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View Full Version : The mystery of Lactase Persistence (LP) in Europeans



Tabaccus Maximus
23-01-14, 19:08
Lactase Persistence (ability to digest raw milk comfortably) appears suddenly in Europe after the late neolithic where it was virtually absent before. In Northwestern Europe today it reaches into the ninetieth percentile and in some areas is almost uniformly present. It then forms a cline that slowly descends throughout Northwest Eurasia down to zero.

One theory suggested present levels of LP in Europe came about due to the cloudy environment in which Vitamin D and Calcium may have enriched the lives of the natives and was thereby was very positively selected to its present frequency. "the calcium assimilation hypothesis"

Dienekes has posted a link to a study that examines this theory in detail which finds it lacking. (Sverrisdottir et al, 2014) http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2014/01/lactase-persistence-and-natural.html

I thought Dienekes made an interesting point on LP selection vs. LP admixture:


For example, the lactase persistence allele occurs at a non-trivial frequency in present-day inhabitants of the Americas, whereas it was zero there a few thousand years ago, with the culprit being post-1492 European colonization. The frequency change in the Americas didn't happen because of natural selection, but because a new population (Europeans) moved in.

I think what this suggests is:

1) LP is most likely not native to Europe
2) LP was brought to Europe involving a substantial population replacement by individuals already LP
3) Beneficial traits may not always be the subject of strong positive selection, otherwise we would all be tall and beautiful.

It's worth noting that the world's largest populations in Asia, S. Asia and Indo-China are nearly completely Lactose Intolerant, yet LP has probably been introduced multiple times over the millenia.

Tabaccus Maximus
23-01-14, 19:16
I won't toot my own horn too much, but here's another timely T.M. post that I wrote 2 or 3 days before this paper came out regarding the origin of R1b and its move into Europe.


Old thread, but I couldn't resist.

Here's my take... (which I have posted in other areas of this forum at different times)

1. R1b lingered in the Kazakhstani grasslands from 18-11 ybp. SPECIFICALLY, the Kazakhstani grassland and NO OTHER.
2. Within this grassland are the four corners of R1b's ancient domain.
a) NW - Bashkirostan (M269 + M73)
b) NE - The Yenesian Valley (Mal'ta and Afontova oldest R*)
c) SE - Tarim Basin (M269 + M73)
d) SW - Turkmenistan (M269 wonderland)
*It is within this region in which the generations of overhunting Mammoth and Asian Bison (Buffalo) led to a realization for the need of basic cattle management techniques and controlled breeding programs.
This would have involved culling herds of weak traits and non-producing bulls. Large bulls (with large balls - not kidding) would purposefully have been left alone.
Cows with large utters, twins, birthing ease, calf growth, good marbling and muscle growth would have been left on the field when possible. Early R1b peoples recognized these beneficial traits and attempted to maintain sustainable wild herds.
They expanded into like terrain: The plains of Anatolia (M269), Iran (M269 + R2) and Eastern Siberia (M73).



It's interesting that LP would be dated by the authors at around 13,500 ybp (or something like that).
That's about where I would put it based on a presumed developmental period of cattle management in the area noted above.


Tassili Ladies, Algeria (c. 2900 b.c.) [also likely from a population R1b-V88/H1/H3]
6207

Maciamo
23-01-14, 19:24
I don't think it is a mystery. Lactase persistence was found in some Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic populations in Sweden and Spain, but its frequency increased considerably after the Indo-European migrations. The allele might have been present in various human populations globally for a very long time, but was only positively selected when people started drinking cow milk regularly. The R1b Proto-Indo-Europeans were possibly the first people in the world to domesticate cattle, and developed a lifestyle almost exclusively based on cattle herding in the Pontic Steppe. That is essentially why the selective pressure in favour of lactase persistence happened earlier and was stronger within the Neolithic and Bronze Age R1b population than anywhere else.

Naturally, the frequency of LP progressively increased century after century since the Neolithic. That is a very slow process, but today the only populations who have over 80% of lactase persistence are all found in northern and western Europe, the British Isles having the highest frequency. R1a population picked up early LP alleles from their R1b neighbours in the steppes during the Bronze Age, but even today R1a populations have slightly lower frequencies of LP than R1b populations. Scandinavia scores particularly high due to the high combined total of R1a/R1b ancestry.

The above explanation is so self-evident that I wonder why Sverrisdóttir's team of evolutionary biologists and geneticists from five countries decided to spend time and money on that question instead of testing something more useful. The only explanation is that they haven't accepted that R1b cattle herders from the Pontic Steppe invaded Europe during the Bronze Age. Why else would they only analyse Mesolithic and Neolithic samples to find an answer to the origin of lactase persistence ?

Sometimes I wish I could advise university researchers on what to research so as to avoid wasting precious time and money.

Tabaccus Maximus
23-01-14, 21:06
Sometimes I wish I could advise university researchers on what to research so as to avoid wasting precious time and money

Ha. Agreed!

LeBrok
23-01-14, 21:59
LP mutation, or any other mutation, to be beneficial and successful (wildly spread) it need to happen in already existing environment, complementing it environment. For example, if LP happened in hunter-gatherers who never drink animal milk, it wouldn't be successful, because it is not needed. Hunter-gatherer can't know or feel he has the mutation and knowingly looks for a cow and a sheep to milk it and drink milk. Therefore, LP gene to be successful it needs to happen in already milk using society. Most likely it happened in herders of cows, sheeps or even horses. In these societies milk is ubiquitous and always given to children. Children are all lactose tolerant (unlike adults). When kids of these herders are growing up they need to stop drinking milk at certain age (10 years?) when lactose tolerant gene is turned off.
Now kids with lactose persistent gene never needed to stop enjoying milk, as there is no reason for it. This extra source of nutrients and calories gave them an edge over other populations, especially in North, where through winter, dry grass could be converted to a feed for cows and milk for people.

LP is less common in the South where growing season is much longer, and also less common for coastal/fishing communities.

Same as Maciamo, I don't see much of mystery here.


2) LP was brought to Europe involving a substantial population replacement by individuals already LP


For example, the lactase persistence allele occurs at a non-trivial frequency in present-day inhabitants of the Americas, whereas it was zero there a few thousand years ago, with the culprit being post-1492 European colonization. The frequency change in the Americas didn't happen because of natural selection, but because a new population (Europeans) moved in.

In both cases IE brought not only their dominant language but also their culture of drinking milk. Once locals learnet giving milk to children it was only matter of time for LP gene to drift into local population. No population replacement needed. Wherever there is a "fertile ground" for a gene it will start drifting in this direction. Speed of the drift might vary on other factors, scale of population mix, bottlenecking, beneficial value of a gene, the advantage it gives to people, etc.
Some none IE cultures were already limited goat and sheep milk drinkers, which could have helped embrace cow milk drinking culture. Also processing milk into cheeses and butter could have evolved in lactose intolerant societies, as a way to consume dairy products containing minute amounts of lactose, when compared to pure milk.

Aberdeen
23-01-14, 23:06
IMO, if IE folk could develop lactase persistence, so could other people, in time. And those who developed lactase persistence may have had a strong evolutionary advantage over their neighbours and relatives who did not develop lactase persistence. The Archeology News Network had a recent article about this subject. One of the comments by researchers that they quoted was this:

"Although most early European farmers would not have been lactase persistent, they would still have been able to consume fermented milk products such as yoghurt and cheese, because fermentation converts much of the lactose into fats. But in famine conditions, such as when crops fail, they are likely to have eaten all the fermented milk foods, leaving only the more high-lactose products. This would have caused the usual lactose intolerance symptoms such as diarrhea. Diarrhea in in healthy people is not usually life-threatening, but in severely malnourished individuals it certainly can be. So famine could have led to episodes of very strong natural selection favoring lactase persistence."

martiko
23-01-14, 23:10
LP mutation, or any other mutation, to be beneficial and successful (wildly spread) it need to happen in already existing environment, complementing it environment. For example, if LP happened in hunter-gatherers who never drink animal milk, it wouldn't be successful, because it is not needed. Hunter-gatherer can't know or feel he has the mutation and knowingly looks for a cow and a sheep to milk it and drink milk. Therefore, LP gene to be successful it needs to happen in already milk using society. Most likely it happened in herders of cows, sheeps or even horses. In these societies milk is ubiquitous and always given to children. Children are all lactose tolerant (unlike adults). When kids of these herders are growing up they need to stop drinking milk at certain age (10 years?) when lactose tolerant gene is turned off.
Now kids with lactose persistent gene never needed to stop enjoying milk, as there is no reason for it. This extra source of nutrients and calories gave them an edge over other populations, especially in North, where through winter, dry grass could be converted to a feed for cows and milk for people.

LP is less common in the South where growing season is much longer, and also less common for coastal/fishing communities.

Same as Maciamo, I don't see much of mystery here.

In both cases IE brought not only their dominant language but also their culture of drinking milk. Once locals learnet giving milk to children it was only matter of time for LP gene to drift into local population. No population replacement needed. Wherever there is a "fertile ground" for a gene it will start drifting in this direction. Speed of the drift might vary on other factors, scale of population mix, bottlenecking, beneficial value of a gene, the advantage it gives to people, etc.
Some none IE cultures were already limited goat and sheep milk drinkers, which could have helped embrace cow milk drinking culture. Also processing milk into cheeses and butter could have evolved in lactose intolerant societies, as a way to consume dairy products containing minute amounts of lactose, when compared to pure milk.


The frequency of the hypolactosie in the different
ethnic groups the following is : KETTER-THILL european medical analize laboratory

http://www.llam.lu/fileadmin/media/newsletter/Lactoselow.pdf

DIGESTION of the LACTOSE

>
Basques
0,3%
>
Hollandais
1%
>
Suédois
2%
>
Scandinaves
5%
>
Anglais
5-15%
>
Suisses
10%
>
Allemands
15%
>
Autrichiens
15%
>
Espagnols
15%
>
Français du nord
17%
>
Italiens du centre
19%
>
Portugais
35%
>
Italiens du sud
41%
>
Mexicains
55%
>
Français du sud
65%
>
Grecs
66%
>
Juifs
60-85%
>
Siciliens
71%
>
Sud Américains
65-75%
>
Libanais
78%
>
Asiatiques
80%
>
Africains
89%
>
Chinois
95%

a haphazard accident is it, if both people having the best tolerance in lactose bovine are both bigger consumer of cheese?
And Chinese those who use it not.
Really it confirms the link of high tolerance in lactose and R1b.

LeBrok
23-01-14, 23:48
http://cdn.foodbeast.com.s3.amazonaws.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Milk-Comsumption-per-Capita.png
http://static2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100725194025/lactosefreerecipes/images/thumb/f/ff/Lactase_Intolerance_world_map.png/1000px-Lactase_Intolerance_world_map.png

LeBrok
23-01-14, 23:53
Here is a fresh one:
http://cdn.all-that-is-interesting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/lactose-tolerance-map.jpg
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tag/maps/

martiko
24-01-14, 00:09
Here is a fresh one:
http://cdn.all-that-is-interesting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/lactose-tolerance-map.jpg
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tag/maps/


attention! it is question on lactose of the bovine and does not concern other dairy products.
And it is on this foundation that the Swiss laboratory with fact of studies for producers' business companies of dairy products.
And fact is to note that the tolerance in lactose bovine is proportional to the intensity of R1b, if you notice results.

I thinks that the milk and the cattle were also important in the success of the quick growth of the demography of R1b or can be more than bronze, horse or agriculture.

LeBrok
24-01-14, 01:35
attention! it is question on lactose of the bovine and does not concern other dairy products.
Are you sure if lactose persistence matters if it is bovine, goat or human milk?



And it is on this foundation that the Swiss laboratory with fact of studies for producers' business companies of dairy products.
Can you rephrase?


And fact is to note that the tolerance in lactose bovine is proportional to the intensity of R1b, if you notice results. Well, let's say that it correlates well enough to make LP of R1b origin quite plausible. However the "model" breaks down for Eastern Europe where milk consumption is high with little R1b.

Aberdeen
24-01-14, 02:49
So I guess that if lactase persistence correlates with R1b, and if we can estimate the countries with the highest lactase persistence based on per capital milk consumption, R1b must reach its greatest levels in countries like Sweden and Greece. Nope, not even close.

Greying Wanderer
24-01-14, 04:06
Funnelbeaker were a cattle-culture (that used beakers with funnels hint hint)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funnelbeaker_culture

Funnelbeaker extent

http://www.geocities.ws/reginheim/funnelbeakerculture.gif

Lactose Tolerant

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6959/lactose.png

LeBrok
24-01-14, 05:54
So I guess that if lactase persistence correlates with R1b, and if we can estimate the countries with the highest lactase persistence based on per capital milk consumption, R1b must reach its greatest levels in countries like Sweden and Greece. Nope, not even close.
What I meant was this: It is possible that lactose persistence gene came with R1b IE invaders, but since then it drifted to populations where it was mostly beneficial for, slowly losing its correlation with the haplogroup of its origin.

Aberdeen
24-01-14, 06:03
What I meant was this: It is possible that lactose persistence gene came with R1b IE invaders, but since then it drifted to populations where it was mostly beneficial for, slowly losing its correlation with the haplogroup of its origin.

I understood what you meant, but I'm not sure why you think Neolithic Europeans who owned cattle wouldn't have already developed a considerable degree of lactase persistence before IE invaders (regardless of haplotype) arrived on the scene.

LeBrok
24-01-14, 06:15
Funnelbeaker were a cattle-culture (that used beakers with funnels hint hint)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funnelbeaker_culture

Funnelbeaker extent

http://www.geocities.ws/reginheim/funnelbeakerculture.gif

Lactose Tolerant

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6959/lactose.png


I understood what you meant, but I'm not sure why you think Neolithic Europeans who owned cattle wouldn't have already developed a considerable degree of lactase persistence before IE invaders (regardless of haplotype) arrived on the scene.


I would say that Funnelbeaker and Corded Ware cultures are the main suspects too.

Aberdeen
24-01-14, 08:10
I suspect the reason there's a higher rate of lactase persistence in northern Europeans is because back in the days before refrigeration and scientific testing, it was safer to drink raw milk in colder, more northerly climates than in southern Europe. Although the terrain would also affect lactase persistence rates by determining how easy it was to raise cattle, so you might not have as high a rate of lactase persistence in Finland as in Britain, par example. But I suspect that people in southern Europe learned that it was safer to process raw milk into cheese, butter and yogurt, rather than drinking it in its raw state.

The further north you go, the fewer pathogens you find in food, generally. Inuit people here in Canada who catch wild birds sometimes eat them raw and suffer no ill effects. Try that with supermarket chicken and you'll get very sick.

martiko
24-01-14, 11:36
So I guess that if lactase persistence correlates with R1b, and if we can estimate the countries with the highest lactase persistence based on per capital milk consumption, R1b must reach its greatest levels in countries like Sweden and Greece. Nope, not even close.

the highest levels are in the Basque, Dutch and English and they become much weaker leaving towards the east of the Europe and more particularly the east south.

These results concern the contemporary period and are based on medical studies and no cultural studies.

martiko
24-01-14, 11:57
hese studies are made by a subsidiary of Luxembourg of Swiss laboratory for the professionals of health and for milk industry, it is therefore studies expensive and concerning the actual populations. It concern taurines lactose.
the group "Cerba European Lab"
http://www.cerba-european-lab.com/ (https://www.llam.lu/fr/accueil/?no_cache=1)

Aberdeen
24-01-14, 15:26
the highest levels are in the Basque, Dutch and English and they become much weaker leaving towards the east of the Europe and more particularly the east south.

These results concern the contemporary period and are based on medical studies and no cultural studies.

I'm doubtful about such results, as they don't correlate very well with milk consumption patterns.

Tabaccus Maximus
24-01-14, 15:56
I think the main question that paper attempts to answer is whether:

1) LP is native to Europe and was postively selected to present levels

OR

2) Did LP originate somewhere else, enter Europe at high levels, thus explaining its current high levels

This would be a good poll question

Aberdeen
24-01-14, 16:05
I doubt if lactase persistence was native to any region prior to people in that region owning cattle and drinking milk on a regular basis. And I suspect that once a population began to consume milk on a regular basis, lactase persistence increased over time. I just question the idea of linking lactase persistence to any particular haplotype such as R1b. I doubt that Basques have a higher level of lactase persistence that Poles, for example. If they do, I would suspect that lactase persistence is dependent on genetics as much as it is milk consumption, in which case maybe you could link it to R1b in the past and perhaps even now in the case of populations that have remained more separate than most in recent centuries, such as Basques. But I suspect it's solely about what groups have been consuming large amounts milk in the past and continue to do so, in which case I would expect a more north/south bias than a west/east bias. From what I've seen, Slavs are just as avid milk drinkers as Germanic people and much more so than Iberians.

ElHorsto
24-01-14, 18:06
Here is a fresh one:
http://cdn.all-that-is-interesting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/lactose-tolerance-map.jpg
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tag/maps/

This map coincidentally shows a hot spot in Pakistan-Gedrosia. But the spot in Saudi-Arabia is surpising. Afterall different maps support the apparent disagreement and conflict regarding precise LP distributions.

Greying Wanderer
24-01-14, 18:40
This map coincidentally shows a hot spot in Pakistan-Gedrosia. But the spot in Saudi-Arabia is surpising. Afterall different maps support the apparent disagreement and conflict regarding precise LP distributions.

Arabia is camel milk - same reason as for Europeans I guess, it was a critical part of the diet at some point in their past.

Greying Wanderer
24-01-14, 18:43
So I guess that if lactase persistence correlates with R1b, and if we can estimate the countries with the highest lactase persistence based on per capital milk consumption, R1b must reach its greatest levels in countries like Sweden and Greece. Nope, not even close.

It depends if they include milk products like yoghurt - which don't require LP - and drinking milk directly.

Goga
24-01-14, 18:50
Milk is not really popular in the region from the western parts of Turkey to northeastern parts of Iran, because folks there consume yoghurt and other 'dairy products' much more than in other places.

Yoghurt is much more popular in this area than pure freshly milk.

Personally I don’t like 'milk' or other 'dairy products' like cheese, Polish cheeses, sour cream, yoghurt, butter, milk etc. at all. Also I think that my organism can't handle milk, because after consuming 'fresh' (chocolate) milk, not a long time after that I've to go to the bathroom. It's strange because eating porridge or even consuming milkshake seems to be no problem.

Also, my brother drinks milk all the time, without any problem. But this is maybe because he always drank milk and I not. This is maybe why his body is accustomed to fresh milk.

Greying Wanderer
24-01-14, 18:54
I doubt if lactase persistence was native to any region prior to people in that region owning cattle and drinking milk on a regular basis. And I suspect that once a population began to consume milk on a regular basis, lactase persistence increased over time. I just question the idea of linking lactase persistence to any particular haplotype such as R1b. I doubt that Basques have a higher level of lactase persistence that Poles, for example. If they do, I would suspect that lactase persistence is dependent on genetics as much as it is milk consumption, in which case maybe you could link it to R1b in the past and perhaps even now in the case of populations that have remained more separate than most in recent centuries, such as Basques. But I suspect it's solely about what groups have been consuming large amounts milk in the past and continue to do so, in which case I would expect a more north/south bias than a west/east bias. From what I've seen, Slavs are just as avid milk drinkers as Germanic people and much more so than Iberians.

"I doubt if lactase persistence was native to any region prior to people in that region owning cattle and drinking milk on a regular basis."

Agree - or rather disagree, I think it is a random mutation which can appear anywhere but which only spreads to large numbers if it is critical to survival in a particular region at a particular time.

.

"I just question the idea of linking lactase persistence to any particular haplotype such as R1b."

I think it is a correlation rather than causation i.e. LP was selected to very high levels in specific *regions* where milk drinking was critical to survival and there is a separate correlation between R1b and those regions i.e. R1b ended up in those regions where milk drinking was helpful to survival at some point in the past.

There is a LP correlation with northern I dna as well - which correlates with Funnelbeaker btw

http://www.stclairresearch.com/images/350px-Haplogroup_I.png

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6959/lactose.png

but for the same reason imo. It is the *region* that matters.

My guess is that northern zone wasn't as suitable for crops at that time so the people there relied on milk more - or because they got fewer calories from crops those people who could drink milk had more surviving kids.

(This doesn't mean the LP gene itself couldn't have come from the steppe (or anywhere else) originally just that when it arrived in this region it was selected for more strongly.)

Greying Wanderer
24-01-14, 19:02
Milk is not really popular in the region from the western parts of Turkey to northeastern parts of Iran, because folks there consume yoghurt and other 'dairy products' much more than in other places.

Yoghurt is much more popular in this area than pure freshly milk.

Personally I don’t like 'milk' or other 'dairy products' like cheese, Polish cheeses, sour cream, yoghurt, butter, milk etc. at all. Also I think that my organism can't handle milk, because after consuming 'fresh' (chocolate) milk, not a long time after that I've to go to the bathroom. It's strange because eating porridge or even consuming milkshake seems to be no problem.

