Are we being lied to about the safety of PABA, it's uses and benefits?
Humans need folate, folic acid, to make red blood cells. Red blood cells move oxygen throughout our bodies, and carry toxins from the cells to the liver and kidneys. The word folate derives from the Latin word folium, which means foliage.
Humans lack the enzymes to make folate, so require folate from dietary sources such as green leafy vegetables. Humans also get their source of folate from their own intestinal bacteria that convert PABA, para-aminobenzoic acid, to folate. However, human intestines are sometimes wiped clean of their natural healthy microbiomes, and can no longer feed their own good bacteria. How does this happen?
Sulfa drugs limit our intestinal bacteria’s ability to convert PABA to folic acid, a vitamin that bacteria need to survive. Sulfa drugs have the same structure as PABA, and when the bacteria attempting to convert PABA to folate fail, the bacteria literally starve to death.
With the introduction of sulfa drugs in the 1930’s and 40’s, most information sources tell us that studies of PABA basically ended. However, according to WebMD, PABA can be used to treat the following conditions:
PABA is taken by mouth for skin conditions including vitiligo, pemphigus, dermatomyositis, morphea, lymphoblastoma cutis, Peyronie's disease, and scleroderma. PABA is also used to treat infertility in women, arthritis, "tired blood" (anemia), rheumatic fever, constipation, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and headaches. It is also used to darken gray hair, prevent hair loss, make skin look younger, and prevent sunburn.
PABA is best known as a sunscreen that is applied to the skin (used topically).
PABA can also be taken orally to help prevent sunburn.
A number of the listed conditions on the WebMD site are autoimmune disorders - infectious diseases.
Dr James Chandler’s site calls PABA a beauty vitamin and lists benefits of PABA:
PABA offers various health benefits such as treating depression, eczema, scleroderma, irritability, loss of skin pigmentation, fatigue, fibrotic skin disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome. Some researchers suggest that supplementing with PABA may help in restoring gray hair to its original color, if the graying was caused by stress or deficiencies in nutrition. Other benefits of PABA include: protection against second hand smoke, air pollutants, inflammation in arthritis and improved flexibility. PABA's anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to help prevent signs of premature aging by diminishing wrinkles, firming sagging skin, and reducing the appearance of age spots on the skin.
There is no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for PABA. The government’s claim is that it’s not listed as a vitamin because our bodies make it. However, if our gut flora has been whacked, how will we get our source of PABA?
Health sites likes this can add to the confusion. The site lists the benefits of increased PABA, and then says, “PABA has no nutritional value for humans.” What?
Currently PABA is used to determine insulin levels of the pancreas by giving an oral dose of PABA and then measuring urine or serum levels. The healthcare industry is looking for NO release of PABA, meaning the pancreas has retained the PABA. I can find NO explanations why the pancreas would retain PABA in diabetics. Perhaps it desperately needs PABA.
Can PABA help our bodies detoxify?
When I began to dig a little deeper, I found studies that point to the efficacy of PABA as an antibacterial, one that cures Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever! This disease comes from a tick bite delivering the bacterium rickittsiae to the blood stream, exactly like Lyme disease is transferred through the bite of a deer tick. It appears PABA increases cellular oxygen, which kills off the bacterium. Folic acid was found to NOT increase cellular oxygen.
A 2014 commentary claims that a 1943 study using PABA to treat ricketssiae infected guinea pigs failed.
However this 1948 study states that PABA was successful in eliminating Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in all tested human subjects.
This pediatric study supports the conclusion of the 1948 study.
Currently I take one gram a day of PABA. At higher doses I found myself producing too much uric acid and having gout like symptoms in my right foot.
Please read my first article about PABA: