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  Dr. Joseph Goldberger &
the War on Pellagra

Pellagra no longer stalks the nation as it once did. But during the early part of the 20th-century, pellagra, a disease that results from a diet deficient in niacin killed, many poor Southerners. Dr. Joseph Goldberger, a physician in the U.S. government's Hygienic Laboratory, the predecessor of the National Institutes of Health, discovered the cause of pellagra and stepped on a number of medical toes when his research experiments showed that diet and not germs (the currently held medical theory) caused the disease. He also stepped on Southern pride when he linked the poverty of Southern sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and mill workers to the deficient diet that caused pellagra.

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  Dr. Joseph Goldberger
Dr. Joseph Goldberger
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