Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is the vitamin which is commonly known as the sunscreen vitamin. It is not protein but is found to be the part of vitamin B group and is the moiety of the folic acid form, the PGA. It acts as a coenzyme and also as an antioxidant.
PABA is available in a variety of forms. It is available in the foods of dietary importance as well as a supplement in the form of pills. Some of its natural sources are
Animal Sources: These include yeast, eggs, liver, meat, and kidneys etc.
Plant Sources: Plant foods containing para-aminobenzoic acid are spinach, molasses, whole grains, rice, and mushrooms etc.
This vitamin is produced by the bacteria present within our intestinal tract or digestive system.
Being an antioxidant it causes detoxification of various harmful substance produced in our body.
Being coenzyme it supports blood cell and their good health. It is especially important for red blood cells. It causes promotion of their formation as well as processes of metabolization within them.
It causes improvement in protein utilization in the body. It causes its breakdown in the body.
It causes maintenance of the natural flora of the intestine.
It’s also been found to be important in healthy hair growth and is also very important in preventing loss of hairs.
Use of para-aminobenzoic acid in the sunscreen is its wonderful function as it protects over skin from the harmful rays of the sun. It protects us from ultraviolet light which is quite dangerous and can cause skin cancer.
For skin, it also provided beneficial effect and cures us of the disease such as vitiligo which can make us look worse. But by this vitamin use, we can be safe from it. It is even used in this treatment along with treatment of hypopigmentation also.
Other diseases which can be treated by PABA oral use include dermatomyositis, pemphigus, lymphoblastoma cutis, and morphea.
It is seen that it can provide beneficial effects for women who are suffering from infertility.
PABA is also utilized in the treatment of arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, fever, and constipation.
The deficiency of PABA in our body can lead to certain gastrointestinal problems. These include complaints of chronic constipation as well as irritable bowel syndromes. These are mostly noticed with its deficiency in the body. As this vitamin is an important ingredient of the sunscreen and is also important for the skin and hairs, its deficiency can cause premature formation of wrinkles on the skin and the premature hair graying. UV rays can also damage the skin if we don’t apply sunscreen containing PABA.
There is no recommended daily dosage for PABA but it is set to 55mg -1000mg for the healthy person. Although this vitamin is generally safe and considered non-toxic, still there are people who complaints allergy from this PABA.
In case of its excess in the body, it can lead to a reduction in vitamin D formation. There arise symptoms of skin rash, nausea, and vomiting. Since it is stored in the body if taken in excess, this can lead to liver damage also.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.