View Full Version : Neolithic Scandinavians were mostly lactose intolerant

01-04-10, 18:54
High frequency of lactose intolerance in a prehistoric hunter-gatherer population
in northern Europe (http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2148-10-89.pdf)

The DNA of 10 Scandinavians from the Neolithic Pitted Ware Culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitted_Ware_culture) (ca 3200 BC– ca 2300 BC) was tested for the allele 13910 T/C associated with lactase persistence (CT and TT) or lactose intolerance (CC). Only one T allele was found out of 10 pairs, i.e. an incidence of 5%. This is very low compared to the present percentage of lactase persistence in the Swedish population (76% of T allele according to this study, but over 95% of actual lactose tolerance as only one allele is needed to be tolerant).

This means that the Scandinavians have changed a lot genetically over the last 4000 years, probably due to the arrival of the Indo-Europeans with the Corded Ware culture (mostly R1a) and later Bronze and Iron Age migrations from Central Europe (mostly R1b). Neolithic Scandinavians are thought to have belonged almost exclusively to Y-haplogroup I1.

The mutation for lactase persistence is believed to have originated in the Pontic steppes, probably between the Volga and the Urals, west of the Ural, between 4600 and 2800 BCE. The Indo-European expansion into Poland, Germany and Scandinavia started around 3100 BCE, but didn't reach Sweden before 2800 BCE. The single allele found in this study is likely a first trace of Indo-European admixture.

01-04-10, 21:11
Geographic distribution of the lactase persistence allele in contemporary Europeans. The darker the orange color, the higher is the frequency of the lactase persistence allele. The dashed black line indicates the limits of the geographic distribution of early Neolithic cattle pastoralist (Funnel Beaker Culture) inferred from archaeological data


02-04-10, 00:09
In my group of 29 extended sharers, and myself, here are the percentages for lactose intolerance:

GG- lactose intolerant 27%
AG- tolerant, 1 allele 30%
AA- tolerant, both alleles 33%

Among the GG's: 3 Europeans, 1 African American, 1 from Turkey, 3 Ashkenazi Jewish

Among the AG's: 1 Russian, 6 Ashkenazi Jewish, 5 European

Among AA's: 10 European

There seems to be a strong bias towards lactose tolerance for those of European ancestry, especially Northern Europeans, in my group. I'm AA as is my son, both UK/German ancestry.

02-04-10, 03:42
Looks like someone cut out Great Britain. The antienglish people, lol.

This little map is the most interesting. In many places by the sea, the lactose tolerance is weaker. The shore people could supplement diet with sea food, therefore lactose persistent people didn't had the edge of survivor.
Also interestingly, the lactose genes didn't spread through Alps and Carpathian Mountains well. Maybe in south the agriculturalists already took hold and lactose gene wasn't this important anymore.
What's most interesting is how strongly the corded wear people imprint is still visible in same area after 4 thousand years!

02-04-10, 05:35
Looks like someone cut out Great Britain. The antienglish people, lol.
And Ireland as well. My people were Irish and I lived there for several years, and we live on milk and cream. Anytime you order a desert in Ireland, you will be asked "do you want cream(whipped) on that?".

On a similar thought, I am allergic to gluten (wheat). Wheat got to Ireland late, but cattle got there early.

02-04-10, 06:05
Same in Poland Eochaidh, lots of foods/cooking is based on batter, cream, yogurt, and cheeses. Basic village diet used to be milk, eggs and bread with batter.

If it comes to my allergies, not many, so far only to clumps/some shellfish and curry. I must say not really a diet of my ancestors. For the rest it just needs to be fresh, ripe, natural, good cook,....and keep'em coming.