Objective: To determine whether consumption of oats is safe in children with newly diagnosed celiac disease who are starting a gluten-free diet.
Study design: We conducted a self-controlled, open-label, 6-month trial of a commercial oat breakfast cereal product. Primary outcome variables were small bowel histomorphology and anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody titer.
Results: The 10 children who completed the study were 6.8 +/- 4.0 (mean +/- SD) years of age and 5 were male. Over 6.6 +/- 0.7 months, they consumed 24 grams of oat cereal per day, or 1.2 +/- 0.9 g/kg/d. Compared with start of study, at completion there was a significant decrease in biopsy score (P <.01), intra-epithelial lymphocyte count (P <.005), anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody titer (P <.01), and number of symptoms (P <.01).
Conclusions: We conclude that consumption of a commercially available oat cereal product for 6 months is safe for children with celiac disease beginning a gluten-free diet. Studies are needed to determine the long-term safety of including oat cereal in the gluten-free diet.