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PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)

What is It?

An abbreviation for para-aminobenzoic acid, PABA appears to be a component of folic acid, a member of the B family of vitamins. It plays a role in breaking down and using proteins, and in forming red blood cells.

PABA is synthesized naturally in the intestines from friendly bacteria, and can also be obtained through grains and animal products. Supplements are available as well. While PABA is not considered an essential nutrient–no RDA has been established and deficiencies in humans have not been reported–these supplements may have certain therapeutic effects in the body.

PABA is important for healthy hair and skin, and taking it in supplement form may prevent hair loss by protecting hair follicles. Interestingly, people who have gone gray may experience a return of their natural hair color by taking PABA, but only if they are deficient in B vitamins. Not all studies have shown that this is effective, however.

Research indicates a possible role for PABA in treating Peyronie’s disease (a disorder of the penis that affects erections). It has also been examined–though not always with success–for aiding skin changes associated with scleroderma (an autoimmune disorder), pemphigus (a severe blistering of the skin), and vitiligo (a disorder that causes discoloration of the skin).

Most people will also recognize PABA as an ingredient in sunscreen lotions, where it has been shown to protect the skin by blocking damaging ultraviolet rays. However, in recent years PABA’s popularity as a sunscreen has declined due to reports that it can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions in some people.

General Interaction

PABA can interfere with the absorption of sulfa antibiotics.

Cautions

High doses (8 g or more daily) of PABA can cause blood sugar to drop and may induce a rash, fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. In rare cases it can cause liver function abnormalities.

Ailments

Hair Problems – 100 mg a day; may be covered by vitamin B complex

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DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

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