionary

  • vitamin B (complex) — n. a group of unrelated water soluble vitamins found in liver, yeast, etc., including: a) vitamin B1 (see THIAMINE) b) vitamin B2 (see RIBOFLAVIN) c) vitamin B6 (see PYRIDOXINE) d) NICOTINIC ACID e) PANTOTHENIC ACID f) BIOTIN g) INOSITOL h) PARA… …   English World dictionary

  • nicotinic acid — ► NOUN Biochemistry ▪ a vitamin of the B complex which occurs in milk, wheat germ, meat, and other foods …   English terms dictionary

  • nicotinic acid — n. a white, odorless, crystalline substance, C6H5NO, found in protein foods or prepared synthetically: it is a member of the vitamin B complex and is used in the treatment of pellagra …   English World dictionary

  • Nicotinic acid — Deficiency of nicotinic acid (also known as niacin), one of the B complex vitamins, causes pellagra. Pellagra was known as the disease of the four D s dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and death. The disease is specifically characterized by:… …   Medical dictionary

  • vitamin B complex — noun originally thought to be a single vitamin but now separated into several B vitamins • Syn: ↑B complex vitamin, ↑B complex, ↑vitamin B, ↑B vitamin, ↑B • Hypernyms: ↑water soluble vitamin • …   Useful english dictionary

  • nicotinic acid — niacin a B vitamin. Nicotinic acid is a derivative of pyridine and is interchangeable with its amide, nicotinamide. Both forms of the vitamin are equally active. Nicotinamide is a component of the coenzymes NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • vitamin B — noun originally thought to be a single vitamin but now separated into several B vitamins • Syn: ↑B complex vitamin, ↑B complex, ↑vitamin B complex, ↑B vitamin, ↑B • Hypernyms: ↑water soluble vitamin …   Useful english dictionary

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