Scand J Gastroenterol 2000 Sep;35(9):947-9
Lohiniemi S, Maki M, Kaukinen K, Laippala P, Collin P.
Dept. of Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, University of Tampere, Finland.
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.