Re: too much corn in diet may lead to pellagra, niacin deficiency

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by [email protected], Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Yes, indians of the american southwest use a lime solution for their corn
    meal to avoid this problem.

    >If I remember my biochemistry right, the reason pellagra occurs in groups
    >who consume a lot of corn is that the corn is their major source of
    >protein and corn is deficient in tryptophan. One of the more minor
    >metabolic pathways for tryptophan leads to nicotinic acid (a form of
    >niacin) and is capable of supplying about half the daily requirement of
    >niacin (note that "vitamin" doesn't imply "can't be synthesized by the
    >body at all" but merely "can't be synthesized by the body in adequate
    >amounts"). People whose diet has corn as its major protein source
    >generally don't consume many dietary sources of niacin as such. In
    >short, they're malnourished. Increasing the amount of corn in the diet
    >of a person who isn't malnourished will *not* cause a niacin deficiency.