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Thread: Dairying, diseases and the evolution of lactase persistence in Europe.

  1. #1
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    Dairying, diseases and the evolution of lactase persistence in Europe.

    Abstract

    In European and many African, Middle Eastern and southern Asian populations, lactase persistence (LP) is the most strongly selected monogenic trait to have evolved over the past 10,000 years
    1.Although the selection of LP and the consumption of prehistoric milk must be linked, considerable uncertainty remains concerning their spatiot emporal configuration and specific interactions2,3.Here we provide detailed distributions of milk exploitation across Europe over the past 9,000 years using around 7,000 pottery fat residues from more than 550 archaeological sites. European milk use was widespread from the Neolithic period onwards but varied spatially and temporally in intensity. Notably, LP selection varying with levels of prehistoric milk exploitation is no better at explaining LP allele frequency trajectories than uniform selection since the Neolithic period. In the UK Biobank4,5cohortof 500,000 contemporary Europeans, LP genotype was only weakly associated with milk consumption and did not show consistent associations with improved fitness or health indicators. This suggests that other reasons for the beneficial effects of LP should be considered for its rapid frequency increase. We propose that lactase non-persistent individuals consumed milk when it became available but, under conditions of famine and/or increased pathogen exposure, this was disadvantageous, driving LP selection in prehistoric Europe. Comparison of model likelihoods indicates that population fluctuations, settlement density and wild animal exploitation—proxies for these drivers—provide better explanations of LP selection than the extent of milk exploitation.These findings offer new perspectives on prehistoric milk exploitation and LP evolution.




    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05010-7




    • A new study has revealed when and why humans became tolerant of lactose
    • The gene that enables its digestion became prevalent about 5,000 years ago
    • This was around the time populations were at risk of famine and disease
    • Symptoms of lactose intolerance became life threatening with these factors
    • Natural selection enabled the survival and reproduction of those with the gene

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...-suggests.html








  2. #2
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by real expert View Post
    Abstract

    In European and many African, Middle Eastern and southern Asian populations, lactase persistence (LP) is the most strongly selected monogenic trait to have evolved over the past 10,000 years
    1.Although the selection of LP and the consumption of prehistoric milk must be linked, considerable uncertainty remains concerning their spatiot emporal configuration and specific interactions2,3.Here we provide detailed distributions of milk exploitation across Europe over the past 9,000 years using around 7,000 pottery fat residues from more than 550 archaeological sites. European milk use was widespread from the Neolithic period onwards but varied spatially and temporally in intensity. Notably, LP selection varying with levels of prehistoric milk exploitation is no better at explaining LP allele frequency trajectories than uniform selection since the Neolithic period. In the UK Biobank4,5cohortof 500,000 contemporary Europeans, LP genotype was only weakly associated with milk consumption and did not show consistent associations with improved fitness or health indicators. This suggests that other reasons for the beneficial effects of LP should be considered for its rapid frequency increase. We propose that lactase non-persistent individuals consumed milk when it became available but, under conditions of famine and/or increased pathogen exposure, this was disadvantageous, driving LP selection in prehistoric Europe. Comparison of model likelihoods indicates that population fluctuations, settlement density and wild animal exploitation—proxies for these drivers—provide better explanations of LP selection than the extent of milk exploitation.These findings offer new perspectives on prehistoric milk exploitation and LP evolution.




    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05010-7




    • A new study has revealed when and why humans became tolerant of lactose
    • The gene that enables its digestion became prevalent about 5,000 years ago
    • This was around the time populations were at risk of famine and disease
    • Symptoms of lactose intolerance became life threatening with these factors
    • Natural selection enabled the survival and reproduction of those with the gene

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...-suggests.html







    I still can't upvote, but thanks for posting this paper.

    I have been arguing this, with people like Jean Manco on dna-forums, for example, for more than a decade, basing some of it on my experience with my own people.

    The people of Liguria consume very limited quantities of lactose. That applies also to the parts of the Lunigiana with which I'm familiar. Never in my life did I see people actually drink milk, It NEVER appeared on the table for consumption with food. I was shocked to see my friends drinking glasses of it here in the U.S. We followed our own cultural eating and drinking habits, and to this day I would never drink a glass of milk. The everyday cheese consumed was hard cheese from which the aging process had stripped most of the lactose. The same is particularly true for Parmigiano Reggiano. Desserts are eaten rarely as well. Yet, the Ligurians who managed to survive the childhood diseases for which there were then no vaccines, and things like TB, lived to a very old age, and a spry and mentally sharp old age at that on a diet that largely consisted of whole grain breads and pasta, chestnut products, olive oil, lots of vegetables, wild as well as domesticated vegetables grown in an orto, fruits, some cheese, cured pork products, some chicken once in a while, and fish. Oh, and wine as well. I had and have numerous great-aunts in their nineties who still clean their own apartments, cook their own food, walk to church every day and to get their hair done once a week, and to the main square for a chat with their friends. Oh, and they do their own banking too.

    The other side of my family could be said to get the majority of their calories from dairy products: cream, cheese, etc. Butter is always used for sauces, and the anolini, tortellini/tortelloni are served with melted butter and cheese, cream and cheese, or all three. They also eat a lot of cured pork products. They're heavier, but I'd say they're a bit shorter lived than my Ligurian/Lunigiana side, reaching the mid-80s perhaps, but not routinely reaching 94,95,96.

    So, I was never sold on the overwhelming and indisputable superiority of dairy products.

