Vitamin B10, also known as PABA (para amino benzoic acid), is an essential vitamin belonging to the class of B complex vitamins. Earlier, vitamin B10 was referred to as vitamin R, but it has recently been renamed to PABA. It is present in both plant foods and animal protein.
Functions of Vitamin B10
Vitamin B10 is used by the body to promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms within the bowels. It also prevents the bacteriostatic properties of certain drugs as it has a chemical structure similar to sulphonamides.
Vitamin B10 protects the skin from free radicals that may otherwise damage the skin and make it prone to infections. The free radicals that the skin may be exposed to are in the harmful chemicals present in polluted air and ultraviolet rays of the sun. Sunscreen lotion, containing PABA, when applied externally on the skin prevents pigmentation. Apart from its protective effect on the skin, vitamin B10 also treats various skin diseases known as fibrotic disorder.
Supplementation of vitamin B10 also corrects irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal disturbances and various inflammatory reactions. PABA also acts as a coenzyme which aids in optimal utilization of protein by the cells.
Vitamin B10 acts as an anti allergen, which means it will treat and prevent skin allergies and diseases such as eczema and vitiligo. It has shown positive health effects in curing rheumatic fever. It is also effective as an anti ageing agent; it removes the fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots from the skin and prevents premature ageing. The use of vitamin B10 in various skin lotions has been the reason for cause of allergy in some individuals. Hence its use has been limited. Individuals prone to allergy should discontinue its use.
Vitamin B10 is used in the production of folic acid by the intestinal bacteria inside our body. It also acts as a coenzyme for its active role in protein metabolism and formation of red blood cells.
Food Sources of Vitamin B10
Vitamin B10 is found abundantly in plant and animal sources. Rich sources of vitamin B10 include:
- green leafy vegetables
- whole grains
- wheat germ
Symptoms of Vitamin B10 Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin B10 leads to the following symptoms and conditions:
- inflammatory diseases
- delayed growth in children
- Peyronie’s disease and other skin problems
Research has documented that vitamin B10 deficiency is more prominent in women than men. Women who are deficient in vitamin B10 may experience the following symptoms:
- skin rashes
- premature skin ageing
- premature graying of the hair
- breakdown of estrogen in the liver
Dosage of Vitamin B10 Supplements
The amount of vitamin B10 to be taken has not yet been established. However, the Food and Nutrition Board has given certain dietary guidelines mentioned below:
- Infants: 50mcg/day
- Children: 200 – 300 mcg/day
– 400 mcg/day
– 800mcg (during pregnancy)
– 600mcg / day (during lactation)
Vitamin B10 Toxicity
Overdose or toxicity of vitamin B10 can lead to several debilitating conditions. These include the following:
- skin rashes
- liver malfunctioning
- reduced levels of vitamin C and B6