What is pellagra?

Pellagra is a condition that develops when the body does not have enough vitamin B3 (niacin). Vitamin B3 can be obtained in the diet (in the forms of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide), and is found in foods such as milk, beans, eggs, and flour. Vitamin B3 can also be obtained by converting the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is found in proteins. The conversion of tryptophan to vitamin B3 can be slowed down by drugs such as isoniazid (a drug used against tuberculosis). Vitamin B3 is used for a number of important chemical reactions in the body.

Pellagra is treated by giving nicotinamide.

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