Intrinsic Factor

Latin name:
Intrinsic Factor

Castle’s Ferment, Castle’s Intrinsic Factor, IF

Raw Material:
Porcine pyloric linings from animals controlled by an official veterinarian and found fit for human consumption.


Intrinsic factor is a glycoprotein secreted by parietal cells of the gastric mucosa. In humans, it plays an important part in the absorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) in the intestine, and failure to produce or utilize intrinsic factor results in the condition pernicious anemia.

Dietary vitamin B12 is released from ingested proteins in the stomach through the action of pepsin and acid. It is rapidly bound by one of two vitamin B12-binding proteins that are present in gastric juice; at acid pH. These binding proteins have a greater affinity for the vitamin than does intrinsic factor. In the small intestine, pancreatic proteases digest the binding proteins, releasing vitamin B12, which then becomes bound to intrinsic factor.

Finally, there are receptors for intrinsic factor on the ileal mucosa, which bind the complex, allowing vitamin B12 to be absorbed into portal blood.

An efficient absorption of vitamin B12 in humans depends upon intrinsic factor. Diseases that decrease the secretion of intrinsic factor (e.g. atrophic gastritis), interfere with cleavage of the binding proteins (e.g. pancreatic exocrine insufficiency) or decrease binding and absorption of the intrinsic factor vitamin B12 complex (e.g. ileal disease or resection), can/will result in pernicious anemia. In cattle and sheep, deficiency in cobalt, which is a necessary component of vitamin B12, can result in anemia among other signs of disease


The main target for our Intrinsic Factor is the prophylaxis and treatment of B-12 deficiency.

Biofac produces a clinically active Intrinsic Factor, which is available in form of a lyophilized powder.

Intrinsic Factor is also used as an analytical tool for determination of serum B-12 and for diagnostic purposes in the Schilling test.

Storage and Stability

Intrinsic Factor has very good stability when kept dry in original, tight containers at room temperature.

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