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Thread: Lactose Intolerance and Race?

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    Senior Member DutchfromHolland's Avatar
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    Post Lactose Intolerance and Race?

    Description of Lactose Intolerance

    Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, which is the predominant sugar of milk. Fifty million American adults are lactose intolerant. Certain ethnic and racial populations are more widely affected than others. As many as 75 percent of all African-American, Jewish, Native American and Mexican-American adults, and 90 percent of Asian-American adults are lactose intolerant. The condition is least common among persons of Northern European descent. Lactose intolerance results from a shortage of the enzyme lactase, normally produced by the cells that line the small intestine. Lactase breaks down milk sugar into simpler forms that can then be absorbed into the bloodstream. When there is not enough lactase to digest the amount of lactose consumed, although not usually dangerous, the results can be distressing.
    http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/196/main.html

    Conclusions

    Lactose malabsorption is the normal condition of most adults. Many suffer the clinical symptoms of lactose intolerance if they consume milk, especially in large amounts. In two, or possibly three, places, genetic mutations have arisen that allow adults to gain the nutritional and culinary benefits of milk and many other dairy products. This ability has evolved along with cultural developments with profound implications for livelihood, including, in the northern European case, the development of mixed farming. East Asian, African, Oceanic, and Amerindian peoples, of course, thrived without this genetic trait and its cultural consequences. Their infants and young children enjoyed the nutritional advantages of milk; adults ate other things, including fermented milk products. Milk can be consumed by most lactose-intolerant older children in moderate amounts, and so milk can be a valuable nutrient for the undernourished or famine stricken. Modern commercial lactase products allow most lactose-intolerant adults to consume dairy products; thus, pizza and ice cream need not be forbidden foods.
    Finally, the LAC*P and LAC*R genes are interesting far beyond their biomedical significance. Along with linguistics, archaeology, and physical anthropology, further research on lactase genes and other genetic markers will provide clues to the prehistory of peoples, their migrations and interminglings, and the origins and development of major language families.
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/books/kiple/lactose.html

    The second of the two articles is the more scholarly, and the link will take you to the full article.

    I live next door to a Native American, he told me that he pukes and shits through a screen whenever he consumes any sort of milk-based product.

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    Senior Member feisty goddess's Avatar
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    Apparently I have a marker for lactose intolerance on 23 and me, my genotype is mixed, but the lactose tolerant gene is dominant. I don't know anybody in my family who is lactose intolerant though. I remember reading something on this forum about the prevalence of it among Germanics and Northern Europeans. It just means you had some overlap between neolithic and hunter gatherer ancestors somewhere.

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    There is numerous threads on the subject of lactose intolerance and its racial distribution already. Please use the search function.

    Thread closed.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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