Lack of intrinsic factor
Intrinsic factor is a natural substance normally present in the stomach. It is essential to the digestion of vitamin B-12. Lack of intrinsic factor leads to pernicious anemia and vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Babies that are born without intrinsic factor cannot properly absorb vitamin B-12 starting around 6 months of age, while the juvenile type tends to manifest itself at an age greater than 10 years.
by Brenda A. Kuper, M.D.
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