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Oats Safe for Children with Celiac Disease

J Pediatr 2000;137:356-366

Celiac.com 10/10/2000 - Dr. Hoffenberg and colleagues from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver report that the short-term consumption of commercially available oat cereal is safe for children with celiac disease new to a gluten-free diet. To determine this they studied 10 children with celiac disease who consumed 24 g of oat cereal per day, and examined small bowel histomorphology and antitissue transglutaminase IgA antibody titer at baseline and at 6 months. According to Dr. Hoffenberg: Compared with start of study, at completion there was a significant decrease in biopsy score, intraepithelial count, antitissue transglutaminase IgA antibody titer and number of symptoms.

They reported the gluten content of several substances:

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Study oatmeal (%, range) average of 4 samples 0.009 (0.003-0.014)
Irish Oatmeal 0.006 %
Quaker oatmeal 0.006 %
Safeway oatmeal 0.005 %
Jane Lee oatmeal 0.026 %
Soy flour 0.001 %
Brown rice flour 0.000 %
Pancake mix 0.000 %
Cornmeal 0.000 %
Rice flour 0.000 %

Test was done with RIDASCREEN ELISA test for omega-gliadins. It detects wheat/barley/rye high molecular weight proteins but not oat avenin. The grain scientists tell us that even though oat proteins are different, they do have similar amino acid sequences to the toxic gliadin sequences. Similarly, in vitro (test tube) studies do show that oat proteins trigger the immune response of cells taken from celiac patients.

The team emphasized, however, that the long-term effects of oat cereal added to a gluten-free diet in children with celiac disease still need to be determined.

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Elizabeth A Janus
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