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Food Sources of PABA

author image Rebecca Slayton
Rebecca Slayton is a Registered Dietitian and has worked in the nutrition field since 2006. Slayton received the 2005 Betty Feezor Scholarship Award for her studies. She holds a Master of Science in food and nutrition from East Carolina University.
Food Sources of PABA
Meats, grains, spinach, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast, molasses and wheat germ contain PABA. Photo Credit: ehaurylik/iStock/Getty Images

Para-aminobenzoic acid is a substance sometimes referred to as vitamin Bx, according to the National Institutes for Health. While PABA is not a true vitamin, small amounts are usually present in B complex and multivitamins. The chemical structure of folate contains the compound PABA. Folate is an essential vitamin required for a healthy body. PABA is best known as the active ingredient in sunblock. In some cases, PABA is used in the treatment for various diseases of the connective tissue and skin.

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Meats With PABA

While PABA is not vital for good health, it is found in various foods. Because PABA amounts are not listed on the food label, referring to folate or folic acid content in a food will let you know if it contains PABA. Most meats contain PABA, according to the Baptist Medical Center. Organ meats including liver and kidney are naturally good sources of PABA. A 1-ounce serving of pan-fried chicken liver contains 159 micrograms of folate, which contains PABA. As a comparison, the daily value used on food labels references 400 micrograms per day of folate based on a 2,000-calorie diet for adults and children 4 or more years of age.

Grain Products

Grains, especially whole grains, contain PABA naturally. Industrially, folic acid, which contains PABA, is added to grain products including enriched breads, flours, rice, pasta, cornmeal and cereals. In the United States, the addition of folic acid is required, increasing folic acid intake by 190 micrograms per day since implementation in 1998. This likewise increased PABA intake.

Folate-Rich Vegetables

Mushrooms and spinach are a rich source of the substance PABA. Looking at folate content to compare the amount of PABA present in spinach, a 1-cup serving of boiled spinach contains 263 micrograms of folate. A 1-cup serving of mushrooms contains 69 milligrams of folate.

Other Foods

Brewer's yeast, used in the making of beer, is an excellent source of PABA. High in protein and PABA, brewer's yeast also contains the vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Molasses, which is the syrup remaining after sugar is crystallized out of beet or cane juice, is high in PABA. Wheat germ, another good source of PABA, can be sprinkled onto foods and entrees easily to increase your PABA intake.

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