CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


the genes that allow some of us to live on dairy

It's been so long since we've had a real argument on here about whether humans were "meant to" drink cow's milk! Nice article in the NYT today about exactly what genes were selected for to make some of us lactose-tolerant, and what an advantageous adaptation it is.


Tue. Dec 12, 3:39pm

Add comment  
I am type O- blood (of european ancestry) and would consider myself pretty lactos intolerant. I can eat a small amount of products with milk in them, but I'll get really sick if I eat a normal serving.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 4:18 PM

Add comment
Has NOTHING to do with your blood type -- has to do with whether you have a certain gene or not. If you are Dutch or Swedish, you probably do. Other kinds of European, out of luck.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 5:33 PM

Add comment
I'm 0 too and could drink liters of milk without any problem. it is all about genetics and how you grew up...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 5:57 PM

Add comment
OP, you make me giggle. "It's been so long since we've had a real argument on here about..."

I guess arguing about milk beats arguing about politics :-))

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 6:22 PM

Add comment
Were people lactose intolerant 100 years ago? Maybe there is something in our milk or the cow's diet.

Hard to believe a whole country would not be able to drink milk...or were they ok with it?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 7:09 PM

Add comment
i can't think of a contrarian thing to say ... but I do miss the arguments, there used to always be something interesting to read in the commmunity. PT has gotten a little dull since the elections.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 9:43 PM

Add comment
We seem to have a lot of food allergies in this day and age. Is it because the public is more medically astute? Or that a label has been given to a problem? Or maybe it's something addition to lactose intolerance (a pretty recent bit of everyday terminology), what about people being hospitalized or - worse - eulogized after eating half a peanut? I don't remember hearing about that 20 years ago either. I'd love to see the anthropologic rationalization for that one too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 12:21 AM

Add comment
Most adults are lactose intolerant, worldwide. It was that way 20 years ago, 100 years ago, and 1000 years ago. The interesting thing is that some genes (independent and convergent) allowing adult lactose tolerance became fixed in Scandinavian and East African populations. Adult lactose tolerance confers a big survival advantage in time of drought or famine, so where the mutations occurred they became fixed relatively quickly.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 10:24 AM

Add comment
blood type is related to genetics.

And my type O cousin says he doesn't have a problem with milk but has the most disgusting acne that he can't clear up- despite medication. Go figure he drinks a gallon of milk every 2-3 days. Last year I would have told you I don't have a problem with wheat- until I eliminated it and no longer suffered from allergies, asthma, and depression. Not to mention I lost weight quickly.

Too often we don't think that it could be the food we're eating that is making us sick/depressed/fat/tired/insert-other-ailment-here- we instead say it's "just my genes" or we simply supress symptoms with drugs.

Thursday, December 14, 2006, 11:18 PM

Add comment
Um yeah, there IS a gene for agglutinogen (A, B, O, AB) and another for rhesus factor (-/+). Not even on the same chromosome as the genes discussed in this article. Not related to one another, any more than either is related to the gene that makes some people's second toes longer than their big toes.

Thursday, December 14, 2006, 11:49 PM

Add comment
I'm the original type O poster...and my second toe is longer than my first! haha.
I don't really know too much about lactose intolerance, but I have heard that type O's have weaker stomaches and more acidic stomaches. Anyway, I've also read that a lot of African-decendants are type O (the original blood type, or so I've read) and there are a large percentage of African-Americans who are lactose intolerant. Meaning--there is a connection between blood-type and lactose tolerance/intolerance. I'll have to research more about this because now I'm interested.

And to the poster with the family member with acne: I definitely believe diet has a lot to do with this. So, you may be more prone to acne, but eating foods with a lot of pesticides on them seems to contribute to acne. If he's not drinking organic milk, and other organic foods, he may be causing his acne to get worse.

Friday, December 15, 2006, 1:52 PM

Add comment

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge