• Definition

    Pellagra is a disease that occurs when a person does not get enough niacin (one of the B complex vitamins) or tryptophan (an amino acid).

    Alternative Names

    Vitamin B3 deficiency; Deficiency - niacin

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Pellagra is caused by having too little niacin or tryptophan in the diet. It can also occur if the body fails to absorb these nutrients. It may develop after gastrointestinal diseases or with alcoholism.

    The disease is common in parts of the world where people have a lot of corn in their diet.