The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 963–980 | Cite as

The geographic hypothesis and lactose malabsorption

A weighing of the evidence
  • Frederick J. Simoons
Review Article


Reviewed in this article is evidence bearing on the geographic hypothesis advanced eight years ago to explain the striking ethnic or racial differences in prevalence of primary adult lactose malabsorption that are found around the world. Most evidence is found to support the hypothesis and the likelihood that some human groups came to have low prevalences of such lactose malabsorption because of selective pressures over a long historical period that favored the adult lactose absorber under particular ecological conditions.


Public Health Lactose Selective Pressure Ecological Condition Racial Difference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Digestive Disease Systems, Inc. 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick J. Simoons
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis

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