PELLAGRA, A SOCIAL DISEASE IN AN EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRY, AT THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY AND EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
PELLAGRA, A SOCIAL DISEASE IN AN EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRY, AT THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY AND EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY (Abstract): Pellagra appeared in Europe after Christopher Columbus brought maize to the continent, omitting however to bring with him the corn processing method of the Native Americans - which involved treating corn flour with lime water (calcium hydroxide) before thermal processing so as to partially release niacin from cellulose structure, which proved the decisive factor in the occurrence of the disease. It is an extremely rare disease nowadays, but it is the prototype of social disease in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, affecting especially the rural one due to the poor economic condition of the Romanian peasant and their strong religious beliefs. Pellagra is one of the diseases whose development was directly correlated with socioeconomic status of the population in different regions of Romania, raising major issues of care and active intervention measures in health care.
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