The Milk Enzyme: Adventures with the Human Lactase Polymorphism 2015 (Hardback)G. C. Cook (author)
Hardback 144 Pages / Published: 22/10/2015
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Prior to the 1960s, it was widely believed that all members of the species Homo sapiens possessed a high concentration of the enzyme lactase (which hydrolyses the milk disaccharide) in the small-intestinal mucosa. It then became clear that low levels (lactase deficiency - later more accurately termed hypolactasia) were relatively common. In 1966, the author of this book demonstrated in Uganda that although most indigenous Africans had hypolactasia in adult life, those from tribes believed by most physical anthropologists to have originated either in the Middle East or north-eastern parts of the African continent had PL. This difference, which probably has a genetic basis, instigated much research in indigenous communities in various parts of the world; it rapidly became clear that hypolactasia was the 'normal' state for H sapiens. In 1975 the author confirmed his suspicion that PL had originated within the Arabian peninsula - an observation which has since been confirmed and expanded by several geneticists. The mutation has apparently occurred several times in the last few millennia. However, the raison d'etre for development of PL in a minority of H sapiens remains a subject of controversy, but in some way the milk from cattle and camels, following domestication, was probably the catalyst.All these and other relevant observations are succinctly recorded in this fascinating ongoing saga.
Number of pages: 144
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
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