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PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) is classified as a vitamin-like substance. PABA is a component of many biological systems and participates in many metabolic processes. It appears to function as a coenzyme in the conversion of certain chemical intermediates to purines. It has also been suggested that PABA has an antifibrosis activity, increasing oxygen uptake at the tissues. This increase in oxygen may enhance monoamine oxidase activity; furthermore, it is believed that too little monoamine oxidase activity is a contributing factor to fibrosis.
It has been reported that folic acid and vitamin C assist the absorption of PABA while ethanol, coffee, sulfa drugs, and cola drinks prevent absorption. PABA is commonly used as a topical sunscreen, absorbing ultraviolet light. However, it does not absorb in the near ultraviolet range (350 to 400 nanometers) and thus does not prevent drug-related photosensitivity and phototoxicity. PABA has been used in combination with salicylates in the treatment of rheumatic fever.
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Coenzyme: A heat stable molecule that must be associated with another enzyme for the enzyme to perform its function in the body. It is necessary in the utilization of vitamins and minerals.
Constipation: Difficult, incomplete, or infrequent evacuation of dry, hardened feces from the bowels.
Folic Acid: A B-complex vitamin that functions along with vitamin B-12 and vitamin C in the utilization of proteins. It has an essential role in the formation of heme (the iron containing protein in hemoglobin necessary for the formation of red blood cells) and DNA. Folic acid is essential during pregnancy to prevent neural tubular defects in the developing fetus.
Metabolism: The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.
Milligram: (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
Monoamine Oxidase: (MAO) Enzyme catalyzing the removal of an amine group from a variety of substrates, including norepinephrine and dopamine.
PABA: (Para Aminobenzoic Acid): May be considered part of the Vitamin B complex. As a coenzyme, PABA functions in the breakdown and utilization of proteins and in the formation of red blood cells.
Topical: Most commonly 'topical application': Administration to the skin.
Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body's health. When bound to other nutrients, for example calcium, it would be referred to as "calcium ascorbate". As an antioxidant, it inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries), enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation, helps in the utilization of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins, aids in fighting bacterial infections, and interacts with other nutrients. It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables.
Yeast: A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.