Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether adult patients with coeliac disease in remission could include large amounts of oats in their daily gluten-free diet for an extended period of time without adverse effects.
Design, subjects and methods: Twenty adult coeliac patients in remission included large amounts of uncontaminated rolled oats in their daily diet for a prolonged period. The examinations, performed four times during the study period, included small bowel endoscopy with biopsies, blood samples (nutritional status, serological analysis), height and body weight, gastrointestinal symptoms and dietary records. Gastrointestinal symptoms and diet were also investigated through unannounced telephone interviews once a month during the study period.
Results: No adverse effects of a large intake of oats were seen in small bowel histology, serology nor in nutritional status in the 15 subjects who completed the whole study period. Two of the subjects dropped out because of gastrointestinal symptoms and three for non-medical reasons. The median intake of oats was 93 g/day and the compliance to the oat diet was found to be good. Examinations of the patients after drop-out did not show any deterioration in small bowel histology or nutritional status nor raised levels of antibodies.
Conclusion: Results from this study indicate that adult patients with coeliac disease in remission can include large amounts of controlled wheat-free rolled oats for an extended period of time without adverse effects.