PABA or para-aminobenzoic acid is a component of folic acid which is a member of the B family of vitamins. It is a necessary ingredient in breaking down and using proteins, in forming red blood cells and in helping in the manufacture of folic acid in the intestines. It is manufactured in a natural way in the intestines from friendly bacteria and it can also be obtained from outside sources such as grains and animal products. There are PABA supplements that you can avail too.
If you have not taken enough PABA, you may show the following symptoms: fatigue, irritability, nervousness, and depression as well as constipation. Weeping eczema can also be noted in people with PABA deficiency including patchy areas on the skin.
There is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) dosage but 50 mg per day is the usual PABA supplementation taken.
PABA is necessary for healthy hair and skin and the PABA supplement is known to prevent hair loss by protecting the follicles. It can even restore grey hairs to its natural colors. But this is applicable only if they have a deficiency in vitamin B. PABA may have a possible role in treating Peyronie’s disease which is a disorder that affects erection. It can possibly aid skin changes associated with scleroderma which is an autoimmune disorder, pemphigus which is a severe blistering of the skin and vitiligo which is a disorder that causes discoloration of the skin. People suffering from vitiligo, pemphigus, and scleroderma have reported improvement in their skin after taking in PABA supplements. Although this is not a clinically proven fact, some women claim that they got pregnant after increasing PABA in their diet. Excellent sources of PABA include liver, kidney, brewer’s yeast, molasses, whole grains, mushrooms and spinach and can be made by intestinal bacteria.
PABA is often an active ingredient in sunscreen lotions; it protects the skin by blocking the damage ultraviolet rays. Its popularity as a sunscreen ingredient has waned recently though because it is reported to have caused skin irritation and cause allergic reactions in some people. When higher than factor SPF 8 sunscreens are used, manufacture of vitamin D in the body may be lowered. If it is taken in excess could also show the following symptoms: nausea, skin, rashes, and vomiting. Excessive levels of PABA that are stored in the body can cause liver damage.
PABA is known to interact negatively with sulfa antibiotics since it interferes with its absorption. It can make sulfasalazine and sulfisoxazole less effective and you should not take it if you are using these antibiotics. High doses of PABA which is around 8 g. or more daily can cause blood sugar to drop and may cause a rash, fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. In rare cases, PABA can cause liver function abnormalities. For hair problems, take 100 mg a day of PABA. You may use Vitamin B complex to cover PABA. It is best used with Vitamin C and B group or vitamins. Folic Acid works well with PABA too.