paba dmae cancer

Robert Bradbury rbradbur at hardy.u.washington.edu
Fri Apr 17 21:40:56 EST 1992


In article <1992Apr17.125811.17035 at yang.earlham.edu> allens at yang.earlham.edu (Allen Smith) writes:
>In article <31544 at sdcc12.ucsd.edu>, jtucker at sdcc13.ucsd.edu (Joe T. Ucker       ) writes:
>> 
   lots of stuff about DMAE, PABA and benzene as carcinogens....

I'm not sure what the structure of DMAE is so I can't comment on it.
However, PABA is para-amino-benzoic-acid, i.e. a benzene ring with
an amino group on one side and a carboxylic acid group on the other
side: H2N-Ar-COOH and benzene is just the aromatic ring (Ar).

The key thing to note is that the hydrogens and oxygens make the
PABA soluble in water (my Chemistry and Physics Handbook agrees)
so PABA that gets into your tissue will be rapidly excreted.
Benzene on the other hand is insoluble in water and will remain in
the fatty tissues of your body until it finds a nice home between
the bases of your DNA or is oxidized by the Cytochrome P-450 system
(a biochemical system designed to add OH groups to insoluble molecules
to make them soluble) which may generate free radicals which can damage
a host of things.

I'm not sure what the situation is in which you are encountering
Benzene or DMAE but unless it is some situation where the exposure
is continuous and significant you are probably getting overly concerned.
Bruce Ames has shown that for the average person in our society 99.99%
of all the carcinogens they come into contact with are in our normal
diet.  The only people who should be concerned with exposures are
workers in industries with high levels of chemical exposure because
OSHA sets exposure levels much to high when contrasted with EPA
settings for the general population.

Robert Bradbury



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