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(para-aminobezoic acid)

A chemical found with members of the B complex but not a true vitamin in humans. Gut bacteria may be able to synthesize folic acid from it, but there is no evidence that humans can. Some manufacturers of PABA supplements claim that, if taken in conjunction with dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), PABA stimulates the brain, reducing the risk of mental illnesses associated with ageing; this claim is not scientifically proven.

Although not a nutrient, PABA is one of the most commonly-used ingredients in lotions and creams that are used to prevent sunburn. Its derivatives effectively screen out the ultraviolet rays responsible for sunburn, but do not offer protection against the full spectrum of ultraviolet rays, including those linked with skin cancer.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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