Corn (maize) and alcohol addiction

Corn is known to provide little nicotinamide (niacin, vitamin B3).  In primitive societies where meat consumption is low and corn (maize) is relied upon as a staple food with little or no meat which provides an ample source of niacin, this maize diet is said to foster human populations with poor cognition (thinking), illiteracy and brain development.  These and the other obvious signs of pellagra (B3 deficiency), known as the 3 D’s (diarrhea, dementia, dermatitis) are what plagued Job in the Bible. [American Journal Therapy 2008; JAMA Dermatology Feb 1942]

It is said pellagra is given to creating addiction to alcohol, which releases the cell energy carrier NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), a form of vitamin B3.  This suggests alcoholism frequently observed in Southwest American Indians who lived largely on maize has a nutrient deficiency origin.  [Medical Hypotheses July 2014]

In 1942 Charles Brim wrote “wherever poverty existed, whether it has been among the pyramid builders of ancient Egypt or among share croppers of the Southern States… peasants subsisted on maize as their sole food.” The Egyptian diet was chiefly corn and grits that was accompanied by skin diseases.  When Job lost his fortune and became a pauper he was stricken with a terrible skin disease that caused him to bathe in mud to soothe his sores.   Eventually Job dismissed his “physicians” and his family and friends brought food (niacin) and he regained his health and sanity.

Whether alcohol causes niacin deficiency or niacin deficiency induces alcohol cravings, resulting in a circuitous cycle, it is not completely understood which comes first.  But it is well established that maize diets have been associated with pellagra outbreaks and alcoholism, particularly in the USA during the Civil War.  [Alcohol Alcoholism May-June 2014]  It is no wonder alcoholism plagues the poor in society.

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