The effect of addition of oats and barley to the glutenfree diets of a group of patients with coeliac disease has been studied using the oral 5 g xylose excretion test to assess small bowel function before and after these supplementations.
Both oats and barley were found to be potentially harmful to coeliac patients although the toxic effect of barley was more readily produced than that of oats.
On the basis of their results, the authors recommend the exclusion of both barley and oats, in addition to wheat and rye, from the coeliac diet. In view of the well recognized risk of the development of malignancy, such a diet should be followed particularly rigorously in those patients with a persistence of symptoms and of marked villous atrophy.
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