A team from Finland assessed the safety of long-term ingestion of oats in the diet of celiac patients.
In a previous study, the authors compared the effects of a gluten-free diet and a gluten-free diet including oats, in a randomized trial involving 92 adult patients with celiac disease (45 in the oats group, 47 in the control group).
After the initial phase of 6-12 months, patients in the oats group were allowed to eat oats freely in conjunction with an otherwise gluten-free diet.
After 5 years, 35 patients in the original oats group (23 still on an oats diet) and 28 in the control group on a conventional gluten-free diet were examined.
| The majority of celiac patients actually prefer oats in their diet.
The researchers conducted clinical and nutritional assessment in the patients.
In addition, duodenal biopsies were taken for conventional histopathology and histomorphometry, and antiendomysial, antireticulin, and antigliadin antibodies were measured.
There were found to be no significant differences between controls and those patients consuming oats with respect to duodenal villous architecture, inflammatory cell infiltration of the duodenal mucosa, or antibody titers after 5 years of follow-up.
In both groups, histological and histomorphometric indexes improved equally with time.
Author E. K. Janatuinen, of the Kuopio University Hospital, said on behalf of the group, "This study provides the first evidence of the long-term safety of oats as part of a celiac diet in adult patients with celiac disease."
"It also appears that the majority of celiac patients prefer oats in their diet," it was concluded.