Genetic basis for lactose intolerance revealed

A quick and cheap genetic test will soon be able to identify people with lactose intolerance. The test will be a boon for doctors, since many people suffer from the condition without realising it, and existing tests are time-consuming and unreliable.

For perhaps the majority of people in the world, including most southern European, Asian and African populations, lactose intolerance is the norm. It sets in at weaning or shortly after, when the body stops producing lactase - the enzyme it needs to digest the sugar lactose, which is a major ingredient of human and animal milk.

Without lactase, lactose passes through the stomach undigested and reaches bacteria in the large intestine. There some bugs feast on it, belching out by-products that can leave people feeling gassy and nauseous, or worse.

Now Leena Peltonen’s team at the University of California, Los Angeles, has discovered the genetic basis for lactose intolerance. The discovery supports the theory that retaining the ability to digest milk evolved only in some peoples in the past ten thousand years, as an adaptation to dairy farming.

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how can it be?
to suffer from something and not realize it?

There is a point. It doesn’t mean you shall feel pain in your stomach. It can happen that you eat something and it just doesn’t get assimilated well. So if you would know about it, you would probably choose to eat something else.

I know of a case when person had headaches from chocolate, he didn’t know about it, but when he stopped eating chocolate headaches stopped.

I’m not 100% sure that chocolate was the problem. People do many things at once, so it’s very possible that person also stopped doing something else than eating chocolate - which could be the reason for the headache.

Yes, it’s quite possible that it wasn’t chokolate, may be it was just a placebo :slight_smile:

I never realised how foods bothered me until I went vegan. I always thought my day to day “health” was the norm.

It seems I am more sensitive to the “what makes me feel good” eating selection now-a-days. Even certain Vegan foods will make me feel tired or cranky or even upset my stomach (raw cashews, damn shame they’re soooo good).

Maybe the symptoms are lately bared… That’s why its late when they realize that they have lactose intolerance