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November 24, 1945


JAMA. 1945;129(13):874-875. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860470034011

The discovery that a deficiency of niacin is directly related to the development of pellagra in man and blacktongue in dogs has not completely clarified the etiology of these conditions. For example, the relatively high incidence of pellagra in maize-eating populations is not entirely thus explained, since corn contains approximately the same amount of niacin as many other foods, such as eggs, milk and oats.1 Also the early observations of Goldberger and his associates that various protein foods and, indeed, the amino acids trytophan and cystine exert some beneficial effect in human pellagra indicates that factors in addition to niacin may be involved.

The results of recent experimental studies on the pellagra problem appear to be valuable in elucidating these two puzzling questions. Blacktongue, the canine counterpart of pellagra in man, cannot be produced in dogs by a niacin low synthetic diet adequate in all other respects unless corn