PABA Review

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, naturally occurs in foods like liver, kidney and molasses. The supplement market has changed the face of this non-essential amino acid into a product that needs to be used for general health. Manufacturers of PABA based supplements often refer to several symptoms as signs of PABA deficiency. The human body does not need PABA to function in a healthy way, but that is more than many dieters and consumers would know. The human body does not have the enzymes to break down PABA and thus folate is the vitamin of choice not PABA.

List of Ingredients

PABA, Para-Aminobenzoic Acid or 4-Aminobenzoic Acid.

Product Features

It is common to read about eczema, irritability, fatigue and depression associated with a deficiency in PABA, but these claims are all false. There is no known deficiency for PABA because it is nonessential or not required by the body. Naturally, humans cannot break down PABA and thus is passed through the intestines and out of the body without ever being used.

Topically, however, there are plenty of uses for PABA. PABA is known to reduce the impact of the sun on skin. This means skin product manufacturers have picked up on the ingredient as the perfect addition to sunscreens and other protective skin care products. When the ingredient was most popular, consumers started complaining about discoloration of clothing when PABA touched the fabric and skin reactions. After around 40 years on the market as a sunscreen, PABA was phased out due to too many problems in human and animal studies.

Just because PABA was taken out of sunscreen does not mean it is gone for good. When ester anesthetics are metabolized by the skin, PABA can form. When this happens if the person is allergic to PABA they will have a skin reaction.

PABA can be purchased online from various retailers. The best price we could find was $2 per 100 / 100 mg tablets.

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Advantages

  • Could help prevent skin damage from the sun.

Disadvantages

  • PABA is a nonessential amino acid.
  • PABA may cause irritated skin or an allergic reaction.
  • The body does not make the enzymes to break down PABA.

Conclusion

PABA is one of those amino acids that simply do not work within the body to do much of anything. The use of PABA as a sunscreen was popular for about 40 years until skin irritations took the ingredient out of skin cream. Today, the supplement companies selling PABA continue to claim the body needs it for overall general health and weight loss despite the fact that none of these claims are supported with real, clinical proof. Dieters may find more luck using a proven weight loss supplement.

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