Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Vitamin D Poll
Are you currently taking a Vitamin D supplement?

 Vitamins: PABA -- Para-aminobenzoic Acid  
Para-aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) is also a member of the B vitamins, and is part of the folic acid molecule. PABA itself is readily available in food and is made by our intestinal bacteria. It is known specifically for its nourishment to hair and its usefulness as a sunscreen.

Sources: PABA is found in liver, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, whole grains such as rice, eggs, and molasses. It is stored in body tissues and is also synthesized by the natural bacteria flora in our intestines.

Functions: Para-aminobenzoic acid, as part of the coenzyme tetrahydrofolic acid, aids in the metabolism and utilization of amino acids and is also supportive of blood cells, particularly the red blood cells. PABA supports folic acid production by the intestinal bacteria. PABA is important to skin, hair pigment, and intestinal health. Used as a sunscreen, it also can protect against the development of sunburn and skin cancer from excess ultraviolet light exposure.

Uses: Although PABA has been much used in attempts to stimulate hair growth and to turn gray hair back to its natural color, it has not had wide success in such uses. It may work in some cases that are related to a PABA deficiency. If graying of hair is caused by vitamin deficiency, it is likely a deficiency of a combination of vitamins, mostly the various Bs. PABA is usually used along with biotin, pantothenic acid, and folic acid in the restoration of hair, often with vitamin E as well. PABA is also used to reduce aging of the skin and lessen wrinkles. Vitiligo, a skin depigmenting condition, which could result from deficient hydrochloric acid, vitamin C, or pantothenic acid, may be helped somewhat by PABA, both orally and as a cream. PABA ointment is used commonly to prevent and treat sunburns and, with vitamin E, is often applied to other burns.

Deficiency and toxicity: It is possible that high doses of PABA can be somewhat irritating to the liver; in addition, nausea and vomiting have occurred, as have anorexia, fever, skin rash, and even vitiligo. Deficiency problems are not very common; they occur more frequently with the use of sulfa or other antibiotics that alter the functioning of intestinal bacteria and, therefore, the production of PABA. General fatigue, irritability, depression, nervousness, graying hair, headache, and constipation or other digestive symptoms may occur. Several patients have told me that they are "sensitive" to PABA in vitamin formulae and, thus, cannot take them (most vitamin combinations contain PABA). I do not know what this reaction is unless it is some allergy to the para-amino-benzoic acid molecule.

Requirements:No RDA is listed for PABA. It is available in supplements of 50–1,000 mg. Up to 1,000 mg. are used therapeutically in a time-released capsule, although the common treatment amount is usually about 50–100 mg. three times daily. If we take antibiotics, we might increase our intake of PABA for a while, although PABA taken with sulfa antibiotics may reduce their effectiveness. A therapeutic approach used by some authorities to attempt to restore normal hair color is 1,000 mg., time-released, daily for six days a week, taken with 400 mcg. of folic acid.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
2019 National Wellness Conference
     October 1-3, 2019
     Kissimmee, FL USA
Additional Calendar Links
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Eating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar