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    Scott Adams

    Oats Induce Villous Atrophy in Some Celiacs

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Gut 2003;52:1649-1652

    Celiac.com 11/05/2003 - A study conducted by Norwegian researchers has found that some patients with celiac disease may not be able to tolerate oats, especially those who also have Dermatitis Herpetiformis. The researchers looked at 19 adult celiac disease patients who were given 50g of uncontaminated oats per day for 12 weeks. The patients were given biopsies before and after the challenge and were scored histologically, and "levels of mRNA specific for interferon were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis." The researchers determined that oats were well tolerated by most celiac patients, with the exception of several who reported initial abdominal discomfort and boating, and one patient who eventually developed total villous atrophy and "dramatic dermatitis during a second challenge." Further, five of the patients showed positive levels of interferon mRNA after challenge, which leads to some concern by the researchers regarding the safety of oats for those with celiac disease. Several larger studies have demonstrated that oats are well tolerated by most celiacs.


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    I have had wonderful results with oats from this gluten free oats site. I ordered 25 lbs. and my intestines are 'normal' now. So far, for about a year. Thanks so much. Lenore

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    Guest Doreen Coughlin

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    My husband thought he was having a heart attack. He went by ambulance to the hospital and while we were waiting, he calming told me how he stopped at the store to buy some cereal. He accidentally bought wheat-free instead of gluten-free. He had 2 bowls. Turned out the oat flour in the cereal was the culprit all along. He had severe bloating, pressure in his chest, weakness, hotness of his body and nausea. It turned out to be the most expensive box of cereal ever!!!!

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    I am one of the unfortunate persons with celiac that seems to be unable to tolerate gluten-free oats. It's my understanding that the protein molecule in oats is similar to the ones our bodies attack, therefore some of us have a 'gluten' reaction. But I'm hypothesizing the reaction can be different for each of us, for example, I get violently ill if I accidentally consume gluten, but oats didn't make me sick. They did (I'm guessing) damage the villi because months after introducing gluten free oats, I became anemic again for the first time since diagnosis (it had been many years). As soon as I eliminated the oats, the iron levels went back up and have stayed there after I ended the supplements. Sheesh, if being gluten-free wasn't difficult enough, now I have to read the ingredients of items marked "gluten-free", like Udi's granola. It has oats in it!

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    I have celiac and I can tell you for sure that I cannot tolerate oats either! I think it is fool hardy to put gluten-free on an item when you don't know for sure if all people can consider it safe to eat. You know every time you have a reaction, it gets worse.

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    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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