PABA (Para-aminobenzoic acid)


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The full name of PABA is Para-aminobenzoic acid. Although regarded by some as the newest addition to the B-complex group of vitamins, it is actually a part of folic acid. PABA is essential for friendly bacteria to grow and has been suggested to have a cosmetic value, possibly retarding graying of the hair.

The role of PABA is not yet fully explored, but it is thought to be helpful for the metabolism of red blood cells and amino acids, as well as for healthy skin.


Because the action of PABA is not yet fully known, deficiency symptoms are also not known.

Therapeutic uses

•     vitiligo (condition characterized by depigmentation of the skin)

•     scleroderma and lupus erythematosus, two severe skin disorders



As yet there are no official guidelines regarding the daily intake of PABA.

Best food sources

Not many specifics have been recorded about the amount of PABA in individual foods. However, liver, eggs, wheat germ and molasses are known to be good sources.



PABA is best taken with the other B vitamins but can be taken on its own if required. Dosages in excess of 8 g daily may result in constant itching and, more seriously, liver problems.



None have been reported to date.  However, the dosages used in clinical trials for the treatment of scleroderma and lupus erythematosus were extremely high and should not be self-administered.


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