Dr Antonio Picarelli and colleagues at the Universities of Rome and Milan, Italy, designed an in vitro model to test whether oats induce the production of antibodies specific to celiac disease in the intestinal mucosa.
Recent research has shown that antiendomysial antibodies (EMAs) are produced in the intestinal mucosa of celiac disease patients. EMAs are highly sensitive and specific for celiac disease.
Dr Picarelli collected duodenal mucosa specimens from 13 treated celiac disease patients. The biopsy specimens were cultured with gliadin, a protein from wheat gluten, or avenin, which is the equivalent protein in oats.
| Oats can be safely included in a gluten-free diet.|
Indirect immunoflourescence was used to detect EMAs in the specimens.
EMAs were detected in all 13 specimens cultured with gliadin. By contrast, EMAs were detected in 0 of 13 biopsies cultured with avenin. Controls, cultured in growth medium alone, also produced no EMAs.
This latest study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, confirms the findings of previous research, which showed, in vivo, that oats are not toxic to patients with celiac disease.