Prehistoric people in Europe were consuming milk thousands of years before humans evolved the genetic trait allowing us to digest the milk sugar lactose as adults, finds a new study. The research, published on July27, 2022 in Nature, mapped pre-historic patterns of milk use over the last 9,000 years, offering new insights into milk consumption and the evolution of lactose tolerance. The article is titled “Dairying, Diseases and the Evolution of Lactase Persistence In Europe.” Until now, it was widely assumed that lactose tolerance emerged because it allowed people to consume more milk and dairy products. But this new research, led by scientists from the University of Bristol and University College London (UCL) alongside collaborators from 20 other countries, shows that famine and exposure to infectious disease best explains the evolution of our ability to consume milk and other non-fermented dairy products.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story