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Gut 46:327-331 doi:10.1136/gut.46.3.327
  • Coeliac disease

Lack of cellular and humoral immunological responses to oats in adults with coeliac disease

Abstract

OBJECTIVE Recent research suggests that oats do not harm intestinal villi in adults with coeliac disease. As the immunological effects of oats have not been examined in detail, it was decided to compare the immunological responses of a gluten free diet including oats with those of a conventional gluten free diet.

DESIGN A randomised controlled intervention study over 6–12 months.

SUBJECTS Forty adults with newly diagnosed coeliac disease and 52 with coeliac disease in remission were examined.

INTERVENTION The effects of a gluten free diet including oats and a conventional gluten free diet were compared.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Serum levels of gliadin and reticulin antibodies as well as numbers of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) in intestinal mucosa were examined before and after the intervention.

RESULTS The rate of disappearance of gliadin and reticulin antibodies did not differ between the diet groups in patients with newly diagnosed coeliac disease. Oats also had no effect on gliadin or reticulin antibody levels in the patients with remission. The number of IELs decreased similarly regardless of the diet of newly diagnosed patients, and no increase in the number of IELs was found in the patients in remission with or without oats.

CONCLUSIONS These results strengthen the view that adult patients with coeliac disease can consume moderate amounts of oats without adverse immunological effects.

Footnotes

  • Abbreviations used in this paper:
    IEL
    intraepithelial lymphocyte
    EU/ml
    enzyme immunosorbent assay unit