Also, my brother drinks milk all the time, without any problem. But this is maybe because he always drank milk and I not. This is maybe why his body is accustomed to fresh milk.

"It's strange because eating porridge or even consuming milkshake seems to be no problem."

Yes it's things like that which could explain how it spread. If non LP people can drink it okay in certain forms - like porridge - then that is how it could become a staple part of the diet. Then LP people who liked milk on its own could drink it and get more calories. This wouldn't have much effect in most places but in places where those extra calories made a big difference LP might spread.

Maciamo
24-01-14, 21:34
I have added a section about lactase persistence and R1b cattle pastoralists (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_R1b_Y-DNA.shtml#lactase_persistence) on the R1b page. This way you have my opinion on the matter.

LeBrok
24-01-14, 22:17
"I doubt if lactase persistence was native to any region prior to people in that region owning cattle and drinking milk on a regular basis."

Agree - or rather disagree, I think it is a random mutation which can appear anywhere but which only spreads to large numbers if it is critical to survival in a particular region at a particular time.

That's why the LP could only take hold and survive in already milk drinking cultures (even if it was only for kids), otherwise it wasn't needed nor beneficial.
It is like looking for white skin natives in Central Africa. So what if white skin mutation happened there, it never took hold because it wasn't beneficial in existing environment.

LeBrok
24-01-14, 22:34
"It's strange because eating porridge or even consuming milkshake seems to be no problem."

Yes it's things like that which could explain how it spread. If non LP people can drink it okay in certain forms - like porridge - then that is how it could become a staple part of the diet. Then LP people who liked milk on its own could drink it and get more calories. This wouldn't have much effect in most places but in places where those extra calories made a big difference LP might spread.


Goga's case could be just bacterial flora of digestive system issue and not much to do with LP, which he could be a positive for. Bacterial flora consists of hundreds of different types of bacteria mostly symbiotic with humans. They take a big part in helping us digest all kinds of foods, or helping us digest more nutrients from certain food. According to our diet we will have different kinds of bacteria present, and we will miss not needed ones. For example people having low fat diet won't have bacteria to help them with fat digestion. Eating fatty food will give people indigestion and diarrhea. Eating a big piece of meat will cause similar problems for vegans. Likewise, drinking milk or cream in bigger portions will give diarrhea to a person who doesn't do it on regular bases. Change of any diet should be a slow and gradual process to let friendly bacteria build up in one's guts.

martiko
24-01-14, 23:09
Goga's case could be just bacterial flora of digestive system issue and not much to do with LP, which he could be a positive for. Bacterial flora consists of hundreds of different types of bacteria mostly symbiotic with humans. They take a big part in helping us digest all kinds of foods, or helping us digest more nutrients from certain food. According to our diet we will have different kinds of bacteria present, and we will miss not needed ones. For example people having low fat diet won't have bacteria to help them with fat digestion. Eating fatty food will give people indigestion and diarrhea. Eating a big piece of meat will cause similar problems for vegans. Likewise, drinking milk or cream in bigger portions will give diarrhea to a person who doesn't do it on regular bases. Change of any diet should be a slow and gradual process to let friendly bacteria build up in one's guts.

very just leBrok !



Greying Wanderer (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/members/48444-Greying-Wanderer) , I know the Russia which I several times visited and I was the only one to put the milk in the morning in my coffee and to claim the cheese and the yoghurt, and it made laugh Russians.
In the Basque country it is often to see the old using chocolate with the milk or coffee as English drink tea to warm himself up in the afternoon.
When in the regions of consumption and production in France are Normandy, Brittany, Gascony and Basque country; and chance is it if it corresponds to the biggest concentration of R1b?

http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/statusicon/user-offline.png

Goga
24-01-14, 23:10
No, as you know I bought a DNA test on 23andme. According to their results I'm 'Lactose Intolerant' because my genotype is 'GG' at my marker: rs4988235 in MCM6 gene. I wonder from whom I've got this genotype, from my mother or father? Because as far as I know they both drink milk without any problem.
Also, according to them: "a person may have the GG genotype at the SNP reported here, but still be lactose tolerant."



http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/163/ujzu.jpg



http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/194/m3ne.jpg

LeBrok
24-01-14, 23:36
No, as you know I bought a DNA test on 23andme. According to their results I'm 'Lactose Intolerant' because my genotype = 'GG' of MCM6 gene at my marker: rs4988235. I wonder from whom I've got this genotype, from my mother or father? Because as far as I know they both drink milk without any problem.
Also, according to them: "a person may have the GG genotype at the SNP reported here, but still be lactose tolerant."


What about st182549? Maciamo mentioned two genes responsible for LP in his writeup.

Goga
24-01-14, 23:59
What about st182549? Maciamo mentioned two genes responsible for LP in his writeup.23andme site doesn't mention rs182549. But I looked at my RAW DNA data and it seems that my rs182549 = CC. I don't know what that means... So my rs4988235 = GG and rs182549 = CC

Goga
25-01-14, 00:50
Btw, I do agree with Maciamo. Environment and frequency of milk consumption can (de)activate genes at rs4988235 and rs182549 markers and that in Europe it has something to do with paternal haplogroup R1b!

Greying Wanderer
25-01-14, 04:06
That's why the LP could only take hold and survive in already milk drinking cultures (even if it was only for kids), otherwise it wasn't needed nor beneficial.
It is like looking for white skin natives in Central Africa. So what if white skin mutation happened there, it never took hold because it wasn't beneficial in existing environment.

Yes exactly.

Greying Wanderer
25-01-14, 04:14
very just leBrok !



Greying Wanderer (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/members/48444-Greying-Wanderer) , I know the Russia which I several times visited and I was the only one to put the milk in the morning in my coffee and to claim the cheese and the yoghurt, and it made laugh Russians.
In the Basque country it is often to see the old using chocolate with the milk or coffee as English drink tea to warm himself up in the afternoon.
When in the regions of consumption and production in France are Normandy, Brittany, Gascony and Basque country; and chance is it if it corresponds to the biggest concentration of R1b?

http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/statusicon/user-offline.png

Yes but in Sweden it corresponds to R1a, R1b and I *or* looking at it another way it corresponds to Sweden regardless of haplogroup.. I'm not saying it didn't *arise* among R1b on the steppe. It might well have. I'm just saying it spread the most in certain *regions* and that's the interesting bit to me. What was it about those regions (Atlantic Coast and Northwest Europe) that made milk so critical at some point in the past? I think it was because crops didn't grow well in those regions but cattle did. If that's the case and those regions were where milk drinking was *most* critical then those regions might also be the places where cattle-breeding was most critical also.

LeBrok
25-01-14, 09:11
Yes but in Sweden it corresponds to R1a, R1b and I *or* looking at it another way it corresponds to Sweden regardless of haplogroup.. I'm not saying it didn't *arise* among R1b on the steppe. It might well have. I'm just saying it spread the most in certain *regions* and that's the interesting bit to me. What was it about those regions (Atlantic Coast and Northwest Europe) that made milk so critical at some point in the past? I think it was because crops didn't grow well in those regions but cattle did. If that's the case and those regions were where milk drinking was *most* critical then those regions might also be the places where cattle-breeding was most critical also.
I think it is sort of "miracle" that in long winter times up North, when nothing much grows to eat, people can feed dry grass to cows and receive steady supply of dairy products, plus meat.

MOESAN
25-01-14, 12:03
I think the main question that paper attempts to answer is whether:

1) LP is native to Europe and was postively selected to present levels

OR

2) Did LP originate somewhere else, enter Europe at high levels, thus explaining its current high levels

This would be a good poll question

Good clearing -
Very interesting opinions! And sensible -
LP tolerance gene mutation could be old enough and took off concerning %s when milk entered in the diet of populations, presenting an advantage (Aberdeen) so for the most among herders populations, nothing new here – whatever the HG group where this mutation arose, by contacts between populations, a selective gene can grow very quickly even in a population where the gene is newly arrived -
at the contrary, if the mutated gene does not offer any risk for health EVEN when it is no more of any use (change in the diet decreasing the weight of milk), the LP tolerance gene can perdure a very long time without any big change in %s in the population -
surely Bronze I-Eans played a big role in the spreading of the mutation, but surely enough too neolithical breeders populations had this gene too – but if they began making cheese early enough, this can have reduced the need of the LP gene presence? Explaining the difference between North and South for a big part?
&: the today statistics about milk consomption in the world do not precisely show us the consomption by age: a global high quantity of milk drunk in a country could be based for a big part upon the 1 to 10 years old people?

martiko
25-01-14, 14:01
https://www.google.fr/search?q=Gulf+Stream&client=firefox-a&hs=mii&rls=org.mozilla:fr:official&channel=np&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6KTjUvTmD8ex0AX2uoDYAw&ved=0CEEQsAQ&biw=1250&bih=874

any theory suffers from these exceptions.
If Norwegian is very distinctly in dominant feature R1b, it is less fact for Swedish who conceal I1 and a little fewer R1a a lot.
Dautre leaves, the cattle need rich regions with fatty pasture and it corresponds in Europe western and going of the centre of Spain to to the south of the Sweden (effect Gulf Stream).
I think that the addition of several reasons can over a period of 4000 years to have influenced populations is placed side by side and they find a similar result for I2a1 in Spain and different from I2a1 in Sardinia.
They will note representativeness of put together MtDNA H1 er H3 which seems to be dominant features among DF27 and L21, is very represented in suede, north Spain and in Finland with its peaks to Basque / iralndais.
Therefore really genetic neighbourhood, geographical / climatic environment; more the time play an important role.
They also see the presence of T2 who is not tolerant in lactose in the east south of the Europe and the Turkey, Ukraine, and who seems to accompany Y DNA J2 and E1 ; in the opposite the presentation of T* / T1, who is very tolerant in lactose, among the Kurds, bashkirs, Balts, Arab (Druse / Palestinian) and who seems to accompany R1a and J1 and also in the steppes and the Ural R1b / Q1a.
And it seems still in that case to separate the populations of stockbreeders with the populations of farmers.

MOESAN
25-01-14, 15:10
I agree for the most with you, Martiko; allt the way, the problem after years and years is an autosomals and diet one more than any father's Y or mother's mt HG one (even if mt DNA could be considered as an annexe autosomal stuff by its effects on cells functions)

Greying Wanderer
25-01-14, 21:06
I think it is sort of "miracle" that in long winter times up North, when nothing much grows to eat, people can feed dry grass to cows and receive steady supply of dairy products, plus meat.

Yes that's my guess too, food plus warmth all winter.

LeBrok
25-01-14, 21:39
I was looking for some good data about LP to make sure we are talking all about apples. Surprisingly there is not much out there to be certain. Some maps are created on single gene mutation, and not actual reported or measured LP in people, like this one.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/figures/1471-2148-10-36-2-l.jpg

And some use very scarce data like from the table from Wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactase_persistence
I made this map using wiki data.

6210

martiko
26-01-14, 14:30
thank you! it well seems to correspond with all document which I consulted.
But your second geographical card of tolerance lactose seems to me a bit grotesque and even very in exaggeration, it effaces modulation, the first one is distinctly more real.

The first card would very well seem to overlap with the specific gravity conjugated by H1, H3 and R1b

Greying Wanderer
26-01-14, 17:06
I was looking for some good data about LP to make sure we are talking all about apples. Surprisingly there is not much out there to be certain. Some maps are created on single gene mutation, and not actual reported or measured LP in people, like this one.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/figures/1471-2148-10-36-2-l.jpg

And some use very scarce data like from the table from Wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactase_persistence
I made this map using wiki data.

6210

Interesting map. It shows (to me anyway) how the Atlantic coast must have been particularly suited to cattle at some point for some reason (and also the Hungarian plain and parts of North India and Arabia (although i think that is camel's milk).

One odd thing is if you take away the dark blue it's almost the Coon Caucasian distribution.

Aberdeen
26-01-14, 17:10
There's an article about lactase persistence here.

www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0086251 (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0086251)

It indicates that lactase persistence had already reached present levels in a town in Germany about 1000 years ago. Here's a copy of the abstract. I don't know whether this tells us anything about the R1b issue, but it does indicate that really widespread lactase persistance was common before the Black Death, at least in one German town, so the Plague may not have affected the modern extent of lactase persistence in Europe.

"Ruminant milk and dairy products are important food resources in many European, African, and Middle Eastern societies. These regions are also associated with derived genetic variants for lactase persistence. In mammals, lactase, the enzyme that hydrolyzes the milk sugar lactose, is normally down-regulated after weaning, but at least five human populations around the world have independently evolved mutations regulating the expression of the lactase-phlorizin-hydrolase gene. These mutations result in a dominant lactase persistence phenotype and continued lactase tolerance in adulthood. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at C/T-13910 is responsible for most lactase persistence in European populations, but when and where the T-13910 polymorphism originated and the evolutionary processes by which it rose to high frequency in Europe have been the subject of strong debate. A history of dairying is presumed to be a prerequisite, but archaeological evidence is lacking. In this study, DNA was extracted from the dentine of 36 individuals excavated at a medieval cemetery in Dalheim, Germany. Eighteen individuals were successfully genotyped for the C/T-13910 SNP by molecular cloning and sequencing, of which 13 (72%) exhibited a European lactase persistence genotype: 44% CT, 28% TT. Previous ancient DNA-based studies found that lactase persistence genotypes fall below detection levels in most regions of Neolithic Europe. Our research shows that by AD 1200, lactase persistence frequency had risen to over 70% in this community in western Central Europe. Given that lactase persistence genotype frequency in present-day Germany and Austria is estimated at 71–80%, our results suggest that genetic lactase persistence likely reached modern levels before the historic population declines associated with the Black Death, thus excluding plague-associated evolutionary forces in the rise of lactase persistence in this region. This new evidence sheds light on the dynamic evolutionary history of the European lactase persistence trait and its global cultural implications."

martiko
26-01-14, 17:35
But how have them made?
There is 3500 BCE or 5500 years old, basques or German either Hungarian or Canadian or Mexican and EU either ......

According to you, the black plague that is stopped to the land borders of the west European , and she would have not wanted disembark in Amsterdam, Bilbao, London ....
However, it is proved that the plague is back in makes its entry in Europa by the ports and with the chips of rats.

Aberdeen
26-01-14, 18:37
But how have them made?
There is 3500 BCE or 5500 years old, basques or German either Hungarian or Canadian or Mexican and EU either ......

According to you, the black plague that is stopped to the land borders of the west European , and she would have not wanted disembark in Amsterdam, Bilbao, London ....
However, it is proved that the plague is back in makes its entry in Europa by the ports and with the chips of rats.

I have absolutely no idea what you're trying to say. The article simply addresses the theory that the Black Death may have been a quite recent selector for people with lactase persistence, based on the idea that people who could drink fresh milk might have had a better chance of surviving during a period when many people were ill and suffering from malnutrition as a result of the agricultural system having broken down, because of very high mortality rates caused by the Plague. The results these scientists found may call that theory into question, although this is just one study.

Greying Wanderer
26-01-14, 20:43
"Previous ancient DNA-based studies found that lactase persistence genotypes fall below detection levels in most regions of Neolithic Europe."

Judging by the LP map the best place to look might be along the Atlantic coast.

Goga
26-01-14, 21:50
La Braña fella who lived in Europe 7000 years ago was probably lactose intolerant. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jan/26/swarthy-blue-eyed-caveman-dna-tooth

Aberdeen
26-01-14, 22:44
La Braña fella who lived in Europe 7000 years ago was probably lactose intolerant. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jan/26/swarthy-blue-eyed-caveman-dna-tooth

He was also a Mesolithic hunter/gatherer type. I think most of us can agree that lactase persistence developed among people who regularly consumed milk, in other words, people who raised cattle. The question is whether lactase persistence was originally specific to R1b pastoralist types or whether it could have also developed among Neolithic farmers who grew crops and also raised cattle.

Angela
26-01-14, 22:54
Thanks for doing the work, Le Brok.

I found those statistics in Wiki a little surprising:
Sicilians-29%
Southern French-35%
Northern Italians-45%
Southern Italians-59%
Portuguese-65%
Central Italians-81%
Northern French-83%
Non-Basque Spaniards 85%
Lebanese-78%

Does anyone know if the Lebanese result is an anomaly or if there are similar levels in other Levantines? Perhaps the lower levels in Turkey are the result of the more recent Turkic incursions?

The Italian results are also surprising in a way, as for example in the huge difference between the Sicilians and the southern Italians. The southern Italian number sort of makes sense in that they do consume a lot of cow's milk cheese in Campania, like mozzarella, and ricotta, and perhaps the sample was taken there, where selection took place because of the rearing of cattle for dairy.

The same could probably be said for Toscana, where, although pecorino sheep's milk cheese is more dominant, they do breed cattle. We even have cowboys in Toscana, in the Maremma, which always seems to amuse my friends.
http://www.invitationtotuscany.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/riding.jpg

However, then I don't understand the number for Northern Italy. There's a tremendous amount of dairying in the north. One of the big divides in Italy between north and south is between the use in traditional cuisines of butter, cream and cheeses like Parmigiano in the north and the more heavily olive oil and pecorino dependent south.

You posted another good map up-thread, which looks a little more nuanced.
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tag/maps/

Perhaps it more accurately charts where exactly this dip occurs in lactase persistence in southern France and northern Italy. It seems to be south eastern France over into Liguria, while the rest of the north has what I would consider normal levels, taking into account their cuisine. Again, it might just come down to terrain and climate and whether you could or needed to do dairy farming. This is a mountainous area with a Mediterranean micro-climate very different from areas just to their north. The olive and the grape reign here, and the only local cheeses are sheep's milk cheese. It's back-breaking work even to grow those, requiring the extensive terracing of hillsides; keeping a dairy herd would be impossible.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Panorama_agricole_delle_Cinque_Terre.jpg
For what it's worth, R1b levels in Liguria approach 50%.

Do you know if it was based on that one snp again or on actual expressed intolerance?

Ed.You have to scroll down the page at this link in order to see the lactase persistence map.
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tag/maps/

LeBrok
26-01-14, 23:51
Thanks for doing the work, Le Brok.

I found those statistics in Wiki a little surprising:
Sicilians-29%
Northern Italians-48%
Southern French-35%
Southern Italians-59%
Portuguese-65%
Central Italians-81%
Northern French-83%
Non-Basque Spaniards 85%
Lebanese-78%

Does anyone know if the Lebanese result is an anomaly or if there are similar levels in other Levantines? Perhaps the lower levels in Turkey are the result of the more recent Turkic incursions?

The Italian results are also surprising in a way, as for example in the huge difference between the Sicilians and the southern Italians. The southern Italian number sort of makes sense in that they do consume a lot of cow's milk cheese in Campania, like mozzarella, and ricotta, and perhaps the sample was taken there, where selection took place because of the rearing of cattle for dairy.

The same could probably be said for Toscana, where, although pecorino sheep's milk cheese is more dominant, they do breed cattle. We even have cowboys in Toscana, in the Maremma, which always seems to amuse my friends.
http://www.invitationtotuscany.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/riding.jpg

However, then I don't understand the number for Northern Italy. There's a tremendous amount of dairying in the north. One of the big divides in Italy between north and south is between the use in traditional cuisines of butter, cream and cheeses like Parmigiano in the north and the more heavily olive oil and pecorino dependent south.

You posted another good map up-thread, which looks a little more nuanced.
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tag/maps/

Perhaps it more accurately charts where exactly this dip occurs in lactase persistence in southern France and northern Italy. It seems to be south eastern France over into Liguria, while the rest of the north has what I would consider normal levels, taking into account their cuisine. Again, it might just come down to terrain and climate and whether you could or needed to do dairy farming. This is a mountainous area with a Mediterranean micro-climate very different from areas just to their north. The olive and the grape reign here, and the only local cheeses are sheep's milk cheese. It's back-breaking work even to grow those, requiring the extensive terracing of hillsides; keeping a dairy herd would be impossible.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Panorama_agricole_delle_Cinque_Terre.jpg
For what it's worth, R1b levels in Liguria approach 50%.

Do you know if it was based on that one snp again or on actual expressed intolerance?
Exactly same conclusions here about all the maps. It has hugely surprised me how hard it was to find any statistics related to LP. Even self reporting milk drinking stats are few and in between. There is another problem with self reporting studies with different methodologies used in different countries. For example Russia's LP shows at 50% in some stats and at 15% in others.

Probably the best way to look at LP, at the moment, is through LP alleles stats and maps. This one might be the best, as you noticed, although I wish it had way better resolution.
http://cdn.all-that-is-interesting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/lactose-tolerance-map.jpg

What is surprising from this map is a fairly low level of LP Steppe area, looks like at 50%. If LP showed up first, in R1 people, in cattle rich steppes, shouldn't LP be for "persistent" there? Especially when considering continuity of grazing and herding cultures in this region. Surely there is a visible 50% LP interesting continues stripe from Black Sea to Pacific Ocean, but honestly, I would expect to see it at 90%.

Goga
27-01-14, 00:25
Perhaps the lower levels in Turkey are the result of the more recent Turkic incursions?Rather Iranic and South Caucasian than Turkic. It's seems that a huge part of Iranic world is lactose intolerant. That would make sense, because Iranic peoples inhabit mostly the mountainous areas in West to Southwest Asia, where sheep are more widespread than cows.

