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  • Pellagra


    Pellagra is a disease caused by a lack of the vitamin niacin (vitamin B3). Symptoms include inflamed skin, diarrhea, dementia, and sores in the mouth. Areas of the skin exposed to either sunlight or friction are typically affected first. Over time affected skin may become darker, stiff, begin to peel, or bleed. There are two main types of pellagra, primary and secondary. Primary pellagra is due to a diet that does not contain enough niacin and tryptophan. Secondary pellagra is due to a poor ability to use the niacin within the diet. This can occur as a result of alcoholism, long-term diarrhea, carcinoid syndrome, Hartnup disease, and a number of medications such as isoniazid. Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms and may be assisted by urine testing. Treatment is with either niacin or nicotinamide supplementation. Improvements typically begin within a couple of days. General improvements in diet are also frequently recommended. Decreasing sun exposure via sunscreen and proper clothing is important while the skin heals. Without treatment death may occur. It occurs most commonly in the developing world, specifically sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Vitamin B6


    Vitamin B6 refers to a group of chemically similar compounds which can be interconverted in biological systems. Vitamin B6 is part of the vitamin B group of essential nutrients. Its active form, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, serves as a coenzyme in some 100 enzyme reactions in amino acid, glucose, and lipid metabolism.

  • Selenium deficiency


    Selenium deficiency is relatively rare in healthy well-nourished individuals. Few cases in humans have been reported.

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