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Alternative Names Return to topIntrinsic factor - lack of
Definition Return to top
Intrinsic factor is a natural substance normally found in the stomach. You need this substance to digest vitamin B12.
Lack of intrinsic factor leads to pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Babies that are born without intrinsic factor cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 starting around 6 months of age. Children with the juvenile type of lack of intrinsic factor tends to show signs and symptoms after age 10.
References Return to top
Antony AC. Megaloblastic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 170.Update Date: 12/24/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.