Aberdeen
16-02-14, 18:52
I found an article about consumption of dairy products in Britain during the Neolithic. The researchers checked the organic matter at the bottom of a lot of old pots and determined that people in Britain pretty much abandoned the consumption of sea food in favour of dairy as a source of protein at the start of the Neolithic and the consumption of sea food only returned gradually over a long period of time, peaking in the Late Viking period. A lot of the research was done in the Scottish islands, where one would have expected sea food consumption to have continued. The researchers contrasted their results to finds in the Baltic, where hunting and fishing apparently continued to play an important role during the Neolithic. The conclusion was that different patterns of food consumption occurred in different parts of Europe during the Neolithic, with an almost complete change from fishing to farming (or at least pastoralism) in Britain. I don't know whether this tells us anything about lactase persistence but it may - lactase persistence seems to be particularly high in Britain. The question, to me, would be whether the Mesolithic population in Britain easily developed lactase persistence because of some genetic fluke and/or were substantially replaced by farmers who had already developed lactase persistence or whether the apparently almost exclusive reliance on dairy in Britain pushed the development of lactase persistence. I would guess the former idea is the correct one, since it might explain why the shift to dairy was so complete. The link is here.

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1780/20132372.full

martiko
16-02-14, 19:09
................or whether the apparently almost exclusive reliance on dairy in Britain pushed the development of lactase persistence. I would guess the former idea is the correct one.................

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1780/20132372.full

yes I approved

Aberdeen
16-02-14, 20:31
What I was saying is that I think it's more probable that either the Mesolithic population of Britain somehow had more of a propensity to develop lactase persistence than other Mesolithic European populations or that (more likely) there was for some reason a more complete replacement of the Mesolithic population in Britain than in the Baltic, and the incoming population of Neolithic farmers had already developed a degree of lactase persistence. I don't think people would have made such a complete switch to dairy proteins unless at least part of the population either already had lactase persistence or the population somehow had the ability to acquire lactase persistence fairly quickly.

LeBrok
16-02-14, 20:55
What I was saying is that I think it's more probable that either the Mesolithic population of Britain somehow had more of a propensity to develop lactase persistence than other Mesolithic European populations or that (more likely) there was for some reason a more complete replacement of the Mesolithic population in Britain than in the Baltic, and the incoming population of Neolithic farmers had already developed a degree of lactase persistence. I don't think people would have made such a complete switch to dairy proteins unless at least part of the population either already had lactase persistence or the population somehow had the ability to acquire lactase persistence fairly quickly.
Yes, this complete abandoning of fishing and sea food culture points to population replacement. Meaning that new population already came rich in lactose tolerance and dairy traditions.

Aberdeen
16-02-14, 21:48
Yes, this complete abandoning of fishing and sea food culture points to population replacement. Meaning that new population already came rich in lactose tolerance and dairy traditions.

I was trying to consider what other possibilities might explain the situation, but yes, a near complete population replacement by people who already have a high level of lactase persistence would seem to be the only probable explanation, assuming that the research is sound, and it seems to be.

Tabaccus Maximus
17-02-14, 01:28
I was trying to consider what other possibilities might explain the situation, but yes, a near complete population replacement by people who already have a high level of lactase persistence would seem to be the only probable explanation, assuming that the research is sound, and it seems to be.


I think the answer to this question can probably be found by reversing the question.

1. Why aren't all humans in Eurasia 100% lactase persistent? After all, it is claimed to be a super-gene and cattle have been kept in Egypt, Mespotamia, China and Southern Europe since...forever.

But LP is not 100% in these areas or even significant. Having been introduced to cattle or having some small percentage of cattle breeder ancestry didn't necessarily improve its distribution beyond the percentage of the ancestral population that contributed the LP genes or the cattle.
Dienekes made a comment similar to this concerning the percentage of LP among Native American and mestizo populations which I found interesting.

There really is no reason to believe that Neolithic Europeans suddenly became LP upon introduction any more than it should have in China IMO. This is probably even more true in NW Europe where the Neolithic arrived late (even being mostly non-LP). While LP could be viewed as beneficial, it is noteworthy that the largest modern human populations by country are generally not LP, so I am skeptical about the super-selectability of this gene.

I think what this suggests is the Chalcolithic immigrants into NW Europe (probably the Bell Beaker) were already 100% LP and the percentage of modern LP in Western Europe most likely directly correlates with the percentage of this ancestry.

I also would not rule out the possibility that the separate LP gene in Southern Algeria, Mali and down into Cameroon are derived from a population movement from the wet Sahara.

There is a big Bell Beaker study out there somewhere. I will be very interested to see what it yields about the mysterious Beakers!

Angela
17-02-14, 03:37
So am I. China, as just one example, seems to have produced large populations since the Neolithic without any dependence on dairy products.

Random mutations obviously arose in different parts of the world that permitted the consumption of dairy products, but it doesn't seem to have been universal or essential for survival.

All of this emphasis on it sometimes seems to me to just be a reflection of a level of eurocentrism that I didn't really expect to see in academics, although maybe I'm missing something here.

Twilight
17-02-14, 05:53
I was trying to consider what other possibilities might explain the situation, but yes, a near complete population replacement by people who already have a high level of lactase persistence would seem to be the only probable explanation, assuming that the research is sound, and it seems to be.


Perhaps gathering up Lactose intolerant members can shed some light. As a lactose intolerant myself, I ended up with 53.45% EEF, 35.81% WHG and 14.34% ANE :)

LeBrok
17-02-14, 09:31
So am I. China, as just one example, seems to have produced large populations since the Neolithic without any dependence on dairy products.

Random mutations obviously arose in different parts of the world that permitted the consumption of dairy products, but it doesn't seem to have been universal or essential for survival.

All of this emphasis on it sometimes seems to me to just be a reflection of a level of eurocentrism that I didn't really expect to see in academics, although maybe I'm missing something here.
That's right. One thing is that it is a very young mutation, the other that it is not essential for humans to survive. It however gave a big advantage for populations in some geographical areas in our past.

Aberdeen
17-02-14, 20:49
Perhaps gathering up Lactose intolerant members can shed some light. As a lactose intolerant myself, I ended up with 53.45% EEF, 35.81% WHG and 14.34% ANE :)

Your results would seem to suggest that low ANE=lactose intolerance, except for the fact that one result doesn't prove anything. However, if enough other lactose intolerant people reported their autosomal mixture, we might see a trend. But if the results did indicate that low ANE can be equated with lactose intolerance, it would be a bit difficult to explain why the arrival of the Neolithic in Britain apparently resulted in a near total reliance on milk for proteins, IMO.

Aberdeen
17-02-14, 21:02
So am I. China, as just one example, seems to have produced large populations since the Neolithic without any dependence on dairy products.

Random mutations obviously arose in different parts of the world that permitted the consumption of dairy products, but it doesn't seem to have been universal or essential for survival.

All of this emphasis on it sometimes seems to me to just be a reflection of a level of eurocentrism that I didn't really expect to see in academics, although maybe I'm missing something here.

A website about European genetics is likely to seem somewhat Eurocentric at times, IMO. In any case, data from other parts of the world might not be that useful. African pastoralists probably have very high rates of lactase persistence, but in most cases their ancestors have probably been raising cattle for thousands of years, so their rates of lactase persistence might not tell us when or how it arises among other populations. Examining the issue in the Middle East might not be helpful, since the areas that are level enough to be suitable for raising cattle have generally become arid enough that there probably aren't as many cattle being raised there as previously, and we don't really have any information as to whether lactase persistence can die out if dairy milk consumption decreases substantially. Any data from China would be of little use, IMO, unless you can show that they have a long history of consuming milk from cattle, and we can identify which groups were traditionally farmers and which groups were traditionally pastoralists. In general, if we want to know whether lactase persistence in Europe arose among Neolithic farmers or was brought in by bronze age invaders, I think we have to rely mainly on European data. I don't see it as Eurocentric to only use the data that's relevant to a particular issue.

Angela
18-02-14, 01:05
A website about European genetics is likely to seem somewhat Eurocentric at times, IMO. In any case, data from other parts of the world might not be that useful. African pastoralists probably have very high rates of lactase persistence, but in most cases their ancestors have probably been raising cattle for thousands of years, so their rates of lactase persistence might not tell us when or how it arises among other populations. Examining the issue in the Middle East might not be helpful, since the areas that are level enough to be suitable for raising cattle have generally become arid enough that there probably aren't as many cattle being raised there as previously, and we don't really have any information as to whether lactase persistence can die out if dairy milk consumption decreases substantially. Any data from China would be of little use, IMO, unless you can show that they have a long history of consuming milk from cattle, and we can identify which groups were traditionally farmers and which groups were traditionally pastoralists. In general, if we want to know whether lactase persistence in Europe arose among Neolithic farmers or was brought in by bronze age invaders, I think we have to rely mainly on European data. I don't see it as Eurocentric to only use the data that's relevant to a particular issue.

Aberdeen, I think I said that I found the intense interest in the topic, and even more so the claims that it is so supremely beneficial to be rather eurocentric, not the choice of where to gather data. It can't be so supremely important if most of the world, including places which do raise cattle, developed very large populations without it.
.

Aberdeen
18-02-14, 03:02
Aberdeen, I think I said that I found the intense interest in the topic, and even more so the claims that it is so supremely beneficial to be rather eurocentric, not the choice of where to gather data. It can't be so supremely important if most of the world, including places which do raise cattle, developed very large populations without it.
.

I do think that the domestication of cattle, the consumption of cow's milk and the development of lactase persistence were definitely very important in terms of health and population growth for european farmers and pastoralists, even though today cow's milk perhaps doesn't seem quite as important as it probably did to our ancestors. And I think that cow's milk has been and continues to be very important to African pastoralists such as the Masai. Do you find the Masai to be Eurocentric for thinking that cow's milk is supremely beneficial? I believe the Masai value milk even more than Europeans do.

martiko
18-02-14, 16:22
ötzi (G+K) has not LP, Aldaïta (R+ H / J / T) LP.
Among Arab (J+T) as LP.
So North Africa is influenced by both LP groups.

Twilight
18-02-14, 17:30
It's totally cool, It would be interesting to find the trend. I'll see if I can open up a new page ;)

martiko
18-02-14, 19:45
text Eupedia :

Lactose (milk sugar) is an essential component of breast milk consumed by infants. Its digrestion is made possible by an enzyme, called lactase, which breaks down lactose in simple sugars that can be absorbed through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream. In most mammals (humans included), the production of the lactase enzyme is dramatically reduced soon after weaning. As a result, older children and adults become lactose intolerant. That is true of a big part of the world population. Some people possess a genetic mutation that allows the production of lactase through adulthood. This is called lactase persistence (LP). Lactase persistence is particularly common among Northwest Europeans, descended from the ancient Celtic and Germanic people, and in parts of Africa where cattle herding has been practiced for thousands of years. The highest incidence for the lactase persistence alleles, known to geneticists as -13,910*T (rs4988235) and -22018*A (rs182549), are found among Scandinavian, Dutch, British, Irish and Basque people. Sub-Saharan populations with lactase persistence have different mutations, such as -14010*C, -13915*G and -13907*G.

martiko
20-02-14, 01:12
I doubt if lactase persistence was native to any region prior to people in that region owning cattle and drinking milk on a regular basis. And I suspect that once a population began to consume milk on a regular basis, lactase persistence increased over time. I just question the idea of linking lactase persistence to any particular haplotype such as R1b. I doubt that Basques have a higher level of lactase persistence that Poles, for example. If they do, I would suspect that lactase persistence is dependent on genetics as much as it is milk consumption, in which case maybe you could link it to R1b in the past and perhaps even now in the case of populations that have remained more separate than most in recent centuries, such as Basques. But I suspect it's solely about what groups have been consuming large amounts milk in the past and continue to do so, in which case I would expect a more north/south bias than a west/east bias. From what I've seen, Slavs are just as avid milk drinkers as Germanic people and much more so than Iberians.

no in Russia and in Poland they do not drink a lot of milk nor the cheese and it makes fun a bit of me who bought many dairy products and they say to me who if they also put some milk in their coffee then they are sick and it is in Russia where I developed habit to drink black coffee but never they put a drop of milk in tea and I had surprised a lot it (I add that I am Basque)

Greying Wanderer
20-02-14, 01:59
Aberdeen, I think I said that I found the intense interest in the topic, and even more so the claims that it is so supremely beneficial to be rather eurocentric, not the choice of where to gather data. <b>It can't be so supremely important if most of the world, including places which do raise cattle, developed very large populations without it.</b>
.

That's what makes it supremely important - the fact that it must have supremely important in one region of the world to have been selected for so strongly in that region but not in others. That means it is supremely important in European history but more generally it also proves very strong selection for dietary advantages. If LT is proven for Northern Europe then the hunt will be on for versions of the same thing that developed in other regions e.g. adaptations to wheat, rice or whatever other critical part of the diet was in various other regions over the last 10,000 years. The thing about LT is it's a very visible adaptation but there's likely to be a less visible equivalent of LT among every population.

Among other things these (possibly hundreds of) regional dietary adaptations will have lots of medical consequences.

Greying Wanderer
20-02-14, 02:15
I think the answer to this question can probably be found by reversing the question.

1. Why aren't all humans in Eurasia 100% lactase persistent? After all, it is claimed to be a super-gene and cattle have been kept in Egypt, Mespotamia, China and Southern Europe since...forever.

But LP is not 100% in these areas or even significant. Having been introduced to cattle or having some small percentage of cattle breeder ancestry didn't necessarily improve its distribution beyond the percentage of the ancestral population that contributed the LP genes or the cattle.
Dienekes made a comment similar to this concerning the percentage of LP among Native American and mestizo populations which I found interesting.

There really is no reason to believe that Neolithic Europeans suddenly became LP upon introduction any more than it should have in China IMO. This is probably even more true in NW Europe where the Neolithic arrived late (even being mostly non-LP). While LP could be viewed as beneficial, it is noteworthy that the largest modern human populations by country are generally not LP, so I am skeptical about the super-selectability of this gene.

I think what this suggests is the Chalcolithic immigrants into NW Europe (probably the Bell Beaker) were already 100% LP and the percentage of modern LP in Western Europe most likely directly correlates with the percentage of this ancestry.

I also would not rule out the possibility that the separate LP gene in Southern Algeria, Mali and down into Cameroon are derived from a population movement from the wet Sahara.

There is a big Bell Beaker study out there somewhere. I will be very interested to see what it yields about the mysterious Beakers!

There are two parts to the selectability of LT. The extra calories provided by the gene and the *alternative* calorie supply available. If dairy is only 10% of a diet then the selective pressure is weak. If dairy is 50% of a diet then the selective pressure is very high.

The late arrival of farming to the northwest and the previous reliance on fishing both point at *precisely why* LT might have been super selected in the northwest - because the supply of *alternative calories* was lower in the northwest. If the standard neolithic package wasn't very productive in the northwest (or along the Atlantic coast generally) because of the Atlantic climate such that people were restricted to the coasts to supplement their diet with fishing then a population that developed LT might have been able to colonize away from the coasts. LT would open up an unclaimed ecological niche hence the super-selectability in those regions i.e. along the Atlantic coast and in the northwest i.e. precisely where LT is most common.

ElHorsto
20-02-14, 03:06
no in Russia and in Poland they do not drink a lot of milk nor the cheese and it makes fun a bit of me who bought many dairy products and they say to me who if they also put some milk in their coffee then they are sick and it is in Russia where I developed habit to drink black coffee but never they put a drop of milk in tea and I had surprised a lot it (I add that I am Basque)

Getting sick from such small amount of milk, are you sure? For instance Germans use to put milk in coffee too, but they just find it odd to put milk in tea because of the taste. Maybe many Russians and Poles just don't put milk in coffee just because of the taste?

Aberdeen
20-02-14, 04:21
I think the answer to this question can probably be found by reversing the question.

1. Why aren't all humans in Eurasia 100% lactase persistent? After all, it is claimed to be a super-gene and cattle have been kept in Egypt, Mespotamia, China and Southern Europe since...forever.

But LP is not 100% in these areas or even significant. Having been introduced to cattle or having some small percentage of cattle breeder ancestry didn't necessarily improve its distribution beyond the percentage of the ancestral population that contributed the LP genes or the cattle.
Dienekes made a comment similar to this concerning the percentage of LP among Native American and mestizo populations which I found interesting.

There really is no reason to believe that Neolithic Europeans suddenly became LP upon introduction any more than it should have in China IMO. This is probably even more true in NW Europe where the Neolithic arrived late (even being mostly non-LP). While LP could be viewed as beneficial, it is noteworthy that the largest modern human populations by country are generally not LP, so I am skeptical about the super-selectability of this gene.

I think what this suggests is the Chalcolithic immigrants into NW Europe (probably the Bell Beaker) were already 100% LP and the percentage of modern LP in Western Europe most likely directly correlates with the percentage of this ancestry.

I also would not rule out the possibility that the separate LP gene in Southern Algeria, Mali and down into Cameroon are derived from a population movement from the wet Sahara.

There is a big Bell Beaker study out there somewhere. I will be very interested to see what it yields about the mysterious Beakers!

Okay, I think we need to review the basic facts. Yes, China has a huge population with a very low rate of lactase persistence. But China also has a very low rate of milk consumption - look at the map. And I see no reason to think that milk consumption was ever frequent there. People don't develop lactase persistence if they're not regular users of cow's milk. Those people in southern Algeria, Mali and parts of Cameroon who have lactase persistence because of a different gene are all people who live in arid savannah areas, which is the only type of terrain where cattle can thrive in warm climates. And their consumption of cow's milk is and has traditionally been very high, whereas there are people who live relatively near them but who live in jungle areas where cattle can't survive, so they seldom or never drink milk and have very low rates of lactase persistence. Lactase persistence has developed only in those areas where there's been a pattern of high milk consumption for a few centuries or millennia. The question I thought we were debating is whether lactase persistence in Europe could have developed initially among Neolithic farmers who also raised cattle or whether it must have developed among pastoralists, such as the invading Indo-Europeans. In other words, how high a level of milk consumption is required to develop lactase persistence and how long does it take to develop.

kamani
20-02-14, 05:54
hunter gatherers did not grow cows or sheep so Lactose Persistence deffinitely happened in Europe with the Neolithic Farmers. It was probably one of those genes that got in Europe from the Levant, together with white skin. Everywhere you go in Europe most y-dna is Neolithic or later, so all these new males brought their LP genes with them. The first farming communities were in Anatolia and Levant, next were the Balkans; and R1b, E1b1b, and J, went through the Balkans first.

Angela
20-02-14, 06:03
@Greying Wanderer,
Good post about why lactase persistence might have been particularly important in the early Neolithic and Bronze Age in Northwestern Europe.

@El Horsto,
I don't know why Poles and Russians would think a little milk in coffee would make them sick, but I can tell you that Italians only put milk in their coffee in the morning. It's considered bad for the digestion to have milky coffee with big meals. That's why they only drink cappuccino for breakfast and the rest of the day they drink espresso. Tea is with lemon. That doesn't stop them from eating cheese at the end of the meal, however.

I don't doubt at all that by the Medieval period the levels of lactose tolerance as measured by the frequency of the lactase persistence gene were very high in central, northern, and perhaps particularly northwest Europe, approaching the levels today. We have a recent paper to that effect.

The reason that I went to the trouble of doing the research is that the Finnish paper seemed to indicate that actual milk drinking was not as common in the distant past as it subsequently became, and so the high levels were probably the result of the migration of a population that already carried the mutation and consumed milk.

If anyone read the paper on The History of Milk for which I provided a link, for example, Germans drank virtually no liquid milk in 1860, and not very much butter and cheese either. Those figures rose exponentially after that time. I think that might be because of, as the Catalonian paper indicated, increased prosperity, the faster transport provided by the railroads, pasteurization, ultimately refrigeration, and the industrialization of agriculture.

I also don't know where this concept comes from that there was no problem with milk spoilage in northern countries. Yes, if it was drunk virtually straight from the cow, I would think it would usually be safe, but by the 1600's and 1700's and 1800's many people wouldn't be able to get it that way. As the authors here make clear, even as late as the 1700's, milk was considered safe only if it was taken straight from the cow:

"A general eighteenth-century England rule for milk: �if it was not watered, it was probably sour [29] (http://www.umich.edu/%7Eece/student_projects/food/foods.htm). � However, it was probably digestible if taken from the cow itself immediately before consumption [30] (http://www.umich.edu/%7Eece/student_projects/food/foods.htm). "
http://www.umich.edu/~ece/student_projects/food/foods.htm


There was a huge problem, for instance, with infants, particularly after industrialization, because women working in the factories weaned their children much too early, and substituted cow's milk that was unhygienic. The spread of tuberculosis, typhoid, scarlet fever and other diseases through contaminated milk was also well known, without mentioning just disease from spoilage. (tuberculosis killed one in four people in those centuries) That's why pasteurization was such a big deal. Even with pasteurization and refrigeration, precautions had to be taken when making bottles of milk for infants. Until the advent of sterilized plastic liners for baby bottles, women had to sterilize baby bottles and plastic nipples endlessly before the bottles could be filled. Before pasteurization and the initiation of such precautions, cow's milk was a leading cause of infant mortality. (I'm not even going to get into the whole issue of how mistaken it is to feed formula to newbornes instead of breast milk. I'm no La Leche League nut, but I do believe that cow milk is for baby cows, and, if at all possible, human milk is for bably humans.)

