Lactose Intolerance and Race: Your DNA is hard coded

“The ability in adulthood to break down lactose is rare or absent in most parts of the world. Those without the (DNA) mutation can experience unpleasant side effects if they consume substantial amounts of milk”.

My friend Ping from China told me that dairy was absent in Chinese cuisine.  Her first taste of cheese was when she visited the West.  According to Ping, cheese is both strange and unpleasant to the Chinese palate although her kids who grew up here love it.  Of course, I thought this was very funny – “Let me get you right, fish heads are a delicacy but you don’t like cheese?”

DNA Mutation to Process DairyAnyway…   It seems that the DNA mutation that allowed humans to process dairy products occurred independently around 3,000 to 5,000 years ago in modern day Turkey (where it spread into Northern Europe) and parts of Africa.  In evolutionary terms, that was yesterday: the ability to process daily products can confer an important advantage for surviving a poor harvest.  For more information, read this fascinating BBC article by clicking here.

In my previous blog, I discussed the importance of maintaining a good bacterial balance in your tummy and suggested natural yogurt.  But if dairy is not a good option for you because you are lactose intolerant, there is other good stuff to kick start the bacteria including coffee and even a glass of beer.  The key point is the importance of a rounded diet for a ‘good’ metabolism.

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