-A high school student from Indiana
March 7, 2017
Yes, it is possible but it’s rare. Only something like 1 in 60,000 newborns are born lactose intolerant.
The most common situation for people (and most mammals) is that they are born able to digest lactose, a sugar in milk, and they lose the ability when they grow up. Pigs and people are pretty much the only mammals we know of where lots of adults can still drink milk.
Lactose is a Sugar Found in Milk
Did you know milk has sugar? Well it does, and it’s called lactose!
Milk is made up of water (mostly) and has a small amount of lactose. Milk also has other stuff like proteins, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
Because a lot of food items contain milk, lactose is found in many different foods like ice cream, cheese, and creamy soups and sauces, just to name a few.
Developing Lactose Intolerance Over Time
While lactose intolerant babies are rare, lactose intolerant adults are pretty common. Around 65% of the human population loses the ability to digest lactose as they grow and develop.
It’s actually the “normal” trait. When you can drink milk as an adult, you have a condition called lactase persistence.