Milk Gene

Steve Chambers steve at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz
Sun Dec 18 20:34:29 EST 1994


In <bsheaff-141294221916 at lwbyppp4.epix.net> bsheaff at epix.net (Braxton) writes:
>I am doing some research into the technological evolution of humans on
>various continents and have heard of a genetic defect allowing adults of
>european descent to drink milk without ill effects into adulthood. this may
>be a trivial subject, but i could use some help or information regarding
>this subject and i am curious as to how other genetic stocks handle the
>digestion of milk as adults. if you can give ma any help, i'd appreciate
>some email. i remember genetics just are my thing.

exerpt
___________________________________________________
By DR. JEAN MAYER and JEANNE GOLDBERG, Ph.D., R.D.
MILK: NOT EVERYONE'S DREAM DRINK

There's another side to the coin, however, and its name is "lactose
intolerance." Lactose is milk sugar, and to properly digest it requires a
sugar-splitting enzyme called "lactase." It's theorized that, over thousands
of years, the ability to produce lactase diminished in regions of the world
where dairy farming never caught on and people did not drink milk after
infancy. The aborigines in Australia, Native Americans, and inhabitants of New
Guinea fit this description. In parts of Asia and Africa where dairy animals
were kept but people seldom used milk as adults the same phenomenon occurred.
Meanwhile, among Northern Europeans and some Mediterranean peoples, who raised
dairy herds and depended on dairy products as important foods throughout the
life cycle, the capacity to produce sufficient lactase emerged as a genetic
adaptation to the food supply.
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-- 
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(I_lurk,_therefore_I_am!_\ ,,,                    Steve Chambers
                          (o o)   steve at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz
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