para-amino benzoic acid

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Essential growth factor for micro-organisms. It forms part of the molecule of folic acid and is therefore required for the synthesis of this vitamin. Mammals cannot synthesize folic acid, and PABA has no other known function; there is no evidence that it is a human dietary requirement.

Sulphanilamides (sulpha drugs) are chemical analogues of PABA, and have antibacterial action because they antagonize utilization of PABA.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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