Those kinds of precautions also have to be taken when making cheese. I too have some experience with farm life since my father's people kept dairy cattle for centuries. I think there were more cattle than people up there. Keeping the cheese making room hygienic and scrupulous care in the cheese making process itself was extremely important, and during their six month or longer winters as well as their rainy, rather cool summers. During earlier periods, this kind of care was not considered as necessary because they didn't make the connection between milk borne illnesses and the handling methods. A two minute google search will bring up hundreds of citations for these facts.

I also think that this bucolic image of all the country people having all this fresh milk at their disposal is one based on very recent history. Ireland may have been different, that I don't know, but the picture drawn by historians is one where the serfs may have taken care of the cattle, but they certainly didn't benefit all that much. If anything, they got the whey and that's about it. The passage I pasted into my post indicated that even in the British Isles, farm workers on prosperous estates only got 7 to 13% of their caloric intake from milk. Bread was the staple of life in the north as well as in the south.

Even in the early 1800's, the agricultural laborers of the Veneto and Lombardia, who had very high levels of lactose tolerance, suffered from numerous diseases of malnutrition including pellagra even though there were many dairy farms in certain areas. The problem was that the dairy products went to the landlords, not to them. (A huge mistake had also been made in moving from making their polenta from wheat or chestnuts to using new world corn.)

Tenant farmers probably, as I said in my prior post, fared better. They certainly did in the parts of Italy that practiced the mesadro system, such as Tuscany and other scattered areas of the north. The land was leased for one third of the farm yield. As a result, mesadri who leased good land ate reasonably well, although there was no waste. As far as the milk from the milk cows is concerned, it was used to make butter and cheese, and the whey was given to pigs. And this is in a part of Italy where most people are lactose tolerant. The same situation would have applied to the American colonial farm with its one cow for the entire family.

Imho, I think that there's a lack of appreciation for the abject poverty in which most Europeans lived until very recent times, and a lack of information about the actual food habits of Europeans until very recent times as well.

Greying Wanderer
20-02-14, 08:25
@kamani

The allele could have come from anywhere. The interesting part is why it spread to fixation along the Atlantic Coast and northwest Europe.


@Angela

"Good post about why lactase persistence might have been particularly important in the early Neolithic and Bronze Age in Northwestern Europe."

Ty. I think it's the critical thing people are missing. The important bit about LT is not that population x had milk (as that was true of lots of populations); the important bit must be (imo) that population x had milk *and didn't have* a lot of other alternatives.

"The reason that I went to the trouble of doing the research is that the Finnish paper seemed to indicate that actual milk drinking was not as common in the distant past as it subsequently became, and so the high levels were probably the result of the migration of a population that already carried the mutation and consumed milk. If anyone read the paper on The History of Milk for which I provided a link, for example, Germans drank virtually no liquid milk in 1860"

I don't think that follows though. Milk drinking *declined* with urbanization because fewer people lived on farms and milk had to be fresh. Milk drinking increased again with railways.

I think the main source of dietary milk in the Atlantean neolithic was bowls of milk mixed with nuts, berries, grains, acorns etc like muesli or porridge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porridge

"Oat porridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatmeal), traditional and common in Scotland, English-speaking countries, Nordic countries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_countries), and Germany.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]Oat porridge has been found in the stomachs of 5,000 year old Neolithic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic) bog bodies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bog_body) in Central Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe) and Scandinavia."

Bowls of milk mixed with whatever you could grow or forage sounds like a very plausible staple diet for northwest Europe at this time before the neolithic package was adapted for the local climate so I think it was fixed (in those regions) long ago.

Alternatively the first population who developed LT somewhere along the Atlantic coast might haven been able to spread everywhere along that coastline where that ecological niche existed. That may have been what you meant by migration?

martiko
20-02-14, 11:32
I'm doubtful about such results, as they don't correlate very well with milk consumption patterns.

see articles by Didier is geneticist. Also, the mtDNA groups H1, H3, T1 are very present in the highest LP population : Basque, English, Irish, Scandinavian.


The authors note (thanks to STR markers) 2 founder effects leading to a fairly homogeneous group of Y1 and Y2 share 'Alpine'. Varieties 'Y1' are dairy breeds it is tempting to see the trace of Y1 banded stand with subsequent migration notament Vikings. The Alpine Y2 pole indicates a cross-strain Auroch most recently with a 'European' but then a strong selection for oriented meat production and animal traction (plow, fork) races. The authors seem to ignore the cultural border crossing to France: north traction Horse (Ardennes etc ...) and to the south by Oxen traction. The meat selection corresponds to the location pastures even if the use of milk (cheese) is also well known. Can be considered as the Alpine Y2 group R1b-U152, probably with a broadcast. The case of the Iberian Y2 seems different and can be connected to a tradition of 'brave bulls' (racing type bulls of Pamplona) probably involving frequent crossings' Auroch.

The analysis of autosomal SNPs 44700 allows authors to firstly find that different strains analyzed clearly divided into 3 groups: Europe, India and Africa. There
So 3 poles domestication. Then, focusing on the French strains and some European strains, it was possible to identify four subgroups


http://www.chezdidier.org/article-la-domestication-de-bos-taurus-107951377.html

http://www.chezdidier.org/article-un-illustre-inconnu-107662828.html


(http://www.chezdidier.org/article-un-illustre-inconnu-107662828.html)

ElHorsto
20-02-14, 12:35
hunter gatherers did not grow cows or sheep so Lactose Persistence deffinitely happened in Europe with the Neolithic Farmers. It was probably one of those genes that got in Europe from the Levant, together with white skin. Everywhere you go in Europe most y-dna is Neolithic or later, so all these new males brought their LP genes with them. The first farming communities were in Anatolia and Levant, next were the Balkans; and R1b, E1b1b, and J, went through the Balkans first.

Yes, it correlates somewhat with the availability of milk cattle. Also south asia uses lots of dairy where cows are very important.

kamani
20-02-14, 13:09
@kamani

The allele could have come from anywhere. The interesting part is why it spread to fixation along the Atlantic Coast and northwest Europe.


If that's true, it would be because Farming and sedentary lifestyle brought a population boom in those areas more so than in others, due to the vast lowlands and farming lands available (which increased even more with metal axes and deforestation). Just look at the post-Neolithic mutations explosion of R1b in NW Europe in a short period of time. The hunter-gatherers did not dissapear, they were just grossly outnumbered by the farmers. This is sort of like the Natives story in North-America, the main reason Indians lost their land is because they were slowly outnumbered by a more modern population. It was not uncommon for European women to bear 8 or 9 children in the "New World", back in the day. A lot of them married more than once, since a lot of men died early due to harshness of life. As you move more East in Eurasia, the story becomes more like South-America, where the colonizers mixed with the Natives as much as with each-other. For some reason, people in the Russian steppes resisted sedentary lifestyle until the middle ages almost. When the Huns got into Europe, they were nomadic semi hunter-gatherer/plunderer with some livestock that they dragged along.
As a curiosity: cattle theft by Natives became such an annoyance in the American West, that it was lawfully punishable by hanging.

LeBrok
20-02-14, 18:42
As a curiosity: cattle theft by Natives became such an annoyance in the American West, that it was lawfully punishable by hanging. I guess when buffalo was exterminated cows became "buffalo substitute" for natives. But it wasn't for milk, it was for meat.

ebAmerican
20-02-14, 18:58
It wasn't for meat it was for profit. The Comanche were raiding Northern Mexico and selling it to Texan cattle ranchers. It also helped demoralize the Mexicans and helped the US in the American Mexican war. Rustling was a problem all over the west, but it was mainly a profiteering expedition.

ebAmerican
20-02-14, 20:04
I don't know if this was brought up, but I wonder how the domestication of the horse, and the use of mare milk contributed to lactose tolerance? I know that mare milk has twice the lactose, than cow or goats milk. If R1b and R1a were Steppe people, than maybe they developed it to survive off of horse meat and mare milk, where agriculture was not possible or very unreliable. Early attempts of agriculture was tough in northern climates, and often failed. So, maybe these horse riders who adapted to drinking mare milk (or partly fermented) brought their LT to Europe where they engaged in cattle pastoralism in the north and were already suited for cows milk.

Aberdeen
20-02-14, 20:20
I had ice cream with my lunch and really enjoyed it, even though it's quite cold and wintery here. I feel better when I have more dairy in my diet. And although my Y haplotype is I1, I can't help but wonder how many of my indirect paternal ancestors were R1b.

Angela
20-02-14, 21:20
@kamani

The allele could have come from anywhere. The interesting part is why it spread to fixation along the Atlantic Coast and northwest Europe.


@Angela

"Good post about why lactase persistence might have been particularly important in the early Neolithic and Bronze Age in Northwestern Europe."

Ty. I think it's the critical thing people are missing. The important bit about LT is not that population x had milk (as that was true of lots of populations); the important bit must be (imo) that population x had milk *and didn't have* a lot of other alternatives.

"The reason that I went to the trouble of doing the research is that the Finnish paper seemed to indicate that actual milk drinking was not as common in the distant past as it subsequently became, and so the high levels were probably the result of the migration of a population that already carried the mutation and consumed milk. If anyone read the paper on The History of Milk for which I provided a link, for example, Germans drank virtually no liquid milk in 1860"

I don't think that follows though. Milk drinking *declined* with urbanization because fewer people lived on farms and milk had to be fresh. Milk drinking increased again with railways.

I think the main source of dietary milk in the Atlantean neolithic was bowls of milk mixed with nuts, berries, grains, acorns etc like muesli or porridge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porridge

"Oat porridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatmeal), traditional and common in Scotland, English-speaking countries, Nordic countries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_countries), and Germany.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]Oat porridge has been found in the stomachs of 5,000 year old Neolithic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic)bog bodies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bog_body) in Central Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe) and Scandinavia."

Bowls of milk mixed with whatever you could grow or forage sounds like a very plausible staple diet for northwest Europe at this time before the neolithic package was adapted for the local climate so I think it was fixed (in those regions) long ago.

Alternatively the first population who developed LT somewhere along the Atlantic coast might haven been able to spread everywhere along that coastline where that ecological niche existed. That may have been what you meant by migration?

This is pure speculation, of course, but I doubt the LP gene came with the Neolithic farmers. We have the genome of an LBK woman (Stuttgart) and a copper Age man from the Tyrol (Oetzi) and neither are lactose tolerant, or at least they don't carry the European version of the lactase persistence gene. (I wish they would release information about Gok 4).

That isn't to say that neolithic peoples weren't the ones who developed animal husbandry, because they were, as they were the ones to first process milk products into secondary products like cheese and perhaps butter and yoghurt.

The thing is that processed milk products contain much less lactose than liquid milk; half or less in a lot of cases, and sometimes only negligible amounts. (By the way, goat milk contains roughly the same amount of lactose as cow's milk, so if a population could drink goat milk, they could also drink cow's milk.) See:
http://no-lactose.com/pg,content-of-lactose,teneur,0,1.jsp

So, I doubt that Anatolian farmers were eating bowls of milk. They might very well have been eating bowls of soft cheeses or yoghurt like products, however, perhaps mixed with grains and fruits as you suggest. Or, they might initially have only made butter for use as a cooking fat, or as an unguent, a use to which it was put in the medieval period.

I think that leaves two possibilities: that the mutation occurred somewhere in Europe in a farming context, or that it was brought to Europe from migrating populations, perhaps, as Kamani suggests, from populations on the steppe that had interbred with people who carried it and were able to drink mare's milk.

When these carriers embraced a farming lifestyle, either at the edge of the steppe or in central Europe, with it's dependence on milk cattle, it was a natural fit. The peripheral mountainous areas or areas in the northwest that were not optimal for the original plant based neolithic package, were suitable for, and thus attracted these groups.

(Yes, the growth of cities meant a decrease in the consumption of liquid milk. However, I think the record is pretty clear that it was not a big part of the diet in medieval and Renaissance Europe either, whether because of poverty and the conditions of serfdom, or because of societal distrust of it. The consumption of butter and cheese is a different issue.)

ebAmerican
20-02-14, 21:54
http://www.nature.com/news/archaeology-the-milk-revolution-1.13471

I like their explanation. It states that a man was found in northern Germany who was lactose tolerant 6500 years ago (4500BC). A neolithic man. A man before the horse was domesticated. I guess that squishes the mare idea, which would explain low tolerance on the steppe for lactase. It looks like it formed in Hungary and became advantageous as a deterrent to famine. Southern Europe was populated by neolithic peoples before the mutation took hold and explains it's low frequency. I guess R1b was not responsible, and they either became LT or not based on where they migrated during the bronze age.

Aberdeen
20-02-14, 21:56
.................
So, I doubt that Anatolian farmers were eating bowls of milk. They might very well have been eating bowls of soft cheeses or yoghurt like products, however, perhaps mixed with grains and fruits as you suggest. Or, they might initially have only made butter for use as a cooking fat, or as an unguent, a use to which it was put in the medieval period.

I think that leaves two possibilities: that the mutation occurred somewhere in Europe in a farming context, or that it was brought to Europe from migrating populations, perhaps, as Kamani suggests, from populations on the steppe that had interbred with people who carried it and were able to drink mare's milk.

When these carriers embraced a farming lifestyle, either at the edge of the steppe or in central Europe, with it's dependence on milk cattle, it was a natural fit. The peripheral mountainous areas or areas in the northwest that were not optimal for the original plant based neolithic package, were suitable for, and thus attracted these groups.

(Yes, the growth of cities meant a decrease in the consumption of liquid milk. However, I think the record is pretty clear that it was not a big part of the diet in medieval and Renaissance Europe either, whether because of poverty and the conditions of serfdom, or because of societal distrust of it. The consumption of butter and cheese is a different issue.)

I don't think you can extrapolate from what Anatolian farmers or Italian serfs were eating in order to understand what Swedish peasants or Scottish crofters were eating. The regional differences, in terms of agricultural methods and socio-economic condtions, are just too great. So, as for the question of whether the mutation happened in Europe or was inherited from invaders from the steppes, I don't think we're any closer to having an answer as a result of all this discussion.

LeBrok
20-02-14, 23:54
http://www.nature.com/news/archaeology-the-milk-revolution-1.13471

I like their explanation. It states that a man was found in northern Germany who was lactose tolerant 6500 years ago (4500BC). A neolithic man. A man before the horse was domesticated. I guess that squishes the mare idea, which would explain low tolerance on the steppe for lactase. It looks like it formed in Hungary and became advantageous as a deterrent to famine. Southern Europe was populated by neolithic peoples before the mutation took hold and explains it's low frequency. I guess R1b was not responsible, and they either became LT or not based on where they migrated during the bronze age.

Should I be right again. :shocked: I was guessing central/north europe about 7,000 ago. The time LP started to take off.
Still this mutation could have come from balkans with farmers or from steppe herders. There is an interesting line (one of maps) of LP going from europe through steppe to korea.

Angela
21-02-14, 01:31
I don't think you can extrapolate from what Anatolian farmers or Italian serfs were eating in order to understand what Swedish peasants or Scottish crofters were eating. The regional differences, in terms of agricultural methods and socio-economic condtions, are just too great. So, as for the question of whether the mutation happened in Europe or was inherited from invaders from the steppes, I don't think we're any closer to having an answer as a result of all this discussion.


I don't think so either...that's why I said even in speculating I couldn't choose between the two options...it will have to await more ancient dna studies.

As to the early Neolithic Anatolians, I was replying sceptically to Greying Wanderer's suggestion that they were consuming bowls of milk. Since LBK people would have been unable to consume it, I doubt their ancestors in Anatolia were able to do so.

With regard to Swedish peasants, we're going around in circles. The ones in at least middle and northern Sweden, like the Finns, were not consuming dairy products until very late in their history. (Apparently, no one was interested enough to read the links I provided.http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/sad-2.gif The studies were about England and Germany and Finland, not Italy.) The following are quotes from the Finland study:

" It is difficult to find a plausible scenario for an in situ selection process. Based on archaeological and historical data and genetic evidence (Itan et al. 2009; Malmström et al. 2010) we suggest that the observed high frequencies of LP variant C/T-13910 in Northern Europe can best be explained by strong directional selection that took place in Central Europe and was followed by a migration of people representing this culture to Northern Europe.The immigrants gradually re-placed the local hunter-gatherer populations. The genetic evidence for suchimmigration and assimilation has been found in Sweden, while in Finland archaeological evidence clearly indicates a change in material culture following a population bottleneck (Malmström et al. 2010; Sundell et al. 2010)."

The lack of support for an in situ development of lactase persistence is explained below.

"It is noteworthy that gene-culture co-evolution hypothesis for LP only appies to cultires in which fresh unfermented milk was consumed by both children and adults on a regular basis or at least during periods critical for survival. Importantly, consumption of fermented milk products alone could not have been a strong enough selective pressure for LP to become prevalent as even adults with hypolactasia are usually able to consume fermented milk products.


According to the ethnographic sources, in the Finnish traditional agriculture fresh milk was only consumed by children of one to two years of age during the 18th and 19th centuries (Talve 1997;Vuorela 1998).Adults did not consume fresh milk as such, but predominantly fermented sourmilk, usually mixed with water, or occasionally in soups .

The historical sources from earlier periods seem to describe similar practices, as no milk or milk products except some butter and possibly small amounts of buttermilk were mentioned as a part of daily diet in the 16th-century Hämeenlinna Castle in Finland(Vilkuna 1998). Butter was an important taxation item. In Sweden, newborn calves were only allowed to suck their mothers for a few days, and were there-after fed skimmed milk; nearly all cream was used for making butter.

Second, even if adults had a preference for fresh milk, not enough milk was available for regular consumption. Cattle herding was neither widespread nor productive enough in Northern Europe to provide constant access to fresh milk.

In Finland, the earliest reliably dated domestic animal bones date to the Bronze Age, and even then they are found in restricted numbers in a restricted coastal area. It seems that in Finland, animal husbandry established itself as an important source of household economy not earlier than in the Iron Age (500 BCE to CE.

Before the adoption of hay cultivation, cattle could only be milked during the grazing period, usually from May to October in both Sweden and Finland (Myrdal 1999; Soininen 1974). In the 18th and 19th cen-turies milk yields were still modest, on the average only 400 to 500 liters of milk per year and per animal, compared to modern commercial dairy cows that produce 6,000 to 7,000 liters per year (Björnhag and Myrdal 1994). Finnish
farmers kept livestock mainly for haulage power in fieldwork and transport, and for manure to fertilize the fields (Soininen 1974). Animal energy and manure were thus the main products, with milk only a secondary product. During the longwinter feeding period (six to eight months), poor quality fodder (mainly straw) was often used, with the result of serious undernourishment in animals in both Sweden and Finland.

Corded Ware people have been connected to pastoralism in other parts of the Europe; it seems possible that they were carrying the T-13910allele, even if cattle breeding may not have been a major component in their economy in Finland. During the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, there was also likely immigration to Finland from Sweden and the Baltic countries, but the magnitude of this migration is unknown."

Ed. Perhaps I am imagining things, in which case I apologize, but it seems to me that I detect some antagonism to my posts on this issue. I truly don't understand why that should be the case. I thought we were having a quasi scientific-historical discussion about the development of lactase persistence, and whether the consumption of large quantities of it in pre-history or even in the middle ages could be correleated with areas with high levels of the gene and high consumption today.

We're only talking about a food after all. Why should it be such an emotional issue?

martiko
21-02-14, 01:53
I don't know if this was brought up, but I wonder how the domestication of the horse, and the use of mare milk contributed to lactose tolerance? I know that mare milk has twice the lactose, than cow or goats milk. If R1b and R1a were Steppe people, than maybe they developed it to survive off of horse meat and mare milk, where agriculture was not possible or very unreliable. Early attempts of agriculture was tough in northern climates, and often failed. So, maybe these horse riders who adapted to drinking mare milk (or partly fermented) brought their LT to Europe where they engaged in cattle pastoralism in the north and were already suited for cows milk.

if you read my previous post you will have partial response and Didier like me think that R1b is causing a consumer mare's milk, and it's coming to Europe he converted to cow's milk. We find the old riding vocabulary among Basque but also very old tradition in Ireland, which are ancient peoples who kept alive their culture and traditions. (We know that the Basque were the earliest known still spoken today R1b ​​language)
Current cows are from europe and africa and domestic horses are coming from Siberia and Europe. Read Didier is his job genetics and animals.

