In several studies oats have been reported to be tolerated by coeliac patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate the nutritional and symptomatic effects of including oats in the gluten-free diet, as well as the patients' subjective experiences. Twenty adult coeliac patients included large amounts of oats in their diet. Food intake, gastrointestinal symptoms, blood samples and body weight were examined and compared with examination at baseline. Diet compliance was checked monthly. The results are based on fifteen patients eating oats for 2 years plus three with only 6-months consumption. The median daily intake of oats was 93 (range 27–137) g/d, and the compliance was good. The mean intakes of Fe and dietary fibre increased (P<0·001) with the oat diet, as well as the intakes of thiamin and Zn (P<0·02). The bioavailability of Fe tended to decrease; this seems not to have influenced the Fe status. Temporary increased flatulence was experienced the first few weeks, as well as improved bowel function with oats in the diet. All patients who carried out the whole study period wanted to continue eating oats after the study, as they found that addition of oats in the gluten-free diet gave more variation, better taste and satiety. Oats improved the nutritional value of the gluten-free diet, had no negative effects on nutritional status and were appreciated by the subjects. Including oats can help coeliac patients following a strict gluten-free diet.
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