    As for the theory the authors advance for the increase, I need to read the whole paper and supplement, but that sweep obviously didn't take place in some parts of Italy. Greece is different. They probably got the derived alleles from the Slavs, as my father's people got theirs from the Western and Central Europeans. In Liguria, parts of Toscana, perhaps it wasn't needed, or given the poor pasturage for cows, there wasn't enough of that kind of dairy to make a difference.

    As quite often happens, Italy is an exception to some of these grand theories.

    Ed. Finally I was able to upvote. :)


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  3. #3
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    Cheese is almost free of lactose, assuming it is aged at least a couple of months+ (I am lactose intolerant so I have done my homework, because I like cheese). Parmesan is virtually 0 lactose content.

    A good trick to check for lactose content in cheese is to check the carbohydrates in the label, for example the lactose content in feta cheese is usually 0.7 carbs per 100g, so it's all good!

    You can check these SNPs in your raw dna file for lactose persistence/intolerance: Lactose intolerance - SNPedia

    The best way (imo), is to go check your blood sugar at a pharmacy or with a self test in a fasted state, then check it again after consuming milk and see if you get the glucose response.

    For example, mine barely moved from 83 mg/dl to 86 mg/dl after gulping down a whole litre of milk and testing it twice during the following hour.

    PS. Kefir and other fermented milk products are also virtually lactose free, since the cultures feed on lactose to produce the signature lactic acid.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I still can't upvote, but thanks for posting this paper.

    I have been arguing this, with people like Jean Manco on dna-forums, for example, for more than a decade, basing some of it on my experience with my own people.

    The people of Liguria consume very limited quantities of lactose. That applies also to the parts of the Lunigiana with which I'm familiar. Never in my life did I see people actually drink milk, It NEVER appeared on the table for consumption with food. I was shocked to see my friends drinking glasses of it here in the U.S. We followed our own cultural eating and drinking habits, and to this day I would never drink a glass of milk. The everyday cheese consumed was hard cheese from which the aging process had stripped most of the lactose. The same is particularly true for Parmigiano Reggiano. Desserts are eaten rarely as well. Yet, the Ligurians who managed to survive the childhood diseases for which there were then no vaccines, and things like TB, lived to a very old age, and a spry and mentally sharp old age at that on a diet that largely consisted of whole grain breads and pasta, chestnut products, olive oil, lots of vegetables, wild as well as domesticated vegetables grown in an orto, fruits, some cheese, cured pork products, some chicken once in a while, and fish. Oh, and wine as well. I had and have numerous great-aunts in their nineties who still clean their own apartments, cook their own food, walk to church every day and to get their hair done once a week, and to the main square for a chat with their friends. Oh, and they do their own banking too.

    The other side of my family could be said to get the majority of their calories from dairy products: cream, cheese, etc. Butter is always used for sauces, and the anolini, tortellini/tortelloni are served with melted butter and cheese, cream and cheese, or all three. They also eat a lot of cured pork products. They're heavier, but I'd say they're a bit shorter lived than my Ligurian/Lunigiana side, reaching the mid-80s perhaps, but not routinely reaching 94,95,96.

    So, I was never sold on the overwhelming and indisputable superiority of dairy products.

    As for the theory the authors advance for the increase, I need to read the whole paper and supplement, but that sweep obviously didn't take place in some parts of Italy. Greece is different. They probably got the derived alleles from the Slavs, as my father's people got theirs from the Western and Central Europeans. In Liguria, parts of Toscana, perhaps it wasn't needed, or given the poor pasturage for cows, there wasn't enough of that kind of dairy to make a difference.

    As quite often happens, Italy is an exception to some of these grand theories.

    Ed. Finally I was able to upvote. :)

    Thanks for the upvote, Angela. Back then with no DNA evidence, one could come to the right conclusion by applying common sense, logic, and parsimony when evaluating the circumstantial evidence.

  5. #5
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Iosif Lazardis made an interesting comment about the LP "sweep" and there was a discussion with Mark Thomas and others.

    This is a very interesting paper that adds much new information on the lactase persistence mystery. We need to explain why it starts much earlier in Britain than continental Europe (per Patterson et al. 2021): was Bronze Age Britain particularly susceptible to famines/diseases?


    Mark Thomas
    Our paper on “Dairying, diseases and the evolution of lactase persistence in Europe” out in @Nature today, with Richard Evershed, @mendel_random, Melanie Roffet-Salque, Adrian Timpson, Yoan Diekmann, Matt Lyon and many others: https://nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05010-7…



    Razib Khan
    Replying to @iosif_lazaridis
    the fundamental issue i have with famine ideas is that shouldn't most human populations run up against the malthusian limit and hit famine periodically? probably a necessary but not sufficient condition. is northwest India more famine prone than the east? (look at LP cline)


    PhyloMeasures
    Replying to @iosif_lazaridis
    There is an indication of an EEF population collapse in Britain, possibly due to a great famine, just before the arrival of the Bell Beaker culture:


    Stone Age Herbalist
    Alongside this is the mounting evidence that British Neolithic populations were actually very small. An almost collapse in agricultural activity appears from around 3350 BC and accelerates in 2850 BC.


    Ricardo Martins
    Replying to @iosif_lazaridis

    Caesar writes in the Gallic war (book 5) that the Britons 'frumenta non serunt, sed lacte et carne vivunt', they don't sow corn but live on milk and meat. Maybe they went through periods of bad climate for farming.


    Mark Thomas
    Strabo reports in his Geography:‘‘Their [the men of Britain] habits are in part like those of the Celti, but in part more simple and barbaric - so much so that, on account of their inexperience, some of them, although well supplied with milk, make no cheese’’











    Last edited by Angela; 10-08-22 at 21:52.

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