Just How Big a Deal is Milk Drinking?

[Guide] Recently, on the meeting of The Development of the Washington Association of Science, Sarah Waters Cove come from University of Pennsylvania pointed out that in fact, speaking for children and adults, when a type of protein called lactase expressed in the body, they can digest milk, body do not express this enzyme can not digest this complex sugar.

“The ability to digest milk as adults, and as infants, actually, is due to the expression of an enzyme called lactase.” That’s the University of Pennsylvania’s Sarah Tishkoff at the AAAS conference in Washington, D.C., on February 20th, talking about the recent evolution of lactose tolerance in different human populations within the past 9,000 years. “Individuals who don’t express this enzyme can’t digest that complex sugar.”

Can we put a number on the evolutionary importance of lactose tolerance? “The selective pressure was quite remarkable. We actually estimated it to be about 10 percent. So you’re more likely to have 10 percent more offspring essentially.”

How strong is that? Look at population genetics to see how fast a trait will spread that develops in one individual in a population and that confers a 10 percent reproductive advantage. A mathematical analysis reveals that in just 100 generations, such a trait can be found in 95 percent of the individuals in the population.

That time period could be less than 2,000 years for humans. “I’m often asked the question, are humans still evolving? I would say the answer is absolutely yes.”

Now, maybe we cam say: Digesting milk is No longer a Problem?

Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis