- Levitt Lin
Disastrous Dairy Disorder
It seems like milk has always been a staple part of a complete breakfast, but in reality, almost two-thirds of the population is lactose intolerant. For that unaware lactose intolerance is the reduced ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products like milk and certain cheeses. The cause can be linked back to your bodies lack of lactase, an enzyme which breaks down the lactose found in dairy. Normally lactase production in your body slows down once you pass infancy, leaving you with stomach ache whenever you drink a glass of milk. At least this is often the case for people not of Northern European descent where milk was a core part of their diet. To put it into perspective, lactose intolerance is very common among West African, Arab, Jewish, Greek, and Italian people, which can afflict up to 90% of some communities while as little as 5% of people of Northern European descent are lactose intolerant. Luckily lactose intolerance doesn’t make it impossible to enjoy dairy, since our ingenious ancestors figured out how to get rid of lactose by fermenting milk into yogurt and hard cheeses.