You will also see the simplified method to calculate Kliuzov time according to the number of mutation and generation time, which according to my calculations gives 12,000 years R1a and R1b to 14,000, because I believe that women were breeding between 20/25 years and not 25/35.
cattle born in three places, could be the oldest in Africa (10,000 years), then India and finally in Europe at the end of the Neolithic, it is a genetic reality and not speculation.

Angela
21-02-14, 02:19
http://www.nature.com/news/archaeology-the-milk-revolution-1.13471

I like their explanation. It states that a man was found in northern Germany who was lactose tolerant 6500 years ago (4500BC). A neolithic man. A man before the horse was domesticated. I guess that squishes the mare idea, which would explain low tolerance on the steppe for lactase. It looks like it formed in Hungary and became advantageous as a deterrent to famine. Southern Europe was populated by neolithic peoples before the mutation took hold and explains it's low frequency. I guess R1b was not responsible, and they either became LT or not based on where they migrated during the bronze age.

I think you may have linked the wrong study? This has to do with the discovery of implements used for cheese making in a neolithic culture of that time, not the discovery of a man carrying the lactase persistence gene. You don't need the gene to consume cheese.

Greying Wanderer
21-02-14, 03:19
@Angela

"As to the early Neolithic Anatolians, I was replying sceptically to Greying Wanderer's suggestion that they were consuming bowls of milk. Since LBK people would have been unable to consume it, I doubt their ancestors in Anatolia were able to do so."

I didn't say Anatolia. I said Atlantic coast and northwest Europe i.e. the regions with the highest rates of LP now.

edit: Re-reading I said "Atlantean" which probably caused the confusion.


@Aberdeen

"I feel better when I have more dairy in my diet. And although my Y haplotype is I1, I can't help but wonder how many of my indirect paternal ancestors were R1b."

The highest rates of LP overlap with the highest rates of I1. It's not just a descended from R1b thing. It's a descended from [regions where milk was a particularly critical part of the diet in the neolithic] thing.

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6959/lactose.png

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lhXgXOSp_a0/UKljuK_d9AI/AAAAAAAAABM/gB_lmZj0Jqc/s1600/792px-Distribution_Haplogroup_I_Y-DNA.svg.png

Greying Wanderer
21-02-14, 03:34
see articles by Didier is geneticist. Also, the mtDNA groups H1, H3, T1 are very present in the highest LP population : Basque, English, Irish, Scandinavian.


The authors note (thanks to STR markers) 2 founder effects leading to a fairly homogeneous group of Y1 and Y2 share 'Alpine'. Varieties 'Y1' are dairy breeds it is tempting to see the trace of Y1 banded stand with subsequent migration notament Vikings. The Alpine Y2 pole indicates a cross-strain Auroch most recently with a 'European' but then a strong selection for oriented meat production and animal traction (plow, fork) races. The authors seem to ignore the cultural border crossing to France: north traction Horse (Ardennes etc ...) and to the south by Oxen traction. The meat selection corresponds to the location pastures even if the use of milk (cheese) is also well known. Can be considered as the Alpine Y2 group R1b-U152, probably with a broadcast. The case of the Iberian Y2 seems different and can be connected to a tradition of 'brave bulls' (racing type bulls of Pamplona) probably involving frequent crossings' Auroch.

The analysis of autosomal SNPs 44700 allows authors to firstly find that different strains analyzed clearly divided into 3 groups: Europe, India and Africa. There
So 3 poles domestication. Then, focusing on the French strains and some European strains, it was possible to identify four subgroups


http://www.chezdidier.org/article-la-domestication-de-bos-taurus-107951377.html

http://www.chezdidier.org/article-un-illustre-inconnu-107662828.html


(http://www.chezdidier.org/article-un-illustre-inconnu-107662828.html)

http://a141.idata.over-blog.com/3/98/35/94/carte-Y-boeuf.png

Are the breeds marked in green the dairy breeds?

Aberdeen
21-02-14, 04:18
http://a141.idata.over-blog.com/3/98/35/94/carte-Y-boeuf.png

Are the breeds marked in green the dairy breeds?

It doesn't appear so. On the British part of the map, the Ayrshire cattle (a dairy breed) are marked with green and the Galloway cattle (a beef breed) are marked with red, but Herford cattle (a beef breed) are marked with green and Guernseys and Jerseys (milk cattle) are marked with red.

martiko
21-02-14, 11:58
http://a141.idata.over-blog.com/3/98/35/94/carte-Y-boeuf.png

Are the breeds marked in green the dairy breeds?

Yes ! the race for meat closer to the Auroch but the mestizo who give European dairy cows. You can still see the difference today
and it is in Europe that are created Varietal dairy with lactose intake at the time of europeanNeolithic

Greying Wanderer
21-02-14, 12:49
Yes ! the race for meat closer to the Auroch but the mestizo who give European dairy cows. You can still see the difference today
and it is in Europe that are created Varietal dairy with lactose intake at the time of europeanNeolithic

That might tie in with this

http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/neolithic-peoples-from-britain-and.html

I think some population along the Atlantic coast developed a cattle-centric culture to compensate for poor crops in the Atlantic climate and that culture opened up a previously unfilled niche allowing a dramatic population increase.

And apparently there was a large population increase associated with megalithism.

http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/neolithic-and-chalcolithic-demographics.html

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Gng3kY_iYEY/UvigE0j5NwI/AAAAAAAACX8/wvKMxjZv94Q/s1600/gendemographyannotated.jpg

This isn't necessarily anything to do with LP directly but if a cattle-centric culture developed along the Atlantic coast then it would be the perfect place for LP to spread once it arrived.

ebAmerican
21-02-14, 18:12
I think you may have linked the wrong study? This has to do with the discovery of implements used for cheese making in a neolithic culture of that time, not the discovery of a man carrying the lactase persistence gene. You don't need the gene to consume cheese.

"Burger has looked for the mutation in samples of ancient human DNA and has found it only as far back as 6,500 years ago in northern Germany." a quote from the article

He not talking about cheese making, he talking about the allele.

Angela
21-02-14, 18:23
"Burger has looked for the mutation in samples of ancient human DNA and has found it only as far back as 6,500 years ago in northern Germany." a quote from the article

He not talking about cheese making, he talking about the allele.

You're right. The article is about the cheese making implements, but that quote does appear. I just thought you meant to link the Burger study which discussed finding the allele.

ebAmerican
21-02-14, 18:48
I sometimes take scientific articles to seriously, but it's probably good to reference the actual references within in the article. Thanks Angela. I can't find the reference supplied by the article that talks about 6500 year claim of LP in a Northern German ancient man. I don't know if Andrew Curry made it up or if he didn't cite his work correctly, or if it's buried in one of his listed sources. Does somebody know the actual study that the article is propagating?

Angela
21-02-14, 23:10
I sometimes take scientific articles to seriously, but it's probably good to reference the actual references within in the article. Thanks Angela. I can't find the reference supplied by the article that talks about 6500 year claim of LP in a Northern German ancient man. I don't know if Andrew Curry made it up or if he didn't cite his work correctly, or if it's buried in one of his listed sources. Does somebody know the actual study that the article is propagating?



I tried to find a Burger et al paper where he states that a sample from 4500 B.C. in Central Europe carried the lactase persistent gene but nothing turned up.

In fact, the only paper of his that I could find that talked about ancient Central European DNA in this context said that it didn't show up in any of those samples tested. He does state that based on some computer modeling it might have been present at low levels around 4500 B.C., but that's not quite the same thing.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1820653/

This isn't to say that such a paper doesn't exist...it's just that I couldn't find it.

This is Jean Manco's page on ancient autosomal results for this marker. The earliest it shows up seems to be 3300 B.C., which I suppose according to some analysts might be recent enough for an Indo-Euopean input. She's always meticulous about things like this, but I don't know how recently the page was updated.
http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/autosomaladna.shtml#lactase

Sorry I couldn't find anything more definitive.

Aberdeen
22-02-14, 02:59
Yes ! the race for meat closer to the Auroch but the mestizo who give European dairy cows. You can still see the difference today
and it is in Europe that are created Varietal dairy with lactose intake at the time of europeanNeolithic

That is not correct, at least for the British cattle, as I already pointed out. Some of the British dairy cattle are marked with green and some of of them are marked with red, and some of the British beef cattle are marked with green and some of them are marked with red. However, I'm not familiar enough with other European breeds of cattle to know whether red and green indicate cattle type in Germany or France or wherever.

Aberdeen
22-02-14, 03:09
@Angela

..................

@Aberdeen

"I feel better when I have more dairy in my diet. And although my Y haplotype is I1, I can't help but wonder how many of my indirect paternal ancestors were R1b."

The highest rates of LP overlap with the highest rates of I1. It's not just a descended from R1b thing. It's a descended from [regions where milk was a particularly critical part of the diet in the neolithic] thing.

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6959/lactose.png

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lhXgXOSp_a0/UKljuK_d9AI/AAAAAAAAABM/gB_lmZj0Jqc/s1600/792px-Distribution_Haplogroup_I_Y-DNA.svg.png





That's true, to some extent. Although there's a lot of R1b in Sweden, there's more I1. And there's little R1b in Finland and a lot of I1. But the most common Y haplotype in Finland is N, and yet Finland has a very high rate of lactase persistence. I find that interesting, but I'm not sure what it means. I'd like to know the rate of lactase persistence among folk with high rates of Y haplotype N in Siberia.

Greying Wanderer
22-02-14, 07:04
@Aberdeen

"But the most common Y haplotype in Finland is N, and yet Finland has a very high rate of lactase persistence. I find that interesting, but I'm not sure what it means."

I think it means regions on the forward edge of the advance of agriculture where for some reason milk can partially compensate for crops not yet being adapted to the local climate select strongly for LP regardless of y DNA.

So wherever LP started from it could exist in many populations at a low to moderate level and then have a dramatic sweep in the right conditions.

.

"That is not correct, at least for the British cattle"

Either way the distinct Atlantic distribution is interesting.

Aberdeen
22-02-14, 17:00
@Aberdeen

"But the most common Y haplotype in Finland is N, and yet Finland has a very high rate of lactase persistence. I find that interesting, but I'm not sure what it means."

I think it means regions on the forward edge of the advance of agriculture where for some reason milk can partially compensate for crops not yet being adapted to the local climate select strongly for LP regardless of y DNA.

So wherever LP started from it could exist in many populations at a low to moderate level and then have a dramatic sweep in the right conditions.

.

"That is not correct, at least for the British cattle"

Either way the distinct Atlantic distribution is interesting.

So I guess you're assuming that once a mutation causing lactase persistence occurs, it remains, even if the amount of lactose consumption subsequently decreases. That seems likely, but I don't know how one would prove or disprove that idea.

As far as the map is concerned, I find data to be useful only if it's accurate.

LeBrok
22-02-14, 20:19
So I guess you're assuming that once a mutation causing lactase persistence occurs, it remains, even if the amount of lactose consumption subsequently decreases. That seems likely, but I don't know how one would prove or disprove that idea.

As far as the map is concerned, I find data to be useful only if it's accurate.
Mathematically, I guess, frequency of mutation of single gene multiplied by population numbers, in function of time. Without environmental selection, the only law is the luck, the chance, randomness. One should be able to calculate time frame of complete disappearance ( or below 1% level) of LP allele.

It's like we can't prove who is going to die in car accidents, we can't print the names of unlucky ones in advance, but we can statistically calculate number of deaths for a country to one percentile precision.

martiko
22-02-14, 20:29
Aberdeen : Mt DNA H1, H3, T1 are LP.
We can assume that many Scandinavians : H1, H3, T1 as Irish, Basque, English...

Greying Wanderer
22-02-14, 22:09
So I guess you're assuming that once a mutation causing lactase persistence occurs, it remains, even if the amount of lactose consumption subsequently decreases. That seems likely, but I don't know how one would prove or disprove that idea.

No, I'm just avoiding the argument about where LP arose as it's not relevant to the main point about the development of a cattle-centric culture with a milk-heavy diet on the forward edge of farming. LP might well have evolved and disappeared many times but we know it arose somewhere and lasted long enough for it to somehow spread to fixation in certain regions of Europe.

MOESAN
28-02-14, 23:06
just a document (link) concerning Meso-Neolithic transition in Britain and ireland

arheologija.ff.uni-lj.si/documenta/pdf31/31thomas.pdf‎

LeBrok
02-03-14, 00:08
Mongols are very interesting example of high dairy diet, and surprisingly only being around 30% lactose persistent. (if all the maps are correct).

This is from the trip of Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolai Mikhailovich Przhevalsky in 1870:

Milk and Meat"The food of the Mongols also consists of milk prepared in various ways, either as butter, curds, whey or koumiss. The curds are made from the unskimmed milk, which is gently simmered over a slow fire, and then allowed to stand for some time, after which the thick cream is skimmed off and dried, and roasted millet often added to it. The whey is prepared from sour skimmed milk, and is made into small dry lumps of cheese. Lastly, the koumiss is prepared from mares' or sheep's milk; all through the summer it is considered the greatest luxury, and Mongols are in the habit of constantly riding to visit their friends and taste the koumiss till they generally become intoxicated. They are all inclined to indulge too freely, although drunkenness is not so rife with them as it is in more civilized countries.
"Tea and milk constitute the chief food of the Mongols all the year round, but they are equally fond of mutton. The highest praise they can bestow on any food is to say that it is ‘as good as mutton.' Sheep, like camels, are sacred; indeed all their domestic animals are emblems of some good qualities. The favorite part is the tail, which is pure fat.

When it comes to "white foods" (anything made from milk), almost everything is heated due to the brucellosis problem within the country. The only thing that they commonly drink raw is mare's milk just taken from the mare when it is still warm. I have had it and it is quite tasty. They all want to drink the milk from a white mare for health reasons. They will drink from any mare, but the most sought after is a white mare




Looks like they used to have diet only made of dairy and meat. Makes you think how they manage doing it without being lactose tolerant. Granted they consume most dairy as cheeses and butter, but in quantities they do one would think they should be lactose tolerant.
One explanation is that they must have adequate bacterial flora in their digestive organs to help them deal with all the lactose, or we are missing one more gene or allele taking part in lactose digestion.

If it is about bacterial flora, it would be a good news for people who are not LP but like eating dairy. Start with small quantities of natural products containing good bacteria. With time build up consumption and your good bacterial flora will grow together adequately.

Angela
02-03-14, 00:42
Mongols are very interesting example of high dairy diet, and surprisingly only being around 30% lactose persistent. (if all the maps are correct).

This is from the trip of Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolai Mikhailovich Przhevalsky in 1870:


Looks like they used to have diet only made of dairy and meat. Makes you think how they manage doing it without being lactose tolerant. Granted they consume most dairy as cheeses and butter, but in quantities they do one would think they should be lactose tolerant.
One explanation is that they must have adequate bacterial flora in their digestive organs to help them deal with all the lactose, or we are missing one more gene or allele taking part in lactose digestion.

If it is about bacterial flora, it would be a good news for people who are not LP but like eating dairy. Start with small quantities of natural products containing good bacteria. With time build up consumption and your good bacterial flora will grow together adequately.

As you say, if they don't have an as yet undiscovered LP gene, something else is going on, since even if each individual food might be low in lactose, the total must be pretty high. I wonder what foods would be important for development of this intestinal flora?

On a somewhat related note, I read an article the other day about the fact that there seems to be an ever increasing number of people in the U.S. who can no longer digest dairy. The author was speculating that it might have to do with the fact that all the milk is ultra-pasteurized. I have no idea if that would have an effect, but if it does, what irony if the process that made it safer should make it indigestible for certain people.

LeBrok
02-03-14, 01:37
As you say, if they don't have an as yet undiscovered LP gene, something else is going on, since even if each individual food might be low in lactose, the total must be pretty high. I wonder what foods would be important for development of this intestinal flora?

On a somewhat related note, I read an article the other day about the fact that there seems to be an ever increasing number of people in the U.S. who can no longer digest dairy. The author was speculating that it might have to do with the fact that all the milk is ultra-pasteurized. I have no idea if that would have an effect, but if it does, what irony if the process that made it safer should make it indigestible for certain people.
I'm thinking along same lines, plus who knows what damage the overuse of antibiotics do to our digestive system.
Some lines of useful digesting bacteria, adapted to way of lives of our ancestors and their guts, might be gone forever. (just a thought).

Sile
14-03-14, 22:09
latest paper below

http://www.cell.com/AJHG/abstract/S0002-9297%2814%2900067-6

Aberdeen
31-07-14, 05:32
The British Royal Society has published a paper showing that some Finns were using milk products 4500 years ago, which seems like quite an early date. The abstract and a link to the full article (free) is here.

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1791/20140819.abstract

And here's a copy of the abstract.

"The conventional ‘Neolithic package’ comprised animals and plants originally domesticated in the Near East. As farming spread on a generally northwest trajectory across Europe, early pastoralists would have been faced with the challenge of making farming viable in regions in which the organisms were poorly adapted to providing optimal yields or even surviving. Hence, it has long been debated whether Neolithic economies were ever established at the modern limits of agriculture. Here, we examine food residues in pottery, testing a hypothesis that Neolithic farming was practiced beyond the 60th parallel north. Our findings, based on diagnostic biomarker lipids and δ13C values of preserved fatty acids, reveal a transition at ca 2500 BC from the exploitation of aquatic organisms to processing of ruminant products, specifically milk, confirming farming was practiced at high latitudes. Combining this with genetic, environmental and archaeological information, we demonstrate the origins of dairying probably accompanied an incoming, genetically distinct, population successfully establishing this new subsistence ‘package’."

However, when you read the whole article, the picture seems to be more complex. I'm too tired to study it carefully tonight, but it seems to be worth a read.

Aberdeen
31-07-14, 20:38
I think the interesting thing about this study is that it seems to disprove the idea that dairy farming is a fairly recent phenomenon in Finland. The Comb Ware sherds from 3900-3300 B.C. contained residue that indicated a hunting-fishing-foraging economy, with marine lipids being the most common. However, the Corded Ware sherds from 2500 B.C. contained traces of animal remains and, in the case of the drinking vessels, milk fats. Only one Corded Ware vessel showed traces of marine material, and it apparently had the closest proximity to the sea of all the Corded Ware sherds examined.

The paper also states that:
"The Final ‘Neolithic’ Kiukainen culture, whose ceramic inventory shows similarities with Late Corded Ware and local hunter–fisher–forager ware (Pyheensilta Late Comb Ware), is believed to be a cultural amalgamation emerging locally during a period of climatic deterioration [20 (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1791/20140819.full#ref-20),32 (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1791/20140819.full#ref-32)]. While the low number of residues recovered makes interpretation preliminary, this intriguingly appears mirrored in the pottery residues, because the fatty acid stable carbon isotope values fall along a mixing line between ruminant and non-ruminant/marine products."

And:

"Finally, residues from Early Metal Age pottery (ca 1200–500 BC) all derived from dairy fats. Increasing population size despite the continuing climatic deterioration of the Late Holocene is believed to have arisen from the intensification of agriculture by the later Metal Ages which overcame environmental constraints upon population size. Certainly, such a scenario of established stock-rearing would be supported by the prevalence of dairy fats in the pots."

So, when we try to determine why lactose tolerance is so common among Finns, it seems to me that one factor is that lactose has been consumed by Finns for a very long time, contrary to what some people have assumed. Using lactose regularly promotes lactose tolerance.

FrankN
01-08-14, 02:35
A well readable and highly interesting essay:
https://cuwhist.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/europe-the-bull-and-the-minotaur-the-biological-legacy-of-a-neolithic-love-story.pdf.


