intrinsic factor

noun Biochemistry.
a glycoprotein, secreted by the gastric mucosa, that is involved in the intestinal absorption of vitamin B 12 .

Origin:
1925–30

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Collins
World English Dictionary
intrinsic factor
 
n
biochem a glycoprotein, secreted by the stomach, the presence of which is necessary for the absorption of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) in the intestine

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

intrinsic factor n.
A relatively small mucoprotein secreted by the parietal cells of gastric glands and required for adequate absorption of vitamin B12 for production of red blood cells. Also called Castle's intrinsic factor.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

intrinsic factor

a glycoprotein (i.e., a complex compound containing both polysaccharide and protein components) with which vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) must combine to be absorbed by the gut. Intrinsic factor is secreted by parietal cells of the gastric glands in the stomach, where it binds with the vitamin. Thus bound, intrinsic factor protects vitamin B12 from digestion as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract and facilitates the vitamin's absorption in the ileum of the small intestine. Vitamin B12 is necessary for red blood cell maturation. A lack of intrinsic factor may result in inadequate absorption of the vitamin and cause pernicious anemia.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Intrinsic factor is a protein produced by cells in the stomach lining.
Your body uses a special protein, called intrinsic factor, released by cells in the stomach.
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