Niacin was discovered during the search for the cause of pellagra. In Italian pellagra means rough skin and was a common disease in the Mediterranean during the eighteenth century. Pellagra is known to be caused by severe deficiency of niacin and tryptophan. Niacin is needed to release the energy from carbohydrate based foods and is involved in controlling blood sugar. Niacin supports the nervous and digestive systems. Niacin may also have an anti-inflammatory effect and research was carried out as early as the 1940’s on people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Niacin can be found in chicken, beef, fish and nuts other high protein foods. Breads, cereals and some pasta are also enriched with niacin.