In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
SPECIAL NOTE: European Codex Alimentarius quality wheat starch was used in this study.
BACKGROUND: A wheat starch-based gluten-free diet is widely adopted in the treatment of coeliac disease, even though the products contain trace amounts of gluten. The aim here was to establish whether such a diet sustains abdominal symptoms.
METHODS: The Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) was applied to 58 coeliac disease patients on gluten-free diets and 110 non-coeliac controls. An estimate was made of daily dietary fiber and wheat starch-derived gluten. Psychological well-being was evaluated by a structured interview. Twenty-three coeliac patients consented to small bowel biopsy.
RESULTS: The mean GSRS score in coeliac disease patients did not differ from that in control subjects. Poorer psychological well-being was associated with abdominal symptoms in coeliac patients, whereas the daily amount of wheat starch had no effect on GSRS score. Overall dietary compliance was good, and villous atrophy was found in only 2 out of 23 patients. The average fiber consumption, 13 g per day, was lower than recommended.
CONCLUSIONS: Wheat starch-based gluten-free products are well-tolerated in coeliac disease patients, provided that their diets are otherwise strict.