Human Genetics

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 57–62 | Cite as

Persistence of high intestinal lactase activity (lactose tolerance) in Afghanistan

  • A. G. Rahimi
  • H. Delbrück
  • R. Haeckel
  • H. W. Goedde
  • G. Flatz
Original Investigations


Two hundred and seventy apparently healthy adult subjects from Afghanistan, mainly from the central and eastern parts of the country, were subjected to a lactose tolerance test. The change of blood glucose from the fasting concentration at 20 min after the administration of lactose showed a bimodal distribution. Forty-seven subjects had a rise of blood glucose concentration of more than 1.1 mmol/l and were classified as persistence of high intestinal lactase activity (PHILA), a term which lays emphasis on the fact that high lactase activity in the adult is an unusual state whose prevalence in some populations requires explanation. In the Afghan sample there were no significant differences of the frequency of PHILA in different ethnic groups.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Rahimi
    • 1
  • H. Delbrück
    • 2
  • R. Haeckel
    • 3
  • H. W. Goedde
    • 4
  • G. Flatz
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryKabul UniversityKabulAfghanistan
  2. 2.Innere Klinik und Poliklinik (Tumorforschung) der Universität EssenEssenGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Klinische Chemie der Medizinischen Hochschule HannoverHannoverGermany
  4. 4.Institut für Humangenetik der Universität HamburgHamburgGermany
  5. 5.Institut für Genetik der Medizinischen Hochschule HannoverHannoverGermany

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