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Snips about SNPs: Lactose Intolerance Gene

The LCT gene controls whether you produce lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) as an adult. The genetic variant that allows people to still drink milk as an adult is found in about 90% of Caucasians. But Caucasians are the exception here, and most other populations don’t carry the variant that produces lactase as an adult.

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Check your genetic data for rs4988235 (23andMe v4, v5; AncestryDNA):

  • A/A: Still produces lactase as an adult
  • A/G: Still produces lactase as an adult, but less than those with A/A[ref]
  • G/G: No longer produces lactase as an adult

Members: Your genotype for rs4988235 is .

Not a lactase producer but still wanting to eat some ice cream? Probiotics that contain lactobacillus species can usually help you to digest some milk.[ref][ref]

Want more details? Check out the full article on Lactose Intolerance Genes.

*SNP stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, which is when one of the nucleotide bases (the A, C, G, or Ts) is replaced by a different nucleotide base in a gene. 

Want more quick bits about your genes? Read through all the Snips about SNPs

About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.