Many people who avoid the gluten in wheat, barley and rye, eat oats and food made with oats as a substitute. Oats are filling foods and contain plenty of fiber. But research into the molecular structure of oats shows that some people who are sensitive to gluten may also react to oats.
Most people with celiac disease, the autoimmune reaction to gluten, control their condition by sticking to a gluten-free diet. That limits their food choices. And now research shows that many of them should scratch oats off their menu.
A study at the University of Oslo in Norway shows that oats are potentially a source of inflammation.
Like other chronic inflammatory conditions, celiac disease derives from a complex interaction among genetic and environmental factors. It is believed to affect about 1 percent of Americans.
The Norwegian researchers discovered that intolerance to oats exists at least in some people with celiac disease, and that those people suffer the same molecular reaction to oats that others experience from to wheat, barley or rye.