Fernandez CI , Flores SV. - 46126 N - Am J Phys Anthropol 2014 ; 155(3) : 482-7.

Lactase persistence and dairy intake in Mapuche and Mestizo populations from southern Chile

Lactase persistence (LP) occurs at a very low frequency in indigenous populations from Latin America, offering an opportunity to understand the relationship between this genetic trait and patterns of dairy consumption. Here, the frequency of LP is analyzed from Mapuche and -an adjacent- mestizo population inhabiting the Araucania region. In addition to genotyping for LP, participants were surveyed in relation to general perception and consumption habits of dairy products. Low LP frequency (10%) and very low dairy intake was found among the Mapuche population as compared with Mestizo populations inhabiting Chile. The survey reported that the main reasons for avoidance of dairy were the gastrointestinal symptoms after dairy intake and cultural dietary habits. The interaction between low LP genotype frequency, low dairy intake, and sociocultural determinants is here discussed in the light of their potential health outcomes.