Home > Uncategorized > Lactose Tolerance and Otzi

Lactose Tolerance and Otzi

Reading a little about Otzi, the man found in the Alps, I discovered an interesting tidbit of information.  I have a gene mutation.  In other words, I am one of the few.  Otzi was found to be lactose intolerant.  I’m on the other end.  I can enjoy cheese, ice cream and milk.  He could not.  This is not what was interesting.  The fact that I am in the minority is.

I suffer from Lactase persistence.  Lactase persistence is a realitivley new mutation.  The vast majority of the world’s population is lactase non-persistent.  If you are of Asian, African or even South American heritage you likely are normal.  Those of us with European, mainly Northern, may very well suffer from this defect.

At birth all mammals are lactase persistent.  As we are weaned off of our mother’s milk, we generally become lactose intolerant.  In the past 10,000 years, many of our ancestors evolved with the ability to tolerate milk.  Erupeans have a history of dairying, so they tend to be more tolerant.

Thanks to Otzi, I have learned about lactase persistence.  I’m to be in the minority.

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