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Second, the composition of milk, which includes fats, proteins and other micronutrients not easily attainable in staple crops improved the average quality of a farmer’s diet.This nutritional improvement likely lessened the impacts of disease and led to more productive farmers.Genetic studies confirm this by providing evidence for the rapid selection of the lactase persistence gene beginning roughly during the same time as the agricultural transition.
By examining the historic effects of milk consumption, measured by a population’s ability to digest lactose, we can understand the Neolithic Revolution’s impact on economic development.
Lactose Tolerance The ability to digest lactose, a sugar found within milk, is the textbook example of a recent genetic adaptation to different agricultural practices.
The answer “yes” is more likely than you may think.
From my research, it appears that the transition to agriculture, commonly referred to as the Neolithic Revolution, which first occurred roughly 10,000 years ago, produced genetic adaptations that were and continue to be favorable to the new agricultural environment and led to measurable improvements in economic and health outcomes.
Justin Cook is an assistant professor of economics at the University of California-Merced.
In his paper, “The role of lactase persistence in pre-colonial development,” Cook explains that the transition to agriculture produced genetic adaptations, such as lactose tolerance, which led to measurable improvements in economic and health outcomes. — Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor Could milk consumption have contributed to Europe’s colonization of most of the world during the 16th century?
These individuals are said to be lactase persistent, which is more commonly known as lactose tolerant.
Lactase persistence differs widely across the world with individuals ancestral to Northern Europe being almost exclusively lactase persistent and the opposite being the case for people ancestral to East Asia.
Another major concern is that lactose tolerance is simply accounting for the beneficial effects of domesticated animals and not the benefits of dairying.
This would imply that my proposed hypothesis is just happenstance.