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Home :: PABA

PABA - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Alternative name :: Para-Aminobenzoic Acid and Sunscreen vitamin

What is PABA ?

An abbreviation for para-aminobenzoic acid, PABA appears to be a component of folic acid, a member of the B family of vitamins. PABA is one of the basic constituents of folate and also helps in the assimilation of pantothenic acid. PABA can be converted into folate by intestinal bacteria. This antioxidant helps protect against sunburn (through the absorption of ultraviolet-B [UVB] radiation) and, consequently, skin cancer; acts as a coenzyme in the breakdown and utilization of protein; and assists in the formation of red blood cells.

PABA also aids in the maintenance of healthy intestinal flora. Supplementing the diet with PABA may restore gray hair to its original color if the graying was caused by stress or a nutritional deficiency. Vitamin C and the B group vitamins, plus Folic Acid are best taken with PABA.

Benefits of PABA

Para-aminobenzoic acid is used in sunscreen preparations since it can help protect the skin against ultra-violet radiation.  PABA 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. Other benefits of PABA include protection against secondhand smoke, ozone, and other air pollutants; reduced inflammation in arthritis; and enhanced flexibility

Recommended Dosage of PABA

The minimum Recommended Dosage Allowance of PABA are :-

  • Adults - 400 mcg.
  • Children - 200 to 300 mcg.
  • Infants - 50 mcg.
  • Pregnant women - 800 mcg.
  • Lactation - 600 mcg.

Special Intake of PABA

Long term 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.

Deficiency Symptoms of PABA

Symptoms of PABA deficiency includes :-

  • Depression.
  • Fatigue.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Graying of the hair.
  • Irritability.
  • Nervousness.
  • Patchy areas of white skin.

Rich Food Sources of PABA

Foods that contain PABA include kidney, liver, molasses, mushrooms, spinach, and whole grains.


Sulfa drugs may cause a deficiency of PABA. High doses (8 g or more daily) of PABA can cause blood sugar to drop and may induce a rash, fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

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