Oats may be an acceptable part of a gluten-free diet in celiac disease.
In this study, physicians from Finland assessed the impact of an oats-containing diet on quality of life and GI symptoms in celiac patients.
The team randomized 39 patients to receive either gluten-free products containing oats (50 g per day) or to continue on their oat-free gluten-free diet for 1 year.
They evaluated patients' quality of life using the Psychological General Well-Being questionnaire.
Gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale.
In addition, the team examined small-bowel mucosal villous architecture, CD3+, intraepithelial lymphocytes, serum endomysial, and tissue transglutaminase antibodies.
The physicians determined that there was no difference in the quality of life between the 2 groups.
|The oat group had more frequent diarrhea.|
|Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology|
However, they found that patients in the oat group had more gastrointestinal symptoms. These patients had more frequent diarrhea, as well as more severe constipation.
The physicians found that the villous structure did not differ between the groups. However, the density of intraepithelial lymphocytes was slightly but significantly higher in the oats group.
The team determined that the severity of symptoms was not dependent on the degree of inflammation.
They also found that antibody levels did not increase during the study period.
Overall, the physicians found that the oats-containing diet caused more intestinal symptoms than the traditional gluten-free diet.
Dr Peräaho's team concluded, "Mucosal integrity was not disturbed, but more inflammation was evident in the oats group".
"Oats provide an alternative in the gluten-free diet, but celiac patients should be aware of the possible increase in intestinal symptoms".