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PABA is the abbreviation for paraaminobenzoic acid, a compound that is loosely considered to be a member of the vitamin B-complex. PABA appears to enhance the effects of cortisone, estrogen, and possibly other hormones by delaying their breakdown in the liver. PABA also prevents or even reverses the accumulation of abnormal fibrous tissue. Some infertile women may have increased their ability to become pregnant after taking PABA. Certain autoimmune or connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma, dermatomyositis, and Peyronie’s disease (accumulation of abnormal fibrous tissue in the penis)have been relieved by PABA. This vitamin may be helpful for two skin diseases: pemphigus (a severe blistering disease) and vitiligo (a disorder in which patches of skin lose their pigmentation). An isolated study found that PABA darkened gray hair in some elderly (but not younger) individuals; however, other studies failed to show an effect of PABA on gray hair.8 Where is it found? PABA is found in grains and animal foods.

In what conditions might PABA be supportive?

  • dermatomyositis
  • infertility (female)
  • pemphigus
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • scleroderma
  • vitiligo