Should You Eat Gluten Free Oats?The question of oat safety for those with gluten sensitivity continues to be challenged. Many consumers become confused because many brands of packaged oats contain the statement – “Gluten Free”. In a recent post, we discussed the potential danger of oat consumption. And now a recent double blind study investigated compared the wheat, barley, rye free diet (traditional gluten free diet) with a wheat, barley, rye, and oat free diet. The study published in March 2014, did not investigate whether those eating oats had an antibody response. Instead the focus of the study investigated changes in a compound called short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s). SCFA’s are specialized fats produced by the friendly bacteria that live in our colon. A balance of SCFA is important because SCFA’s are the primary fuel source for the cells of the large intestines. An imbalance in these fatty acids can not only alter bacterial flora, but it can hinder the ability of the colonocytes (cells of the large intestine) to regulate normal function. The study titled: “The effects of oats on the function of gut microflora in children with coeliac disease.” concluded the following –
Our results indicate that oats do affect the gut microflora function, and that some coeliac children receiving oats may develop gut mucosal inflammation, that may present a risk for future complications.Source: Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Mar 24.
Are Oats Safe?According to this recent study, oats can cause gut inflammation in some patients with celiac disease. The problem is in knowing who the “some patients” are going to be. Inflammation is not always something that is felt. In essence, the symptoms of inflammation are often delayed until the damage becomes so great that a person develops more health issues. The questions you have to ask yourself is a simple ones. Are you willing to risk your health or the health of your gluten free child? Do oats taste so good that you can’t live without them? Is the nutritional value of oat cereal irreplaceable?
Some Persistent Symptoms of Oat ExposureThe following is a list of common symptoms (in my clinical experience) that patients who continue to eat oats have:
- Clay or tan colored stools
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen tongue
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Blood in the stool
- Mucus in the stool
- Foul gas or flatulence
- Dental enamel problems