Re: Re: The lactase gene

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I was watching a programme once about the causes food intolerances. It was really interesting, apparently when we are babies we produce an enzyme which naturally breaks down lactase but this enzyme tends to disappear around the age of 18months – 2yrs (which makes sense as this is when we have a high volume of milk in our diet) When the indo-europeans started to drink milk in later childhood and adulthood then they started over time to produce the enzyme after the age of 2yrs so they could tolerate and break down the lactase. This was in contrast to the african population of the time who did not have a culture of drinking milk after 2yrs old and therefore did not produce the enzyme in later childhood or adulthood. Because of this, people with african descent have a higher rate of lactose intolerance.Its also the same with the tolerance for alcohol, to make water safe you can either ferment it or boil it. In europe the fermentation method was more prevelant (beer etc) and in asia they boiled it (tea). As alcohol is a poison in europe the body had to find a way of processing these high volumes of alcohol and we developed a high tolerance, but in asia as they didnt consume a lot of alcohol then their bodies didnt develop this higher tolerance. That is why if you are of asian extraction you are more likely to have a very low tolerance of alcohol, this also includes native americans as they originally came from asia