meat (pork fatback); molasses; and meal (cornmeal). Today pellagra continues to be a problem in developing countries where there is significant malnutrition or where niacin-deficient foods such as corn and rice are the primary sources of nutrition.
The puzzle of pellagra was solved by Dr. Joseph Goldberger. Dr. Goldberger was assigned in 1914 by the US Public Health Service to the South to deal with pellagra. After inspecting Southern orphanages, mental hospitals and prisons, Goldberger made the pivotal observation that the malnourished inmates of those institutions often developed pellagra while the better-fed staff did not. Pellagra, he deduced, did not arise from germs, as was commonly believed, but rather from a nutritional deficiency. To prove this, Dr. Goldberger, his assistants and even his wife engaged in experiments called “filth parties.” They injected themselves with blood or ingested the scabs, feces and body fluids of patients. None developed pellagra. He also did decisive experiments with Mississippi prison inmates (who “volunteered” in return for a full pardon). Dr. Goldberger fed them a poor diet that he believed caused pellagra and within months, many developed the disease. He then added meat, fresh vegetables and milk to their diet and reversed all of the signs and symptoms of pellagra. Dr. Goldberger never identified the dietary principle that had this extraordinary effect. He died in 1929 (of kidney cancer). Eight years later, the factor was found to be niacin. This discovery was made in 1937 at the University of Wisconsin. Niacin is abundant in red meat, fish, poultry, and green leafy vegetables. Niacin can prevent pellagra (and can cure it).
The name “pellagra” comes from the Italian “pelle”, skin + “agra”, rough = rough skin, referring to the skin problems in pellagra.
Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones.
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
chronic pelvic pain caused by ovarian and internal iliac varices.
- Pelvic exam
An examination of the organs of the female reproductive system. In a pelvic exam, a speculum (an instrument for opening and widening certain passages of the body) is used to open the vagina and aid in visualizing the uterine cervix. A sample of cells may be taken off the surface of the cervix for a […]
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Ascending infection of the female upper genital tract (the female structures above the cervix). PID is the most common and serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), aside from AIDS, among women. The signs and symptoms of PID include fever, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, extreme pain, including pain during intercourse, and vaginal bleeding. PID can scar […]
- Pelvic pain
Pain perceived in the area of the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen located between the hip bones. The term pelvic pain is most commonly used to refer to pain arising from reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina) in women. Pelvic pain can have numerous causes, including menstrual cramps; pain from a rupture […]