The peak distribution of lactase persistence matches an area also showing the highest diversity of cattle milk genes. Notably, this region corresponds to the land of the Neolithic farmers of the Funnel Beaker Culture from the third millennium BC suggesting a remarkable gene-culture co-evolution. (..)
From a purely nutritional side it is therefore not clear why such an extremely strong selective advantage is conferred by the lactase persistence phenotype. However, this mutation is characteristic for cultures that share the traits of animal domestication and adult milk consumption. Pastoralist populations in Africa also display the lactase persistence phenotype (90% in Tutsi, 50% in Fulani), they likewise show haplotype homozygosity extending for > 2 Mb around the lactase gene. The changes are again point mutations in the lactase enhancer region, but they are molecularly distinct from those found in European people (G/C-14010, T/G-13915, C/G-13907) (Tishkoff et al., 2007). We have here a remarkable case for convergent adaptive evolution. Is it possible that the lactase-associated haplotype is adaptive for something else in addition to fresh milk digestion? Might it confer protection against infection like another sugar-degrading enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, against malaria? (..)
The close contact between domesticated animals and the farmers created problems: humans were in too close contact with sick animals and trans-species infections became much more likely. The hunter met his prey only at distance and when he could touch the prey, the animal was already dead. All the mechanisms, which microbes induced in the infected host to assure their transmission like sneezing, coughing or diarrhoea are not any longer operative in the dead animal. The farmer probably also discovered quite early the value of animal dung for burning and as fertilizer on the field, which recycles animal pathogens into the human food chain. We can thus safely anticipate that the early farming society was plagued by new diseases (Diamond, 1997). Zoonosis was feeding new pathogens into the human population (Weiss, 2001).
Notably, important human pathogens, which happen to belong to the most transmissible agents like measles and smallpox, have their closest relatives in viruses from domesticated animals. Sequence analysis revealed that measles, which today circulates exclusively in the human population, is a close relative of rinderpest virus of cattle and the Peste des petits ruminants virus of sheep and goat (all belong to the morbillivirus group of paramyxoviruses) (Griffin, 2001; Lamb and Kolakofsky, 2001). If viruses had co-evolved with their hosts during evolution, we would expect the closest relatives of measles virus in paramyxoviruses of primates. In the morbillivirus group only a Tupaiavirus is known, but the systematic attribution of tupaias (tree shrews) to the primates is disputed (some zoologists classify them with the insectivores). (..)
The close relationship of smallpox (variola) virus (Moss, 2001) with the cowpox virus permitted one of the biggest success stories of medicine. Milkmaids who had acquired cowpox were resistant to smallpox. Based on this observation, Jenner developed modern vaccination by inoculating cowpox lesion material into humans. The very name vaccination recalls the cow (Latin vacca) and underlines again the close relationship between a human and a bovine virus. The precise origin of the vaccinia virus is not known. In fact smallpox seems to have emerged perhaps 5000 years ago presumably from wild animals like rodents (Esposito et al., 2006). Cattle are only an intermediate host. However, this does not change the argument. Rats and mice, attracted by the cereal stores of the early farmers, belong as a pest also to the undesired content list of the Neolithic package like fleas and lice. The closest existing relative of smallpox is camelpox, but this does not go against the argument either since camel bedouins also have developed lactase persistence characterizing them as members of the dairy cultures. After the eradication of smallpox, cases looking like smallpox have been traced to monkeypox, demonstrating ongoing trans-species infection and a possible reservoir independent of dairy animals.

Another paper that I have read (unfortunately not bookmarked) notes the paucity of Mesolithic HG remains in certain entrance areas of EEF (e.g. parts of Italy, Bohemia), and speculates on an "American" scenario, whereby some early "scouts" had transmitted yet unknown diseases onto the "natives". The paper also notes that certain areas, notably Iberia, withstood Neolithic immigration for a sustained period. Since bats are a common disease reservoir, as demonstrated by SARS or Ebola, the theory was put forward that cave-dwelling HG populations had already received immunity from occasional contact with bats, and thus could withstand (some of) the EEFs infectious pressure
In this sense, one could also speculate that HGs in the North European plain had built up resistance against certain diseases. Note that Bad Segeberg in Schleswig-Holstein has the highest European bat population today, though (migratory) birds, including geese, are also a relevant virus reservoir. So, NW Europeans might already have been immunised (probably including some genetic selection process) against certain potentially cattle-transmitted diseases - a trait new entrants from the Balkan lacked. Or, alternatively, bush and forest cleaning drove bats closer to farm-sites, where they encountered cattle (typically grazing in open forests), and spread their diseases via them to the farmers. Mesolithic HGs along the North and Baltic Sea are known to have cultivated hazelnut, so squirrels are an alternative potential disease vector. Smallpox, which are supposed to have originated from rodents, could particularly be of an issue here.

LeBrok
01-08-14, 04:19
A well readable and highly interesting essay:
https://cuwhist.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/europe-the-bull-and-the-minotaur-the-biological-legacy-of-a-neolithic-love-story.pdf.



Another paper that I have read (unfortunately not bookmarked) notes the paucity of Mesolithic HG remains in certain entrance areas of EEF (e.g. parts of Italy, Bohemia), and speculates on an "American" scenario, whereby some early "scouts" had transmitted yet unknown diseases onto the "natives". The paper also notes that certain areas, notably Iberia, withstood Neolithic immigration for a sustained period. Since bats are a common disease reservoir, as demonstrated by SARS or Ebola, the theory was put forward that cave-dwelling HG populations had already received immunity from occasional contact with bats, and thus could withstand (some of) the EEFs infectious pressure
In this sense, one could also speculate that HGs in the North European plain had built up resistance against certain diseases. Note that Bad Segeberg in Schleswig-Holstein has the highest European bat population today, though (migratory) birds, including geese, are also a relevant virus reservoir. So, NW Europeans might already have been immunised (probably including some genetic selection process) against certain potentially cattle-transmitted diseases - a trait new entrants from the Balkan lacked. Or, alternatively, bush and forest cleaning drove bats closer to farm-sites, where they encountered cattle (typically grazing in open forests), and spread their diseases via them to the farmers. Mesolithic HGs along the North and Baltic Sea are known to have cultivated hazelnut, so squirrels are an alternative potential disease vector. Smallpox, which are supposed to have originated from rodents, could particularly be of an issue here.
I don't think "American" scenario makes much sense in Europe. Europe never was disconnected and insulated from the rest of the world, the way America or Australia is. As you know yourself, in Eurasia there was always a trading network between different groups of hunter gatherers or with farmers, therefore "free flow" of new diseases between them. Surely, it didn't work as fast as in modern world but what is a decade or two, just a small delay. At least European HG were not pummeled by barrage of new diseases, as Americans were when Europeans arrived.


There is a mystery though, if it comes to American/Europen first contact. The new diseases should have worked both ways, as Europeans were not immuned much to American strains either. But it didn't work both ways. Could it be a matter of bad luck for American Natives?

FrankN
01-08-14, 05:20
I don't think "American" scenario makes much sense in Europe. Europe never was disconnected and insulated from the rest of the world, the way America or Australia is. As you know yourself, in Eurasia there was always a trading network between different groups of hunter gatherers or with farmers, therefore "free flow" of new diseases between them. Surely, it didn't work as fast as in modern world but what is a decade or two, just a small delay. At least European HG were not pummeled by barrage of new diseases, as Americans were when Europeans arrived.

There is a mystery though, if it comes to American/Europen first contact. The new diseases should have worked both ways, as Europeans were not immuned much to American strains either. But it didn't work both ways. Could it be a matter of bad luck for American Natives?
It comes with farming, The first evidence of animal-related diseases is Tuberculosis identified in remains of 7,000 BC Greek early farmers. Farming populations gradually build up resistance, by means of an intensive selection process (so their population drops, goes up again, drops, etc.), and after some time they are immune but still carry the germs. The biggest killer of all, btw., is still today the flu (via poultry, pigs, but also cattle), but most Europeans now survive it. Native Americans didn't. And by 6,000 BC, HGs were still quite isolated, and met East Mediterranean early farmers that already had gone through 1-2 millenniums of genetically building up resistance.

Europe had "American" moments with the plague, which seems to be endemic around the Himalaya, with the Antonine Plague (probably a henceforth unknown strain of smallpox or measles), most likely also when Malaria was imported into the Mediterranean from Sub-Saharan Africa by migrants (the Anopheles mosquito was probably already around, but it only starts transmitting after it has bitten an infected person).
There is a nice study in German on diseases they identified in Slovakian and East German bronze-age grave fields: Lepra, Syphhillis, Borrelliose / Meningitis, 50% with chronical respiratory infections (possibly also due to the flu), and around 25% with symptoms of arsenic poisoning from working with arsenic bronze, or, especially the women, carrying arsenic bonze necklaces and earrings. Quite a lot of Vitamin B and C shortage as well (actually the first problem encountered by early farmers when they switch to a cereal-based diet, the second one is caries).

America had few domesticized animals, little possibility to build up resistance. There's one exception - the turkey, which was found to be the host of SARS. But the SARS virus is closely related to others that are found in pheasants, cats, mice, rats, and various seagulls, so many Europeans (especially from the coast) might already have had developed some basic resistance. However, compare this to records of the first Europeans travelling to south and south-east Asia ("fewer-hell" etc.).

Read my linked article - its all in there (well, mostly, you can in addition check out Wikipedia pages on various diseases, they typically include a section on history).

FrankN
01-08-14, 05:57
I found that paper again. The "Mesolithic HG disappeared already before massive settlement of EEF" is just the introduction. It's mainly about a special allele,
http://dro.dur.ac.uk/9368/1/9368.pdf

Though some diseases, such as tuberculosis, are observable from archaeological skeletal remains (Roberts & Buikstra 2003), most zoonoses are not so detectable, even by ancient DNA analysis (Barnes & Thomas 2006). There is, nevertheless, evidence of rapid selection for genetic resistance to one or more of these diseases during the last 7000 years or so (Wolfe et al. 2007).
We suggest that a prime genetic candidate for this resistance is CCR5-32, a mutant allele of the CCR5 gene. Normally, this gene encodes the lymphocyte transmembrane coreceptor to which HIV can bind (Dean et al. 1996; Liu et al. 1996), enabling the virus to infect CD4 lymphocytes. In people homozygous for the CCR5-32 allele, however, the truncated CCR5 does not reach the cell surface, thus preventing access to HIV.

The CCR5-32 allele is found in 10–15% of people of Northern European descent and is rare or absent in those of Asian or African descent (O’Brien et al. 2008). Within Europe there is a north to south gradient in its distribution with highest frequencies being found in Finnish and adjacent Russian populations, suggesting that the original mutation producing this allele took place in north-east Europe (Libert et al. 1998). Mesolithic DNA from southern Sweden dates the allele to around 7000 years ago, suggesting it originated in Mesolithic populations, and yet achieved a frequency of 17% in Swedish Neolithic populations (Liden et al. 2006).To increase in frequency so rapidly implies considerable selection pressure. The Early Neolithic was a time of unique new selection pressure; the gene-culture co-evolution of Neolithic subsistence farmers with persistent lactase production enabling lactose tolerance occurred through strong selection for the T-13910 allele that exists among most modern Europeans, but which was negligible amongst the earliest Neolithic Europeans (Burger et al. 2007; Itan et al. 2010).
Among the diseases CCR5-32 allele may originally have conferred resistance against, HIV-1 is an unlikely candidate because it is thought to have originated in early twentieth century Central Africa (Korber et al. 2000; Vidal et al. 2000). However, CCR5-32 may also protect against pox viruses that, like HIV, gain entry to leucocytes by using chemokine receptors (Lalani et al. 1999).Galvani and Slatkin (2003) suggested that children, being immunologically naiıve, were more likely to be killed by smallpox, which selected against those without the protective CCR5-32 allele, thus increasing its frequency in populations.

If diseases such as smallpox had been brought to Europe via Neolithic spread, it would be ironic if LBK populations gained CCR5-32 frequency through intermarriage with certain north European Mesolithic groups, who were already carriers of the CCR5-32 allele (Liden et al. 2006). This could explain the relative survival of some Mesolithic groups while others, lacking both CCR5-32 and the more general resistance of Neolithic groups, perished.

A nice and short overview on farming and health is here:
http://riversong.wordpress.com/health-impacts-of-a-grain-based-agriculture/
http://riversong.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/evolutionary-detour.jpg

And a good Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_history_of_viruses

LeBrok
01-08-14, 09:54
It comes with farming, The first evidence of animal-related diseases is Tuberculosis identified in remains of 7,000 BC Greek early farmers. Farming populations gradually build up resistance, by means of an intensive selection process (so their population drops, goes up again, drops, etc.), and after some time they are immune but still carry the germs. The biggest killer of all, btw., is still today the flu (via poultry, pigs, but also cattle), but most Europeans now survive it. Native Americans didn't. And by 6,000 BC, HGs were still quite isolated, and met East Mediterranean early farmers that already had gone through 1-2 millenniums of genetically building up resistance. I heard that few times but I don't really buy it. Domesticated animals, especially at the beginning of farming, were exactly the same as their wild cousins. HG had contact with them all the time and if unlucky they caught infections from them. They were actually infested with parasites all the time; hookworms, brainworms, flatworm, etc. Wild boar was always the favorite food of HG of central europe. I'm sure they didn't need to wait till Neolithic to catch the flu.


Europe had "American" moments with the plague, which seems to be endemic around the Himalaya, with the Antonine Plague (probably a henceforth unknown strain of smallpox or measles), most likely also when Malaria was imported into the Mediterranean from Sub-Saharan Africa by migrants (the Anopheles mosquito was probably already around, but it only starts transmitting after it has bitten an infected person).
There is a nice study in German on diseases they identified in Slovakian and East German bronze-age grave fields: Lepra, Syphhillis, Borrelliose / Meningitis, 50% with chronical respiratory infections (possibly also due to the flu), and around 25% with symptoms of arsenic poisoning from working with arsenic bronze, or, especially the women, carrying arsenic bonze necklaces and earrings. Quite a lot of Vitamin B and C shortage as well (actually the first problem encountered by early farmers when they switch to a cereal-based diet, the second one is caries). I agree, no matter what continent people live on, from time to time a nasty sickness comes and can kills most of the population.

FrankN
02-08-14, 08:22
I heard that few times but I don't really buy it. Domesticated animals, especially at the beginning of farming, were exactly the same as their wild cousins. HG had contact with them all the time and if unlucky they caught infections from them. They were actually infested with parasites all the time; hookworms, brainworms, flatworm, etc. Wild boar was always the favorite food of HG of central europe. I'm sure they didn't need to wait till Neolithic to catch the flu.

Influenza is actually a highly interesting case. It spreads from mammals by aerosols (sneezing), so infection risks from domesticized (living) animals are much higher than from (dead) hunting prey. Mammal viruses can survive outside the body, but on skin at 20°C for only five minutes. Thus, the risk of a south European HG of catching the flu from hunted boar (anyway only the third common prey, far behind Aurochs and deer) is minimal. An Anatolian pig or poultry farmer, OTOH, should have had quite an exposure, especially as poultry feces are also infective and may stay so for several days. Another issue here is that swine is susceptive to both bird and mammal flu, which makes it the perfect vessel for turning one variant into the other one. As such, by the time of spreading to the Central Mediterranean early farmers should already have had quite some infection history.

Survival of mammal influenza viruses outside the body depends on four factors:

Temperature: The cooler, the better. At 0°, the virus can survive up to 30 day, in ice permanently. It is killed at around 60°C.

Humidity: The dryer, the better. In aerosols at 21°C, it can survive over one hour below 40% humidity, less than half an hour at 70% humidity.
UV radiation: Though I haven't read details, higher levels of UV radiation also appear to reduce survival times.
Medium/ surface: In sweetwater (22°) it can survive more than 4 days, 2-4 days on smooth surfaces (plastics, steel), 8-12 hours on textiles or paper, and only 5 minutes on skin (that may also be temperature-related, though).

For these reasons, flu epidemics mostly occur during late autumn/ winter in moderate to cold climate zones. Vitamin D, production of which is stimulated by sunlight, seems to protect against influenza, and may be another factor for seasonal variation in infection.

The main virus reservoir appear to be birds, especially waterfowl and gulls, from where it may have spread to other fowl (chicken, turkey etc.). Alternatively, deer and horses are considered (German research from 1980 found antibodies against a specific strain in wild deer, which predate corresponding human and swine infections later that year). Seals and bats appear to have similar recombination abilities as swine/boar. Aside from the aforementioned, relevant secondary hosts include whales, reindeer, sheep, goat, camels, dogs/ wolves, bears, ferrets / polecats, marten, minks, raccoons, possibly also squirrels.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/science/flu-that-leapt-from-birds-to-seals-is-studied-for-human-threat.html?_r=0
As such, I agree that north Eurasian HGs most likely had caught the flu, and developed some immunity from it, already before the entrance of early farmers. Climate is one factor here, the other one is the reliance on seal, deer, reindeer and wild horses as hunting prey. Moreover, North Eurasian HGs may have picked up flu viruses from seal-infected brackish water (Baltic Sea!), or from ice (igloo construction etc.). Domestication of wolves/ dogs as hunting or traction animals should also be considered. In fact, north Eurasian HGs' exposition, immunity and transmission potential should have been substantially higher than that of EEFs.

The human defence against influenza is based on various antibodies that are produced in plasma cells, but also included in the mother milk to provide the infant with basic protection as long as its own immune system is still building up. In 2012, a specific antibody (FI16) that effectively blocks the cell entry of all the 16 influenza strains currently known has been isolated from a human blood donor. Another such antibody, CR6261, protective against 50% of influenza strains including the "Spanish Flu", was in 2010 successfully tested on ferrets. The distribution of the European polecat, from which ferrets were domesticated, may give an indication where that antibody originated genetically (see Wikipedia map below). I tend to say that we can exclude EEF and steppe populations from the list. No detail is given on the individuals from whom the antibodies were extracted, but both finds were reported by a Dutch research team. Details are included in the following report - maybe someone who is more into the details of genetics than I am can extract further information (responsible SNPs, etc.) from it.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2596486/#pone.0003942.s001
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Mustela_putorius_distribution.svg/411px-Mustela_putorius_distribution.svg.png

Now, let's get back to the OT. Lactose tolerance enables adult humans to take up antibodies from other mammals' milk. For influenza, cow milk is not an issue, but reindeer, horse and goat milk could be relevant. Nevertheless, drinking cow milk could enhance protection against other, cow based diseases such as pox and measles.
Moreover, mother milk, and afterwards (to the extent it can be digested) cow milk include the highest concentration of sialic acids found in human food. Sialic acids have multiple functions in the human body, including stimulating brain growth and supporting neural transmission. They are also making up the outer part of cell membranes. Many infective organisms, including influenza viruses, but also Botulinum, Tetanus and Cholera toxins, bond themselves to those sialic acids in order to be able to release the toxine and virus RNA, respectively, into the host cell. Influenza viruses later on release a special enzyme, neuramidase, to cleave that bond in order for the replicated viruses being released and allowed to spread further.
The mechanism is used by a number of popular flu medicaments such as Tamiflu, which essentially flood the body with synthetic sialic acids. This makes it more difficult for influenza viruses to identify cells - instead they bond to the free-floating sialic acids, and can be neutralised by lymphocytes. Moreover, the presence of free-floating sialic acids is inhibiting release of fresh viruses from the cells they are bond to. For its comparatively high sialic acid content, intake of fresh milk has essentially the same effect. One litre of fresh cow milk contains 220-300 mg of sialic acids, the bio-active content of Tamiflu (which is re-synthesized in the liver) is around 60 mg per capsule. The benefit isn't restricted to fresh milk - certain milk products, e.g. paneer, also include substantial amounts of sialic acids, while the content decreases substantially in yoghurt, cheese and especially butter (the sialic acids appear to concentrate in the whey).
Note that not all of the 43 types of sialic acids are beneficiary. One variant, N-Glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5GC), has been demonstrated to cause immune response and promote cancer cell growth, though most humans appear to have developed antibodies which allow for a limited intake and digestion (150 mg/day on a single occasion, no further tests done due to ethical / health considerations). Neu5GC is especially found in red meat, eggs, and goat milk and cheese, but also present in cow milk (1% of total sialic acid content). Thus, technically, flu protection comparable to one Tamiflu capsule can also be obtained by eating 450g of pork, 750g of beef fat, a kilo of lean beef, or 800g chicken meat per day. Aside from the fact that the first three possibilities should significantly increase cancer risk, consuming a quarter litre of cow milk daily might be the most easily achievable way for EEF to enhance their flu resistance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sialic_acids
http://www.ijabpt.com/pdf/57048-V.M.Biju%20(1).pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC218710/

Bottom lines & conclusions:

For climatic and nutritional reasons (seal, reindeer), North Eurasian populations are likely to have been earliest and most intensively affected by influenza;
The resulting process of genetic adaptation may among others have promoted lactose tolerance, which substantially increases influenza resistance. Rather than cow-herders, reindeer herders could have been the first group that effectively benefitted from the new genetic trait. Given that reindeer are also affected by small pox, it is probably no coincidence that pox resistance (CCR5-32 allele, see my previous post) has the highest prevalence in Finnish and adjacent Russian populations.
Lactose tolerance became widespread when cattle-based farming reached northern Europe with the Funnelbeaker culture.
Influenza prevalence in already reasonably resistant (pre-) Funnelbeaker populations should have promoted substantial influenza epidemics in less-resistant cultures further south, especially during the epi-Rössen and epi-Lengyel (Schöningen) phase (4,100-3,800 BC) when the contact intensified. These should primarily have been equestrian / maritime strains (H7N7, H3N3, H3N8) yet mostly unknown to central European farmers. The latter may of course have "paid back" with swine flu (H1N1, H3N2), but since the H1N1 strain also occurs with deer, Funnelbeaker people might have been already prepared.

LeBrok
05-08-14, 09:40
Influenza is actually a highly interesting case. It spreads from mammals by aerosols (sneezing), so infection risks from domesticized (living) animals are much higher than from (dead) hunting prey. Mammal viruses can survive outside the body, but on skin at 20°C for only five minutes. Thus, the risk of a south European HG of catching the flu from hunted boar (anyway only the third common prey, far behind Aurochs and deer) is minimal. An Anatolian pig or poultry farmer, OTOH, should have had quite an exposure, especially as poultry feces are also infective and may stay so for several days. Another issue here is that swine is susceptive to both bird and mammal flu, which makes it the perfect vessel for turning one variant into the other one. As such, by the time of spreading to the Central Mediterranean early farmers should already have had quite some infection history.There is no doubt that catching flu from killed animals is minimal, however it still can occur occasionally from bodily fluids during butchering. Giving thousands of years of hunting wild boar and wild birds and catching occasional flu gave HG some immunity to this pathogen.


