HealthUnlocking the 20th-century medical mystery. The powerful health benefits of vitamin B3

Unlocking the 20th-century medical mystery. The powerful health benefits of vitamin B3

Pelagra causes skin symptoms.
Pelagra causes skin symptoms.
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12:13 PM EST, January 15, 2024

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The unsolved medical mystery

In the earlier part of the previous century, impoverished people living in the southern US repeatedly fell ill with an inexplicable disease. It was characterized by symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, skin inflammation, and the progression of neurodegenerative processes. This disease remained misunderstood and misdiagnosed for several years.

In the 1920s, Scientist Joseph Goldberger discovered that this disease, later christened pellagra, was caused by a niacin deficiency in the diet.

This breakthrough in understanding a disease that had plagued people for centuries, even in Europe, paved the way for developing effective prevention and treatment strategies. Consequently, there was a significant reduction in the number of casualties.

The impressive health benefits of PP vitamin

Niacin plays a pivotal role in numerous biological processes in our bodies. It is vital for maintaining the proper functioning of our nervous and digestive systems and for keeping our skin hydrated. PP vitamin is also a crucial part of enzymes involved in energy transformations. It aids in converting proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into energy.

A deficiency of Vitamin PP

Symptoms of a deficiency might include, but are not limited to, loss of appetite, fatigue, headaches, skin problems, and digestive disorders.

A severe deficiency of PP vitamin may even result in the previously discussed pellagra, a disease distinguished by skin changes such as hyperpigmentation, dryness, and scaling, especially in sun-exposed areas, along with diarrhea, dementia, agitation, and depression.

The daily requirement for vitamin B3 varies depending on age and is broken down as follows:

● 2-4 mg in infants,

● 6-8 mg in older children,

● 12 mg in teenagers,

● 16 mg in men,

● 14 mg in women, with an increase to 17-18 mg during pregnancy and lactation.

Integrating Vitamin PP into the diet

The primary dietary sources of niacin are mostly protein-rich products. Vitamin B3 can be found in meat (particularly liver), fish, yeast, whole grain foods, nuts, seeds, and legumes, as well as milk and eggs.

Certain vegetables and fruits like avocados, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, melons, bananas, and peaches are also respectable sources of PP vitamin.

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