Reported lactose tolerance of members of various racial/ethnic groups in Hawaii and Asia

Ronald C. Johnson, Robert E. Cole, Frank M. Ahern, Sylvia Y. Schwitters, Elsie H. Ahern, Yau Huang Huang, Roni M. Johnson, Jong Young Park

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3 Scopus citations


Subjects from various racial/ethnic groups in Hawaii and homeland Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans reported on their milk drinking in childhood and adulthood, as well as on whether or not milk drinking produced symptoms of intolerance. Intolerance was comparatively infrequent in all groups, although significant differences existed between groups in the frequency with which they manifested symptoms and in discomfort scores. Differences between Hawaiian subjects of Asian ancestry and homeland Asians in the frequency of reported symptoms, in mean discomfort scores, and in amount of milk needed to produce symptoms, as well as the high proportion of symptomatology among Hapa-Haoles (persons of Caucasian and Oriental ancestry) and other data reported herein, are not supportive of the usual genetic explanation of lactose tolerance and are supportive of the belief that dietary practice influences tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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