Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Severe anemia due to abnormally low amounts of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, resulting from a recessive X-linked allele that causes red blood cells to degrade and fail to function normally; the anemic condition can be provoked in persons hemizygous or homozygous for the allele by inhaling pollen of the broad bean (Vicia faba), by ingesting the bean raw, or by being sensitive to certain drugs. Breast-fed babies whose mothers had ingested the bean have also developed favism.

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