For these reasons, flu epidemics mostly occur during late autumn/ winter in moderate to cold climate zones. Vitamin D, production of which is stimulated by sunlight, seems to protect against influenza, and may be another factor for seasonal variation in infection. Since taking vitamin D supplements I can attest to fewer flu cases and if infected having much milder symptoms.


As such, I agree that north Eurasian HGs most likely had caught the flu, and developed some immunity from it, already before the entrance of early farmers. Climate is one factor here, the other one is the reliance on seal, deer, reindeer and wild horses as hunting prey. Moreover, North Eurasian HGs may have picked up flu viruses from seal-infected brackish water (Baltic Sea!), or from ice (igloo construction etc.). Domestication of wolves/ dogs as hunting or traction animals should also be considered. In fact, north Eurasian HGs' exposition, immunity and transmission potential should have been substantially higher than that of EEFs.
My take on this would be that EEF could have brought intensity and faster mutation of pathogens due to much higher population density and closeness and interaction of various domesticated animals. Although these new strains affected them and surrounding HGs equally, HGs might have not been exposed to all of them (living far away), later paying higher consequences being attacked by completely (for them) new strains, unlike EEF.






For climatic and nutritional reasons (seal, reindeer), North Eurasian populations are likely to have been earliest and most intensively affected by influenza;
The resulting process of genetic adaptation may among others have promoted lactose tolerance, which substantially increases influenza resistance. Rather than cow-herders, reindeer herders could have been the first group that effectively benefitted from the new genetic trait. Given that reindeer are also affected by small pox, it is probably no coincidence that pox resistance (CCR5-32 allele, see my previous post) has the highest prevalence in Finnish and adjacent Russian populations.

Good thinking. Flue could have accelerated faster spreading of lactose persistent gene.



Influenza prevalence in already reasonably resistant (pre-) Funnelbeaker populations should have promoted substantial influenza epidemics in less-resistant cultures further south, especially during the epi-Rössen and epi-Lengyel (Schöningen) phase (4,100-3,800 BC) when the contact intensified. These should primarily have been equestrian / maritime strains (H7N7, H3N3, H3N8) yet mostly unknown to central European farmers. The latter may of course have "paid back" with swine flu (H1N1, H3N2), but since the H1N1 strain also occurs with deer, Funnelbeaker people might have been already prepared.
Interesting thought. EEF and HG would have been attacked by same strains with different intensity according to genetic immunity of both groups. The most important questions would be how often both groups were decimated by really bad cases of flu? Once in generation, once in 100 years or even more rarely?

FrankN
05-08-14, 19:19
Thanks for your extensive reply, LeBrok. A few comments:

There is no doubt that catching flu from killed animals is minimal, however it still can occur occasionally from bodily fluids during butchering. Giving thousands of years of hunting wild boar and wild birds and catching occasional flu gave HG some immunity to this pathogen.
Direct human infection from birds is rare, though there have been a few cases reported from workers on large chicken farms and chicken slaughterhouses, but none of the European cases spread that flu further to other humans. Conversion from bird to human flu in general needs a mammal vessel. So far, pigs, seals and bats are proven to have acted as such a vessel, dogs at least seem to have the potential, and I personally think more research on rodents, especially squirrels, is required in this respect.

It's not clear whether pig/boar were original hosts, or only became so with the spread of agriculture. Equestrian flu isn't well researched, but the one and only study that I have seen, from Germany in 1980, had 11 out of 20 deer samples showing antibodies to in total 3 different flu strains, one of which later spread to humans (via horses?). HGs catching the flu when butchering deer is of course a possibility, but when the deer is already dead, and outside temperatures are above freezing, the risk is rather minimal. I think the main issue for HGs in warmer climates is caves (cool, dry, no sunlight) and bats (which also aren't well researched for their flu reservoir and transmission potential). And, in fact, cave-dwelling Mesolithic Europeans appear to have been quite resilient to the spread of EEFs (and their diseases?) - Iberia / SW France is a point in case here.


My take on this would be that EEF could have brought intensity and faster mutation of pathogens due to much higher population density and closeness and interaction of various domesticated animals. Although these new strains affected them and surrounding HGs equally, HGs might have not been exposed to all of them (living far away), later paying higher consequences being attacked by completely (for them) new strains, unlike EEF.

EEF and HG would have been attacked by same strains with different intensity according to genetic immunity of both groups. The most important questions would be how often both groups were decimated by really bad cases of flu? Once in generation, once in 100 years or even more rarely?
I will comment on this in more detail I the thread related to the recent Brotherton study on Neolithic population exchange in the Elbe-Saale region, which actually inspired me to look deeper into the possible effect of diseases on the haplogroup composition.
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30209-European-mtDNA-Signature-Established-in-the-Mid-Neolithic?p=435557&viewfull=1#post435557

However, here my current line of thinking as concerns NHG:
From 5,500 BC on, the Baltic Sea became flooded from the west, around 4,500 BC the former sweetwater lake had turned brackish. Seals immigrated from the North Sea and quickly became the main food source along the SW Baltic coast (25-40 % of all animal bones, second only to deer). Given that seals are potent flu conversion vessels, and flu viruses can survive much longer in brackish than in saltwater, Ertebolle culture HGs should have gained substantial exposition to new strains [Under a "out of Doggerland" scenario, one might assume that Ertebolle populations had already gained substantial seal flu resistance much earlier,.]
Hazelnut was cultivated around Ertebolle settlements, as food, but also as the branches were used for various devices such as fish traps. This should have increased exposition to (flu-bearing) rodents. The same applies to attested rasp- and blackberry cultivation, and flu-bearing bats. Several late Ertebolle settlements on the Danish isles show substantial shares (~30%) of bones of fur-bearing animals (another known source of flu infections), apparently hunted for their pelts. Dogs typically make up for 1-4% of all mammal bones. Dog burials together with their "master" are known from some Ertebolle sites (Skateholm), quite common in Funnelbeaker graves, and the tradition appears to have continued uninterruptedly to early Medieval Saxon graves. As such it is fair to assume that the Ertebolle culture had already domesticized dogs. Genetic analysis of excavated pig bones shows that from 4,700 BC on, the Ertebolle culture did not any more rely exclusively on boar, but had imported domesticated pigs (Anatolian DNA) from the south, and was most likely raising them systematically. In short, latest by the mid-5th milennium BC the Ertebolle culture had assembled an impressive package of substantial exposition to almost all known influenza hosts.
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/130827/ncomms3348/full/ncomms3348.html
http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/1712/5/chapter_4.pdf

Flu infections are difficult to trace from the Ertebolle archaeological record, as most sites were only used for a limited period before they became submerged by the rising Baltic Sea. Nevertheless, Scandinavia witnessed at least two periods of volcanic winters around 4,500-4350 BC, and it would be a miracle if those hadn't caused flu epidemics. A rapid cooling sets in in Scandinavia around 4,100 BC, contemporarily with the transition to the Funnelbeaker culture, which is described as quick in the south (Mecklenburg/ Holstein), abrupt in the north (Jutland), but as subtle blend-over in Southern Sweden. Demic expansion is genetically proven, but there is no evidence of violent conflict associated to it. Did a (swine) flu epidemic pave the way for EEF on the Cimbrian peninsula, but not make it across the Öresund?

Aside from swine import, there are other indications of regular contact between the Ertebolle culture and LBK/ Rössen further south, The oldest "Ertebolle"-pottery found (Schlamersdorf near Bad Segeberg) dates to around 5,000 BC, has apparently been produced in the Rhineland, and corresponds date-wise to the earliest imported amber found there. Flint adzes and, less frequently, axes were imported from the Harz and Silesia during the 5th millennium BC, a few copper items (Slovakia) have also been found at Ertebolle sites. There has also been cultural interchange between SW Sweden and the Narva culture in Lithuania and Latvia, e.g. Swedish flint sickles apparently produced for export across the Baltic Sea during the 5th millennium BC. Locally produced Ertebolle ceramic has several parallels to Narva culture ceramic, both in ornamental design and in function (blubber lamps). Moreover, cereal imprints have occasionally (5 times) been found on Ertebolle sherds, interpreted as signs of grain import across the Baltic Sea.
http://what-when-how.com/ancient-europe/transition-to-agriculture-in-northern-europe-transition-to-agriculture-70004000-b-c/

Whether these contacts were intensive enough to disseminate "northern" influenza strains to EEF further south may be debated. Aside from humans, boar may have served as transmission channel. Domesticized pigs were commonly left grazing in open oak forests, and there is genetic evidence of substantial incorporation of European boar DNA into the originally Anatolian swine gene pool. In any case, interaction intensified during the Funnelbeaker period. Around 4,000-3,700 BC, Central Europe experienced a cold and dry phase, during which EEF should at latest have gotten the flu. The Brotherton study documents a massive genetic break around this period in the Elbe-Saale region: mtDNA H subclades of near eastern origin, which dominate the LBK and Rössen samples, get extinct, to be later replaced by subclades that are today mainly West Atlantic (H3, H4) or (south-)east European (H2, H5, H6, H10).
Another study comes to the same result with respect to mtDNA U5 EEF: Outside the basal clade, only one out of nine early Neolithic sub-clades made it to the late Neolithic. Obviously, NHG (Funnelbeaker) U5b wasn't concerned, otherwise they wouldn't have become the dominating mtDNA haplogroup in the Elbe-Saale region during the late third millennium BC Bernburg culture (though U5b may have had other health issues, which subsequently affected its frequency).

Coming back to the OT: The Funnelbeaker itself, and associated ceramic innovations such as the first jugs, point to a drink-based culture. Aside from fresh milk, beer might of course also be considered, but cattle herding appears to have predated systematic cereal production by several centuries. As one paper puts it:
http://www.uni-kiel.de/ufg/bereiche/dateienJMueller/ber_rgk_89_mueller.pdf

A combination of flat-based Gatersleben elements [Elbe-Saale] and funnel-necked Michelsberg types [Rhine-Weser] should have resulted in funnel beakers

Add to this the world's most renowned dairy cow breed, the Holstein-Frisian, and the area where lactose tolerance matured (though not necessarily originated) becomes clear. Holstein Frisians have "only" been bred systematically for some two millennia, but they represent a combination of the original Anatolian/ LBK cattle )mtDNA T3), with Italian / Alpine Aurochs (mtDNA T*) crossed in via Bavarian breeds. Their yDNA is exclusively Anatolian Y1.
http://www.pnas.org/content/103/21/8113.full#T1
http://www.pnas.org/content/103/21/8113/F2.large.jpg

LeBrok
06-08-14, 06:16
Thanks for your extensive reply, LeBrok. A few comments: Lol, if mine is extensive your's has to be called colossal and exhaustive. I wish I had more time to indulge in my hobby these days.
Your posts are always full of knowledge, well written and easy to follow, and I read them with great interest.

Forgive me if I don't elaborate on all points from lack of time.



Dog burials together with their "master" are known from some Ertebolle sites (Skateholm), quite common in Funnelbeaker graves, and the tradition appears to have continued uninterruptedly to early Medieval Saxon graves. As such it is fair to assume that the Ertebolle culture had already domesticized dogs. According to newest finds on dogs, their domestication can go back as far as 30 thousand years in Europe.
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/29250-Dogs-domesticated-over-20-thousands-years-ago-in-Europe




Whether these contacts were intensive enough to disseminate "northern" influenza strains to EEF further south may be debated. Aside from humans, boar may have served as transmission channel. Domesticized pigs were commonly left grazing in open oak forests, and there is genetic evidence of substantial incorporation of European boar DNA into the originally Anatolian swine gene pool. In any case, interaction intensified during the Funnelbeaker period. Around 4,000-3,700 BC, Central Europe experienced a cold and dry phase, during which EEF should at latest have gotten the flu. The Brotherton study documents a massive genetic break around this period in the Elbe-Saale region: mtDNA H subclades of near eastern origin, which dominate the LBK and Rössen samples, get extinct, to be later replaced by subclades that are today mainly West Atlantic (H3, H4) or (south-)east European (H2, H5, H6, H10).
Another study comes to the same result with respect to mtDNA U5 EEF: Outside the basal clade, only one out of nine early Neolithic sub-clades made it to the late Neolithic. Obviously, NHG (Funnelbeaker) U5b wasn't concerned, otherwise they wouldn't have become the dominating mtDNA haplogroup in the Elbe-Saale region during the late third millennium BC Bernburg culture (though U5b may have had other health issues, which subsequently affected its frequency).
Mitochondria is an energy generator of every cell. Therefore I have a feeling that changeover of MtDNA in the cold phase in Europe went towards MtDNA which could produce more heat in the body. Other words, some MtDNA which came with farmers from Near East didn't survive when European climate turned cold. To forefront came many native ones found among local HGs.
It is just my supposition based on own observation of people around. Some like winter but sweat profusely in summer. Some love summer and freeze terribly in winter. (adjusted for body size) And I think it has a lot to do with mitochondria.



Add to this the world's most renowned dairy cow breed, the Holstein-Frisian, and the area where lactose tolerance matured (though not necessarily originated) becomes clear. Holstein Frisians have "only" been bred systematically for some two millennia, but they represent a combination of the original Anatolian/ LBK cattle )mtDNA T3), with Italian / Alpine Aurochs (mtDNA T*) crossed in via Bavarian breeds. Their yDNA is exclusively Anatolian Y1.
http://www.pnas.org/content/103/21/8113.full#T1

Cool map. Did they say something how they compare autosomally?

FrankN
06-08-14, 15:31
Cool map. Did they say something how they compare autosomally?
No, they just looked at cattle mtDNA (I took the yDNA info from another page). Nevertheless, their study was interesting enough. It showed, a.o.:

Aside from the British Aurochs, which is a different genus, there have been at least 2 Italian kinds of Aurochs, one possibly with a previously unknown additional T subclade, the other one with an ancient mutation of T3. Further "northern" varieties may show up when bones are screened systematically.
For Italian cattle breeds, some intermixture of Anatolian domesticates with local Aurochs has been proven. For many other European cattle breeds, intermixture is likely. This implies that a lot of the "wild vs. domesticized" analysis of Mesolithic/ Neolithic bone remains needs review. Older genetic screening just recognised the British, but not the South European T3 Aurochs as wild. Phylogenic screening may have mistaken in-bred Aurochs features into domesticates as indication of wild Aurochs, or vice versa. Actually, we could ultimately end up with a somewhat different geographical distinction between EEF and HGs, especially in Italy, Iberia and around the Alps.
North African cattle is almost exclusively T1, with high internal diversity. Independent domestication is possible. In any case, North Africa has a pastoralist and breeding history that is quite different from Europe.
Presence of North African T1 on the north Mediterranean coast indicates trans-Mediterranean cattle shipment (most likely accompanied by human migration). Respective signs are particularly strong in Iberia, and can, from their ancient DNA analysis, be at least traced back to the Bronze Age.
Different ratios of the Anatolian T2/T3 mix should reflect different Neolithisation paths. A maritime path from Anatolia to Greece, central Italy, Southern France and Southern Spain is clearly distinguishable. In addition, there seem to have been at least two continental waves - one "pure T3" one via Thrakia into NW Europe and the Alps, and a mixed one on the western Pontic shore that unfortunately cannot be traced further into Eastern Europe. Both waves appear to have crossed path and intermixed on the middle Danube. T* intermixture may reflect in-breeding of Aurochs, or have been part of the original Neolithic package that was enhanced in some local breeds (note that most Italian Aurochs had T3 and is thus not distinguishable at this hg level).

It is actually a fascinating and promising approach that may potentially tell us a lot about the spread of farming and associated population movements.

LeBrok
06-08-14, 17:55
It is actually a fascinating and promising approach that may potentially tell us a lot about the spread of farming and associated population movements. Yes, this is amazing. Soon we'll know more about their cattle than they did.

FrankN
07-08-14, 18:16
Mitochondria is an energy generator of every cell. Therefore I have a feeling that changeover of MtDNA in the cold phase in Europe went towards MtDNA which could produce more heat in the body. Other words, some MtDNA which came with farmers from Near East didn't survive when European climate turned cold. To forefront came many native ones found among local HGs.
It is just my supposition based on own observation of people around. Some like winter but sweat profusely in summer. Some love summer and freeze terribly in winter. (adjusted for body size) And I think it has a lot to do with mitochondria.
That may indeed have been an issue. Digestion efficiency is another one: Farmers in moderate climate zones need to cope with increased seasonal fluctuation in food supply, and there is the occasional crop failure resulting in a hunger winter. Some starve, other survive, depending on how effectively the body can build up reserves and use the few calories that are available [Later on, social status, which is closely linked to body height as proven from bronze-age graves, becomes also important, but that might be more of an yDNA issue].

The role of Mitochondria even goes far beyond. Essentially, it controls which substances are allowed to enter which cells, and that covers nutrients as well as pathogens. So, the whole immune system is strongly shaped by mtDNA. For example, recent research has yielded that susceptibility to HIV/AIDS, but also diabetes risk, varies considerably between mtDNA haplogroups. Haplogroup U, and especially U5, e.g., has been found to bear greater risk of diabetes, liver cirrhosis and capturing liver-related diseases like hepatitis. While detailed mechanisms aren't understood yet, this is all linked to digestion of starch, sugar and lipids. Considering that U5 is the classical European HG haplogroup, it seems plausible that digesting starch-based food(cereals) is working less well with them than with typical EEF HGs like, e.g., H / HV (low risk of cardio-vascular and liver diseases). mtDNA X, another EEF hg, has in some studies found to be associated with high body-mass and body-fat indexes - historically a good trait to survive food shortages, though maybe less desirable today.
http://www.aidsreviews.com/files/2013_15_4_213-220.pdf (I don't understand the technical details either, but a look at the headlines is nevertheless informative)

There are clearly trade-offs between the advantages and disadvantages of specific immunological traits:
http://www.pnas.org/content/104/42/16645.full

Infectious diseases exert a constant evolutionary pressure on the genetic makeup of our innate immune system. Polymorphisms in Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) have been related to susceptibility to Gram-negative infections and septic shock. Here we show that two polymorphisms of TLR4, Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile, have unique distributions in populations from Africa, Asia, and Europe. Genetic and functional studies are compatible with a model in which the nonsynonymous polymorphism Asp299Gly has evolved as a protective allele against malaria, explaining its high prevalence in subSaharan Africa. However, the same allele could have been disadvantageous after migration of modern humans into Eurasia, putatively because of increased susceptibility to severe bacterial infections. In contrast, the Asp299Gly allele, when present in cosegregation with Thr399Ile to form the Asp299Gly/Thr399Ile haplotype, shows selective neutrality. Polymorphisms in TLR4 exemplify how the interaction between our innate immune system and the infectious pressures in particular environments may have shaped the genetic variations and function of our immune system during the out-of-Africa migration of modern humans.

I have in a previous post mentioned the CCR5-Δ32 allele, which is highly protective against AIDS/HIV and (cattle-related) smallpox. I have come across a paper that analyses its current distribution:
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0030339
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0030339.g001/originalimage
They first tried to explain the distribution by homogenous spreading from a Ferroscandian origin. While such model works technically, it yields a far too young age of the mutation (700-3500 years) which in the meantime has been identified to have been present with Swedish HGs 7,000 years ago.
Alternatively, they established a model of strong selective pressure working in favour as well as against the mutation. The underlying rationale was that that the CCR5-Δ32 allele blocks mechanisms that are not only used by smallpox and HIV viruses, but also by the human immune system. "Studies with mice show that the CCR5 knock-outs have poor immune response to various pathogene infections". Among others, CCR5 has been found to play a strong role in the immune defence against tetanus and similar bacterial wound infections. They thus assumed that CCR5-Δ32 may actually become disadvantageous in hot climates that promote bacterial infections. A second simulation that included a north-westerly selection gradient in favour of the mutation identified Spain and the eastern Caspian Sea as most likely origins of the mutation. Given that it was yet unknown at the time of their analysis that CCR5-Δ32 was present 7,000 years ago in Sweden, and that their sampling and subsequent modelling spared out Britain, this will probably not be the final word on this mutation.
Still, the study illustrates that the value of specific immunologic traits may differ considerably according to climate and related infection risks. Population movement into other climate zones, and/or climate change, may turn a selection advantage into a disadvantage. To the extent those traits are tied to mtDNA haplogroups, we should expect resulting selection processes being reflected in an increase or decrease of the share of the haplogroups in question. Not all, possibly not even the majority of changes in the mtDNA structure are linked to demic processes.

