Lactose tolerance a key to evolution?

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beLIEf (May 27, 2011, 20:10:40 PM):
In that case Hermes, then yes I believe it would. Perhaps a combination of natural selection and slight mutation since lactose intolerance still exists in individuals in otherwise lactose tolerant nations. I think people are significantly more likely to choose their partners based on their height rather than their love of dairy products - but then the tall ones might only be tall because of their ability to digest moo juice.... a conundrum indeed. Which came first tall people or dairy farming? ???
Mefiante (May 27, 2011, 22:10:06 PM):
Maybe lactose tolerance and tallness are linked - it is very difficult to find dairy products being sold in countries such as China and Thailand and indigenous people of these countries are noticeably more vertically challenged.
Most southern African indigenous ethnic groups have been nomadic cattle herders for several centuries, living off dairy in addition to beef. Their lactose tolerance is hardly in question. Yet, they are on average short and slight peoples by European/US standards with the Kenyan/Tanzanian Maasai being one exception in the tallness department. This seems to run counter to any simple link between lactose tolerance and tallness.



Short breeding short.
Of course there’s a strong genetic component in this. It applies within ethnic groups as much as between them, but the question is how increasing tallness in recent human history is best explained: evolution or improved living standards?

'Luthon64
Hermes (May 28, 2011, 02:44:03 AM):
Oh come all ye newbies!
lurking in your hundreds,
come forth, freck apostrophobia
and say your say!

This is your forum as well!
beLIEf (May 28, 2011, 10:11:08 AM):
Oh come all ye newbies!
lurking in your hundreds,
come forth, freck apostrophobia
and say your say!

This is your forum as well!



Does that mean all you hero members have apostrophilia??

Maybe lactose tolerance and tallness are linked - it is very difficult to find dairy products being sold in countries such as China and Thailand and indigenous people of these countries are noticeably more vertically challenged.
Most southern African indigenous ethnic groups have been nomadic cattle herders for several centuries, living off dairy in addition to beef. Their lactose tolerance is hardly in question. Yet, they are on average short and slight peoples by European/US standards with the Kenyan/Tanzanian Maasai being one exception in the tallness department. This seems to run counter to any simple link between lactose tolerance and tallness.

Short breeding short.
Of course there’s a strong genetic component in this. It applies within ethnic groups as much as between them, but the question is how increasing tallness in recent human history is best explained: evolution or improved living standards?

'Luthon64

I wasn't implying the link was simple, just interestingly observable and of course nutritionally speaking would linked to a myriad of factors other than lactose. I think tallness is rather a result of both evolution and improved living standards, maybe the thing that needs clarification and is more difficult to determine is which factor has had the greatest influence.



Hermes (May 28, 2011, 11:54:03 AM):
I wasn't implying the link was simple, just interestingly observable and of course nutritionally speaking would linked to a myriad of factors other than lactose. I think tallness is rather a result of both evolution and improved living standards, maybe the thing that needs clarification and is more difficult to determine is which factor has had the greatest influence.
One could also look at it from the opposite side and argue that in situations where food is scarce, such as among the hunter-gatherers, there is a competitive advantage to being small and able to survive on less food.

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