Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 Aug;72(8):1180-1182.
doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0195-x. Epub 2018 Jun 5.

Validation of the Use of P-Aminobenzoic Acid to Determine Completeness of 24 H Urine Collections in Surveys of Diet and Nutrition

Free PMC article

Validation of the Use of P-Aminobenzoic Acid to Determine Completeness of 24 H Urine Collections in Surveys of Diet and Nutrition

Lorna Cox et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. .
Free PMC article

Erratum in


Sodium intake is assessed using 24 h urinary excretion; it is important to ensure urine collections are complete. This can be validated by monitoring urinary excretion of p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) administered in tablet form at intervals during the urine collection. Unavoidable change of PABA tablet supplier and analytical procedure required re-establishment of the thresholds consistent with a complete collection. Reference ranges for adults without reported intestinal or renal disease were determined by HPLC (70-103%) and colorimetry (84-120%). Some individuals excreted a small, measurable amount of PABA the following day but this did not represent the balance of the PABA ingested. Assay of the PABA tablets confirmed the stated dose (80 mg) and demonstrated their stability up to 8 years (duration of study) at room temperature. These tablets have been used and the reference ranges applied in UK national population surveys since 2008.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
PABA excretion on the day following PABA ingestion

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. Sheila Bingham, Cummings JH. The use of 4-aminobenzoic acid as a marker to validate the completeness of 2 h urine collections in man. Clin Sci. 1983;64:629–35. doi: 10.1042/cs0640629. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Subar AF, Midthune D, Tasevska N, Kipnis V, Freedman LS. Checking for completeness of 24h urine collection using para-aminobenzoic acid not necessary in the Observing Protein and Energy Nutrition study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013;67:863–7. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.62. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Leclercq C, Maiani G, Polito A, Ferro-Luzzi A. Use of PABA test to check completeness of 24h urine collections in elderly subjects. Nutrition. 1991;7:350–4. - PubMed
    1. Jakobsen J, Pedersen AN, Ovesen L. Para aminobenzoic acid (PABA) used as a marker for completeness of 24h urine; effects of age and dosage scheduling. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003;57:138–42. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601505. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Sharma RS, Joy RC, Bushey CJ, Ferruzzi MG, Leonov AP, McCrory MA. Effects of para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) form and administration mode on PABA recovery in 24h urine collections. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014;114:457–63. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.07.045. - DOI - PubMed

Publication types