FrankN
09-08-14, 00:01
Here is another issue that has crossed my mind: A major problem of early farmers (and not only them, it also has been diagnosed among bronze-age populations) was scurvy, i.e. undersupply with vitamin C. Vitamin C content of meat or fish typically ranges around 20mg/kg, which is insufficient to cover the daily demand of 75 mg. Cereals don't contain vitamin C at all. Most vitamin C sources used today (citrus, tomato, red pepper/paprika, potatoes) aren't native to Europe.
In late spring and summer, EEF could cover their vitamin C demand from fruit and berries, especially black currant, elderberry, sea-buckthorn, or rose-hip, provided they were cultivated nearby. But most berries are quickly perishable and don't last until the winter. That leaves mainly apples, cabbage, turnip and beet, possibly also sloe, as vitamin C sources during winter. Modern apples have been bred from Caucasian and Central Asian varieties, and could already have been part of the "Neolithic package". The northern border of their cultivation is approximately the same as for wheat. Cabbage grows wildly in maritime Europe up to at least Helgoland, sea-beet even up to the southern Norwegian coast, and the Swedish turnip occurred wildly in - yes - Sweden. So far, so good - Vitamin C supply shouldn't have been much of a problem for HGs and EEF up to around 60° northern latitude, provided they were aware of their respective demand.
With cattle nomads, be it in northern Scandinavia, or in the Eastern European steppes, the situation is different. Here, lactose tolerance comes in handy. Fresh cow milk contains some 10mg of vitamin C per litre, which isn't enough to satisfy the vitamin C demand during winter, but better than nothing, especially if there is some preserved lingonberry available as additional vitamin C source. Much better is sheep milk (42 mg vitamin C per litre); horse milk even contains 130 mg/ litre! The vitamin C content decreases by some 25% in yoghurt and by much more ih cheese, so being able to consume fresh milk can be quite an advantage for pastoralist nomads and in northern climate zones.

LeBrok
09-08-14, 07:02
Here is another issue that has crossed my mind: A major problem of early farmers (and not only them, it also has been diagnosed among bronze-age populations) was scurvy, i.e. undersupply with vitamin C. Vitamin C content of meat or fish typically ranges around 20mg/kg, which is insufficient to cover the daily demand of 75 mg. Cereals don't contain vitamin C at all. Most vitamin C sources used today (citrus, tomato, red pepper/paprika, potatoes) aren't native to Europe.
In late spring and summer, EEF could cover their vitamin C demand from fruit and berries, especially black currant, elderberry, sea-buckthorn, or rose-hip, provided they were cultivated nearby. But most berries are quickly perishable and don't last until the winter. That leaves mainly apples, cabbage, turnip and beet, possibly also sloe, as vitamin C sources during winter. Modern apples have been bred from Caucasian and Central Asian varieties, and could already have been part of the "Neolithic package". The northern border of their cultivation is approximately the same as for wheat. Cabbage grows wildly in maritime Europe up to at least Helgoland, sea-beet even up to the southern Norwegian coast, and the Swedish turnip occurred wildly in - yes - Sweden. So far, so good - Vitamin C supply shouldn't have been much of a problem for HGs and EEF up to around 60° northern latitude, provided they were aware of their respective demand.
With cattle nomads, be it in northern Scandinavia, or in the Eastern European steppes, the situation is different. Here, lactose tolerance comes in handy. Fresh cow milk contains some 10mg of vitamin C per litre, which isn't enough to satisfy the vitamin C demand during winter, but better than nothing, especially if there is some preserved lingonberry available as additional vitamin C source. Much better is sheep milk (42 mg vitamin C per litre); horse milk even contains 130 mg/ litre! The vitamin C content decreases by some 25% in yoghurt and by much more ih cheese, so being able to consume fresh milk can be quite an advantage for pastoralist nomads and in northern climate zones.
Great point, another plus for explanation of lactose persistence in northern latitudes. Even if crops fail and not many veggies to eat, there is always grass to feed cows to get fresh milk, which includes fats, sugar, proteins and many vitamins. The best miracle comes in winter when is cold and nothing grows to eat. Feed cows dry grass and you will still receive 10 or 20 liters of milk a day.

If it comes to vitamin C there is a huge tradition in central and north Europe to pickle cabbage and cucumbers. I never checked vitamin C value in them, but I have a strong feeling that it was/is the main purpose behind pickling them.

FrankN
13-08-14, 00:24
If it comes to vitamin C there is a huge tradition in central and north Europe to pickle cabbage and cucumbers. I never checked vitamin C value in them, but I have a strong feeling that it was/is the main purpose behind pickling them.
The problem with vitamin C appears to be that it is water soluble and doesn't stand most traditional conservation techniques: Heat it, and its gone (no jams), let it ferment, and its gone (no fruit wine), expose it to vinegar, and its gone (no pickles). There seem to be two exceptions, however: One is Sauerkraut - cabbage not pickled in vinegar, but salted, which makes it ferment in lactic acid. This destroys some of the vitamin C, but preserves part of it. 100g Sauerkraut contain 25mg vitamin C, compared to 40-45 mg in fresh cabbage. However, to stand the lactic acid included in Sauerkraut, you better be lactose tolerant, otherwise it "speeds up" your digestion. So, I guess a Sauerkraut consumption map is also not too bad as indicator of lactase persistence.

The other way to preserve part of the Vitamin C is conserving it in pure alcohol, i.e. preparing liqueurs. For their high vitamin C content (but also as they are quite tasty), black current, sloe and elderberry would be the first choice here. The good old fashioned North German / Danish Rumtopf should work as well. Unfortunately, it seems that distilling technology only entered Europe during the Medieval. It may be that a reasonably strong alcoholic beverage, e.g. strong mead, also does the trick. Beer apparently isn't sufficient, in Belgian Kriek (cherry beer), vitamin C content is reduced to zero.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Rumtopf.jpg/390px-Rumtopf.jpg

But, when it is sufficiently cold outside, the best is probably to store a lot of apples, cabbage and beet underground and regularly add it to your winter diet. And I believe that is what most of Northern and Eastern Europeans have traditionally been doing...

P.S: I have come across another Vitamin C source for the winter: Horseradish - whopping 175mg vitamin C /100g. Eastern Europe, Scandinavia & Baltic Sea, again (plus Bavaria, plus Japan)!

LeBrok
13-08-14, 08:11
The problem with vitamin C appears to be that it is water soluble and doesn't stand most traditional conservation techniques: Heat it, and its gone (no jams), let it ferment, and its gone (no fruit wine), expose it to vinegar, and its gone (no pickles). There seem to be two exceptions, however: One is Sauerkraut - cabbage not pickled in vinegar, but salted, which makes it ferment in lactic acid. This destroys some of the vitamin C, but preserves part of it. 100g Sauerkraut contain 25mg vitamin C, compared to 40-45 mg in fresh cabbage. However, to stand the lactic acid included in Sauerkraut, you better be lactose tolerant, otherwise it "speeds up" your digestion. So, I guess a Sauerkraut consumption map is also not too bad as indicator of lactase persistence.

The other way to preserve part of the Vitamin C is conserving it in pure alcohol, i.e. preparing liqueurs. For their high vitamin C content (but also as they are quite tasty), black current, sloe and elderberry would be the first choice here. The good old fashioned North German / Danish Rumtopf should work as well. Unfortunately, it seems that distilling technology only entered Europe during the Medieval. It may be that a reasonably strong alcoholic beverage, e.g. strong mead, also does the trick. Beer apparently isn't sufficient, in Belgian Kriek (cherry beer), vitamin C content is reduced to zero.


But, when it is sufficiently cold outside, the best is probably to store a lot of apples, cabbage and beet underground and regularly add it to your winter diet. And I believe that is what most of Northern and Eastern Europeans have traditionally been doing...

P.S: I have come across another Vitamin C source for the winter: Horseradish - whopping 175mg vitamin C /100g. Eastern Europe, Scandinavia & Baltic Sea, again (plus Bavaria, plus Japan)!
This is a great info. Yes I meant pickling with sult in a barrel, no vinegar, the traditional way of Northern and Eastern Europeans. I have a great appetite for anything made of cabbage, love pickles and horseradish and ordinary radish too. I'm not a fan of vinegar pickles and can't stand wine vinegar. Generally I like fresh organic veggies and salads, but I can vouch for many men from this part of Europe, they won't touch fresh veggies with exception of sauerkraut and pickles.

Aberdeen
14-08-14, 03:14
The problem with vitamin C appears to be that it is water soluble and doesn't stand most traditional conservation techniques: Heat it, and its gone (no jams), let it ferment, and its gone (no fruit wine), expose it to vinegar, and its gone (no pickles). There seem to be two exceptions, however: One is Sauerkraut - cabbage not pickled in vinegar, but salted, which makes it ferment in lactic acid. This destroys some of the vitamin C, but preserves part of it. 100g Sauerkraut contain 25mg vitamin C, compared to 40-45 mg in fresh cabbage. However, to stand the lactic acid included in Sauerkraut, you better be lactose tolerant, otherwise it "speeds up" your digestion. So, I guess a Sauerkraut consumption map is also not too bad as indicator of lactase persistence.

The other way to preserve part of the Vitamin C is conserving it in pure alcohol, i.e. preparing liqueurs. For their high vitamin C content (but also as they are quite tasty), black current, sloe and elderberry would be the first choice here. The good old fashioned North German / Danish Rumtopf should work as well. Unfortunately, it seems that distilling technology only entered Europe during the Medieval. It may be that a reasonably strong alcoholic beverage, e.g. strong mead, also does the trick. Beer apparently isn't sufficient, in Belgian Kriek (cherry beer), vitamin C content is reduced to zero.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Rumtopf.jpg/390px-Rumtopf.jpg

But, when it is sufficiently cold outside, the best is probably to store a lot of apples, cabbage and beet underground and regularly add it to your winter diet. And I believe that is what most of Northern and Eastern Europeans have traditionally been doing...

P.S: I have come across another Vitamin C source for the winter: Horseradish - whopping 175mg vitamin C /100g. Eastern Europe, Scandinavia & Baltic Sea, again (plus Bavaria, plus Japan)!

When I was growing up in the country, we lived in an old stone farmhouse with one wood stove for heat, and the cellar was of course unheated. We could store cabbages, potatoes and apples down there and they would last for most of the winter. Carrots spoiled more easily, so we would bury them outside in layers of straw, and dig them up a bit at a time. And some fruit, vegetables and meat were stored in the basement in glass jars sealed with wax - probably the same could have been done with ceramic jars. And although we didn't smoke meat in order to store it for the winter, some of our neighbours did. If you live in a cold climate with low technology, you need to be clever about food storage for the winter season, but the cold weather helps to make it easier. Of course, all those old ways are no doubt forgotten, since farmers are much more prosperous now and all have refrigerators, freezers and cars that make it easy to drive into town for shopping.

LeBrok
14-08-14, 07:18
When I was growing up in the country, we lived in an old stone farmhouse with one wood stove for heat, and the cellar was of course unheated. We could store cabbages, potatoes and apples down there and they would last for most of the winter. Carrots spoiled more easily, so we would bury them outside in layers of straw, and dig them up a bit at a time. And some fruit, vegetables and meat were stored in the basement in glass jars sealed with wax - probably the same could have been done with ceramic jars. And although we didn't smoke meat in order to store it for the winter, some of our neighbours did. If you live in a cold climate with low technology, you need to be clever about food storage for the winter season, but the cold weather helps to make it easier. Of course, all those old ways are no doubt forgotten, since farmers are much more prosperous now and all have refrigerators, freezers and cars that make it easy to drive into town for shopping.
In east European villages there was storage in the ground by every house. Small mound of earth with a wooden door . Poor village houses didn't have basements/cellars. Anyway, roughly same idea for cold storage.

FrankN
15-08-14, 16:48
In east European villages there was storage in the ground by every house. Small mound of earth with a wooden door . Poor village houses didn't have basements/cellars. Anyway, roughly same idea for cold storage.
Underground storage pits ere typical for LBK settlements/ houses, and have also been found in many middle and late Neolithic settlements. And the Hallstatt peolpe are known to have stored their meat directly in the salt mine, which had three advantages - they were cool, smoky (from all the fatwood burning), and the air was of course salt-filled. Quite clever!

I have tried to find out whether pickling was already common practice during the Neolithics. Many claim so, but there is little evidence for Northern Europe (though olive pickling around the Mediterranean appears to be quite well documented). The earliest evidence I could find is from Norway from the mid 3rd millennium BC - fishermen had taken pots with a stew/porridge of pickled meat (probably intestines) and unidentified starch sources (nuts?, beets?, cabbage?) with them to their summer fishing, seal- and beaver-hunting camp on the Oslo fjord.
http://www.archaeology.su.se/polopoly_fs/1.172810.1396250697!/menu/standard/file/LA9.Ostmo.Hulthen.Isaksson.pdf

The problem appears to be that lactic acid fermentation, plus subsequent heating (plus a few millennia of depositing in the soil) destroys the cell structure of vegetables to such an extent that their original nature cannot be established anymore. Anyway, I looked around for Neolithic pottery that resembles 20th century pottery for household sauerkraut preparation:
http://www.biber.de/templates/user_page_3300_2/article_pictures/514223B01.JPG

This is what I have found - Austrian LBK:
http://members.aon.at/herbert-preisl/A.A_005_mit.jpg
Definitely not a cooking pot, and rather impractical for storing grain or serving drinking water. In order to be useable for pickling, a container should have low porosity to prevent brine evaporation over time. Whether Central European early Neolithic pottery already was sufficiently water-tight is unclear, but at latest Funnelbeaker pottery (i.e. early Chalcolithic) is documented to have included such vessels.

Aberdeen
15-08-14, 17:49
In east European villages there was storage in the ground by every house. Small mound of earth with a wooden door . Poor village houses didn't have basements/cellars. Anyway, roughly same idea for cold storage.

Some of the farms in the area where I grew up had such storage sheds, usually in addition to cellars - these storage sheds were called root cellars because were mostly used to store root vegetables, such as potatoes and turnips. I forgot about that because we didn't need one - we had a large cellar and it stayed quite cold all winter.

Aberdeen
15-08-14, 17:52
As far as pots are concerned, it's probably difficult to overestimate just how important glazed pottery would have been for survival in a cold or even a temperate climate, anywhere far enough north that crops are seasonal. Without the ability to store food for long periods, survival must have been difficult. Glazed pottery would probably have given late Neolithic and Copper Age people a big advantage as compared to early Neolithic people who only had unglazed pottery.

LeBrok
16-08-14, 02:09
This is what I have found - Austrian LBK:
http://members.aon.at/herbert-preisl/A.A_005_mit.jpg
Definitely not a cooking pot, and rather impractical for storing grain or serving drinking water. In order to be useable for pickling, a container should have low porosity to prevent brine evaporation over time. Whether Central European early Neolithic pottery already was sufficiently water-tight is unclear, but at latest Funnelbeaker pottery (i.e. early Chalcolithic) is documented to have included such vessels.

That's an interesting vessel. I wonder what are the holes at the bottom for? Some sort of carrying ropes for transportation, for a neat hanging contraption, or perhaps to hang it upside down for drying after a wash?
I don't think sealing porous clay containers was a big problem, in absence of glaze. One can moist inside walls with grease or olive oil, any edible hydrophobic substance.

Going back to this vessel above. It might be actually for carrying water from the well or river. The bottom holes are needed for stabilization of the vessel, so it doesn't swing while being carried. It doesn't mean that it couldn't have had a double, or many uses. It might have been the closest thing related to a jar they've used.

Greying Wanderer
24-10-14, 16:31
Mongols are very interesting example of high dairy diet, and surprisingly only being around 30% lactose persistent. (if all the maps are correct).

This is from the trip of Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolai Mikhailovich Przhevalsky in 1870:


Looks like they used to have diet only made of dairy and meat. Makes you think how they manage doing it without being lactose tolerant. Granted they consume most dairy as cheeses and butter, but in quantities they do one would think they should be lactose tolerant.
One explanation is that they must have adequate bacterial flora in their digestive organs to help them deal with all the lactose, or we are missing one more gene or allele taking part in lactose digestion.

If it is about bacterial flora, it would be a good news for people who are not LP but like eating dairy. Start with small quantities of natural products containing good bacteria. With time build up consumption and your good bacterial flora will grow together adequately.

One thought from the Colonel's quote:

"When it comes to "white foods" (anything made from milk), almost everything is heated due to the brucellosis problem within the country."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brucellosis


Needing to always heat milk would limit the benefit of LP so I wonder if that had something to do with it. The lower the risk of Brucellosis (for whatever reason) the more people might drink milk raw and the bigger the benefit from LP?

Greying Wanderer
24-10-14, 17:40
Fascinating posts on this thread re mtdna, LP and connection with disease resistance. Ty all.

"I have a great appetite for anything made of cabbage, love pickles and horseradish and ordinary radish too. I'm not a fan of vinegar pickles and can't stand wine vinegar. Generally I like fresh organic veggies and salads, but I can vouch for many men from this part of Europe, they won't touch fresh veggies with exception of sauerkraut and pickles."

I wonder if a liking for certain foods necessary to survival in a particular region has been selected for in people from that region?

LeBrok
24-10-14, 18:40
Fascinating posts on this thread re mtdna, LP and connection with disease resistance. Ty all.

"I have a great appetite for anything made of cabbage, love pickles and horseradish and ordinary radish too. I'm not a fan of vinegar pickles and can't stand wine vinegar. Generally I like fresh organic veggies and salads, but I can vouch for many men from this part of Europe, they won't touch fresh veggies with exception of sauerkraut and pickles."

I wonder if a liking for certain foods necessary to survival in a particular region has been selected for in people from that region?

I think their are the Hunter Gatherer's dietary genes acting up. Affinity to meat, meat and meat.

Aberdeen
24-10-14, 20:55
I think their are the Hunter Gatherer's dietary genes acting up. Affinity to meat, meat and meat.

I actually think it's more likely to be an affinity for either fresh water fish or seafood, depending on where the "hunter gatherer" lives. If you look at the recent paper about a 45,000 year old Siberian, it says he ate vegetables and some meat but probably also a lot of fresh water fish. And, having hunted and fished while growing up in a somewhat remote rural area, I can tell you that fishing is easier and more reliable than hunting, even with a hunting rifle. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been with a stone tipped spear, even if the hunter gatherer lived in an area where game was common. I suspect that for most hunter gatherer types throughout human history, the reality was more fishing and gathering, with hunting providing an occasional but highly prized supplement to the usual diet.

LeBrok
25-10-14, 02:00
I actually think it's more likely to be an affinity for either fresh water fish or seafood, depending on where the "hunter gatherer" lives. If you look at the recent paper about a 45,000 year old Siberian, it says he ate vegetables and some meat but probably also a lot of fresh water fish. I think meat is meat, regardless if it is cow, fish, or seal muscle. I meant meat as animal diet, which may include other organs as well, like liver or heart.


And, having hunted and fished while growing up in a somewhat remote rural area, I can tell you that fishing is easier and more reliable than hunting, even with a hunting rifle. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been with a stone tipped spear, even if the hunter gatherer lived in an area where game was common. I suspect that for most hunter gatherer types throughout human history, the reality was more fishing and gathering, with hunting providing an occasional but highly prized supplement to the usual diet. I hear you. There might be some seasonal exceptions for fishing in Siberia, when water is frozen for half a year. Much farther south however in Middle East diet of HGs were more balanced with lots of veggies, nuts and starches. In north it was always skewed towards meat and fat, especially for men. It still manifests itself in modern societies, in spite of few thousand years of farming, eating bread, veggies, fruit, dairy, eggs, etc. Men of north constantly craves meat and fat.

I eat everything and my diet is quite balanced, but I don't remember a day that went by without eating meat or fish.

Aberdeen
25-10-14, 03:40
I do think there are genetic differences in what kind of foods people need to eat in order to be healthy, perhaps partly because of what their ancestors commonly ate and partly because of the need for more calories in a colder climate. I was a vegetarian (vegan) for two year but had to go back to including meat, fish, eggs and dairy in my diet in order to be healthy. And I agree with what you've said in other posts about the importance of dairy products in making life more liveable in northern climates - livestock must have made a huge difference to population levels in northern climates.

LeBrok
25-10-14, 04:25
I do think there are genetic differences in what kind of foods people need to eat in order to be healthy, perhaps partly because of what their ancestors commonly ate and partly because of the need for more calories in a colder climate. I think example of Inuit not being particularly healthy on western diet goes in line with this observation. Same as lactose persistence gene and milk consumption. There was also a study pointing to the fact that Northern Europeans (on their fatty diet) can be fatter ( as per BMI) than Mediterranean folks, but still as healthy, or living as long.
Giving enough time, natural selection will find a way to make the best out of available food.
If we follow this line of thinking, natural selection and food availability, we should also consider that same system is behind shaping our food liking. At least theoretically, we should have inborn affinities, feeling pleasure, when we eat this most common foods. It is not necessarily always the case, but logical outcome of natural selection giving enough time, although it is so hard to prove which taste is acquired which one is genetic. However, taste for available foods will enhance its consumption, therefore survival.
Heck, we might already pay for this "enhancement of taste" in epidemic of obesity these days when food is everywhere and in quantities.


Having this understanding I'm trying to eat what my ancestors did, and of course as organic as possible, the full nutrient value, as they did too. So far I can't complain. ;)

Greying Wanderer
25-10-14, 13:51
"Having this understanding I'm trying to eat what my ancestors did"

yes, same here