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PERSONALIZATION #17: GENETICS OF MILK DIGESTION? Human breast milk, cow’s milk, and goat’s milk all contain a sugar called lactose made up of two simple sugars glucose and galactose bound together. To digest milk sugar the body uses an enzyme called lactase found in the small intestine to break up the glucose and galactose bond. In most humans, the gene for this protein turns off after breastfeeding is over – except in societies where animal milks provide important calories and nutrition including parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America where cow’s milk and goat’s milk along with many dairy products like became important foods for survival about 10,000 years ago. Those who could not digest milk got infections and protein malnutrition and died. In these populations the gene for lactase stays turned on due to an acquired change in a single DNA base called C13910 in a gene that is separate from the lactase gene but controls when that gene turns off lactase production. Most genes are made up of thousands of bases which are nucleic acids (A,T,G,C) in specific sequences as the letters in a genetic alphabet and most regulate genes like the lactase gene that produce proteins. Lactose intolerance is considered a disease, but lactose intolerance is the normal human condition as lactase levels normally go down in 2/3rds of all adults in the world after breast feeding. True milk allergy is a reaction to milk proteins not sugar and is rare. So you don’t need milk, but can digest all the protein you need from soy and combinations of beans, grains like corn or rice, and nuts which is the basis of vegan diets. Vegetarian diets have some seafood, eggs, and lean meat but usually no red meat. Soy is the best protein in the plant world and contains antioxidant isoflavones which act as anti-estrogens not estrogens in the breasts of men and women no matter what you have heard to the contrary!! Protein-Rich Shakes made with soy protein can help you get the protein you need to control hunger and build muscle every day!! #drdavidheber #lactose to learn more go to and

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Categories: Nutrition

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