Vitamin PABA - para-aminobenzoic acid - info
PABA is the shortened name for para-aminobenzoic acid that is often though of as only an ingredient used in sunscreens, while it is in actual fact a nutritional ingredient as well.
Since it is a moiety of PGA, a form of folic acid, some health professionals do not consider it a vitamin, but only a b-complex factor.
PABA is used to improve the protein is used in the body, it relates to red blood cell formation as well as assisting the manufacture of folic acid in the intestines. Para-aminobenzoic acid is used in sunscreen preparations since it can protect the skin against ultra-violet radiation.
It has been linked to hair growth as well as reversing the graying of hair, but these results are disappointing. People suffering from vitiligo, over-pigmentation of skin, or without pigment in some spots, have reported an improvement of the skin after more PABA was ingested.
PABA also assists with breaking down of protein, the formation of red blood cells and maintaining intestinal flora.
When PABA is in short supply fatigue, irritability, nervousness and depression might manifest as well as constipation. Weeping eczema has also been noted in people with PABA deficiency as well as patchy areas on the skin.
The dosage underneath is the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
No recommended dosage but 50 mg per day is usually used in supplementation.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
When higher than factor 8 sunscreens are used, the manufacture of vitamin D in the body may be reduced. Nausea, skin rashes and vomiting might be indicative of PABA taken in excess.
Excessive levels of PABA are stored in the body and may cause liver damage.
Best used with
Vitamin C and the B group vitamins, plus Folic Acid are best taken with PABA.
When more may be required
Long tem antibiotic use may require more PABA from the body, but take note of PABA affecting the ability of sulfa drugs. Although not documented in medical terms, some women having problems falling pregnant claim conceiving after increasing PABA in their diet.
Enemy of nutrient
Since a ban was placed on the sale of OTC supplements containing large single dosage of PABA, very little new research has been done.
Other interesting points
PABA may make sulfa drugs ineffectual.
PABA is found in liver, kidney, brewers yeast, molasses, whole grains, mushrooms, and spinach and can be made by intestinal bacteria.
PABA found in the following Zest for Life™ products