OATS ARE OKAY FOR CELIAC DISEASE PATIENTS

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Oats Are Okay For Celiac Disease Patients

A gluten-free diet is a must for people who suffer from celiac disease. Wheat, rye and barley are all harmful to the lining of the small intestine (maize and rice are harmless). Patients are usually also told to avoid oats. Now researchers at the Kuopio University Hospital report that patients with celiac disease in remission as well as newly-diagnosed patients can safely consume moderate amounts of oats.

Their experiment involved one group of 52 patients with celiac disease in remission and one group of 40 patients with newly-diagnosed disease. Each group was divided into two sub-groups. One of the sub-groups received a normal gluten-free diet (control group) while the other sub-group received a gluten-free diet as well as about 50 grams of oats a day (oat group). The oat component was in the form of muesli, a rolled-oat breakfast cereal and a gluten-free wheat-starch flour mixed with oats. The 52 patients with celiac disease in remission were followed for six months while the newly-diagnosed patients were followed for 12 months. All patients were evaluated with endoscopy with duodenal biopsy at the beginning and end of the study.

The researchers found no difference in the amount of damage to the lining of the small intestine (villous atrophy) between the oat groups and the control groups. They conclude that patients with celiac disease in remission can safely include moderate amounts of oats in their gluten-free diet. They also conclude that the healing process in patients with newly-diagnosed celiac disease is not affected by including moderate amounts of oats in the conventional celiac diet. They make no recommendations regarding the inclusion of oats in the diet of patients with severe celiac disease.

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.

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By Hans R. Larsen

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