Famine, not calcium absorption, may have driven evolution of milk tolerance in Europeans

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 12:02 in Paleontology & Archaeology

Ancient DNA from early Iberian farmers shows that the wideheld evolutionary hypothesis of calcium absorption was not the only reason Europeans evolved milk tolerance. In the West we take milk drinking for granted because most people of European decent are able to produce the enzyme lactase in adulthood and so digest the milk sugar lactose. However, this is not the norm in much of the world, and was not the norm for our Stone Age ancestors.

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