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.
- Vitamin B -- pantothenic acid
This is one of the less well known B vitamins, perhaps because it is widely distributed in nature. Pantothenic acid is virtually ubiquitous. It is present in foods as diverse as poultry, soybeans, yogurt, and sweet potatoes. No naturally occurring disease due to a deficiency of pantothenic acid has been identified, due to the plentifulness […]
- Vitamin B1
An essential factor in the formation of blood clotting factors. Deficiency can lead to abnormal bleeding.
- Vitamin B12
A vitamin important for the normal formation of red blood cells and the health of the nerve tissues. Undetected and untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia and permanent nerve and brain damage. Pernicious anemia is a blood disorder caused by inadequate vitamin B12 in the blood. Patients who have this disorder do not […]
- Vitamin B12-responsive methylmalonicaciduria
methylmalonicaciduria, long chain ketonuria, and intermittent hyperglycinemia.) Some but not all patients with methylmalonicaciduria respond to vitamin B12. An enzyme called methylmalonyl-CoA mutase is defective in the disease. This enzyme requires the presence of adenosylcobalamin, a form of vitamin B12. The metabolic block in methylmalonic acidemia occurs at methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and can be caused by […]
- Vitamin B15
An old name for dimethylglycine (DMG, pangamic acid), which is no longer considered to be a vitamin by the strict definition of that word.