PABA Background and Benefits
P-amino benzoic acid (PABA) is an organic compound that is also known as 4-aminobenzoic acid and para-aminobenzoic acid. It can be synthesized in the body and is therefore considered a nonessential nutrient in humans. However, PABA is used to synthesize folic acid, which is an essential nutrient. Folic acid is most readily available in leafy green vegetables.
The most common dietary sources of PABA include organ meats such as kidney and liver. Vegetables such as mushrooms and whole grains also contain significant levels of PABA. The commercial manufacture of PABA is typically accomplished by reducing 4-nitrobenzoic acid. Another method of producing PABA commercially uses terephthalic acid.
Humans don’t synthesize PABA directly since they don’t produce the necessary enzymes. E. coli in the intestines accomplish this task by using the enzymes 4-amino-4-deoxychorismate lyase and 4-amino-4-deoxychorismate synthase on chorismate. Green plants can also synthesize PABA with their chloroplasts, which are structures that contain chlorophyll.
The potassium salt of PABA is used to manage fibrotic skin conditions. Oral supplements of PABA are primarily used to maintain skin health, although they may also help with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Additional health-related applications of PABA include assessing the levels of sodium, nitrogen and potassium in the urine.
Uses of PABA
The most common use of supplemental PABA is to support skin and hair health. It is also used to support healthy digestion and other biological functions.
Hair health support
PABA supplements may help maintain the natural color of your hair as you age. These supplements often contain other ingredients such as folic acid, inositol and vitamin B5.
Digestive health support
PABA is a coenzyme in various metabolic processes within the gut, which help to support the intestinal bacteria that are needed for proper digestion.
PABA helps keep the skin looking healthy. It’s especially useful for maintaining a consistent skin tone and soft texture.
Other benefits of PABA include the production of normal red blood cells and fibrous tissue.
Signs You May Need PABA
PABA is readily available from both dietary sources and intestinal bacteria, so a nutritional deficiency of PABA is rare. This condition is most likely to occur with the long-term use of antibiotics that may harm intestinal bacteria. Specific signs of a PABA deficiency include skin conditions such as premature wrinkling and moist eczema. Chronic digestive disorders such as constipation are also common indications that you may benefit from PABA supplements.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
MSM - Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic compound that is known by other names such as dimethyl sulfone and methyl sulfone. MSM supplements are primarily used to support skin and joint health.
Folic acid - Additional names for folic acid include folate and vitamin B9. Folic acid plays an essential role in many biological processes and is especially important during the early stage of pregnancy.