Snips about SNPs: Lactose Intolerance Gene

The LCT gene controls whether you produce lactase (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.

Check your genetic data for rs4988235 (23andMe v.4, v.5; 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

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.  

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