Gluten Free Diet - Do You Eat Oats? - Celiac Disease
Aug 31 2008

Gluten Free Diet – Do You Eat Oats?

I’m sure most if not all of our readers are following a gluten free diet, so I’d like to get your thoughts.  Do you eat oats?

There has been a lot of discussion about oats and where they fit into the gluten free diet over the last few years, so the only real safe thing to do is to avoid oats when you start out and later introduce them once you’re comfortably on the gluten free diet.

According to What to Feed Your Kids:

Whether to include oats on a gluten free diet is controversial. Many oats are not gluten free because of crop rotation – the same soil is used to grow wheat one season and oats the next. There are oats which are specially grown to be gluten free, but according to Wikipedia even the gluten free oats contain avenin (a protein very similar in molecular structure to gluten) that is “toxic to the intestinal submucosa and can trigger a reaction in some celiacs.”

Studies regarding people with celiac and their ability to tolerate oats are mixed. Some studies show celiac sufferers can tolerate oats which are free from contamination, but a possible reason for this conclusion is that those who can’t tolerate oats end up dropping out (biasing the sample) midway through the study.

There is also new research indicating a molecular basis for oat intolerance in patients with celiac disease. People with celiac who have the DQ8 gene seem to tolerate oats better than those with the DQ2 gene. I have the DQ2 gene so I don’t include any oats in my gluten free diet. The Celiac Sprue Association tends to have zero tolerance risk profile and “recommends that excluding oats is the only risk free choice for those on a gluten-free diet.”

Click over to check out the rest of this post!    Also, we’d love for you to share your experiences.   Are you able to eat oats?

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. PSW says:

    People with celiac who have the DQ8 gene seem to tolerate oats better than those with the DQ2 gene.

    fascinating – thanks for the info, I’ll be following up on this!

  2. EmmBee says:

    I tried oats and even though I tried the ones that were harvested and packaged without cross-contamination issues, I got sick. I miss oats but being well is so much more important. Interesting article and site, thanks.

  3. Tink says:

    Sheesh, I found out I was gluten intolerant the hard way[is there any other way?] Christmas eve I got very sick after eating cookies and some other sweets. Stomach is just now becoming better [one month]…so I thought I would try some gluten free oats from the health store. Within minutes I got sick. I miss oats too, but not worth the horrible feeling/sickness to eat them.

  4. Anna says:

    My husband is a coeliac and he can eat oats if they’re not contaminated with wheat. He had a test recently that showed that his gut inflammation has disappeared, even though he has been eating oats.

    If he does accidentally eat some gluten he feels sick, but happily eats oats most mornings for breakfast.

    I guess he has the DQ8 rather than the DQ2 gene that PSW mentioned previously.

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