• Corpus ID: 44575443

The Ancient Roots of Milk Consumption and its Genetic Dependence

@inproceedings{HollowayTheAR,
  title={The Ancient Roots of Milk Consumption and its Genetic Dependence},
  author={Robert R. G. Holloway}
}
Milk from domestic cows has been a valuable food source for over 8,000 years. However, humans can take full advantage of this food source only if adults have the ability to tolerate milk as a food. The ability to digest milk as adults is genetically controlled with most of the world’s adult population not being able to produce lactase, the enzyme that digests the milk sugar lactose. In this paper, modern day milk consumption by country is shown to be highly correlated with the frequency in the… 

References

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Gene-culture coevolution between cattle milk protein genes and human lactase genes
TLDR
Substantial geographic coincidence between high diversity in cattle milk genes, locations of the European Neolithic cattle farming sites and present-day lactose tolerance in Europeans suggests a gene-culture coevolution between cattle and humans.
Lactase Deficiency: An Example of Dietary Evolution
TLDR
It is hypothesized that prior to the domestication of animals and the development of dairying, the normal condition for all men was adult lactase deficiency, but that with the introduction of lactose into the adult diet in certain cultures, new selective pressures were created that favored the genotype for adult lact enzyme production.
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