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Intrinsic factor.

Minot and Murphy had found that some vitamin in liver relieved pernicious anemia (see 1926). The American physiologist William Bosworth Castle (b. 1897) noted that although diet could prevent pernicious anemia from developing in most patients, it did not cure the few who actually developed the disease. He reasoned that, if a vitamin was involved, those who had trouble absorbing it even when it was present in the diet were the ones who came down with pernicious anemia.

Since patients with pernicious anemia had a characteristic lack of hydrochloric acid in their gastric juice, Castle suggested, in 1929, that it was some component of normal gastric juice that brought about the absorption of the antipernicious-anemia vitamin. He called that missing component intrinsic factor.

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Author:Asimov, Isaac
Publication:Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery, Updated ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Words:123
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