Position Statement on Oats
The safety of oats in individuals with celiac disease has been extensively investigated. Clinical evidence from numerous studies indicate that consumption of pure oats, uncontaminated with gluten from wheat, rye or barley, is safe for most individuals with celiac disease in the amount of 50 to 70 grams per day (1/2 – 3/4 cup dry rolled oats) for adults, and 20 to 25 grams per day (1/4 cup dry rolled oats) for children with celiac disease. These studies were up to seven years in length, used uncontaminated oats, but involved a limited number of subjects.
A small number of individuals with celiac disease may not tolerate even pure, uncontaminated oats. To ensure that persons with celiac disease are not intolerant to pure, uncontaminated oats, before incorporating oats into their diet they should be well controlled on a gluten-free diet, with no gastrointestinal complaints.
In Canada and the USA, pure and uncontaminated oats are produced by specialty manufacturers. These oats have been grown on dedicated fields; stored, transported and processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility and tested for gluten. These oats should not exceed the action level of 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten as detected using current available methods. Individuals s with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders who wish to add oats or oat products to their diet must ensure that the oats they are eating are free from contamination with gluten from wheat, rye and barley. Oats available in the marketplace labeled as “pure” are not free of gluten contamination and should not be consumed.
The Canadian Celiac Association’s (CCA) position on the safety of pure, uncontaminated oats is supported by Health Canada. Their review entitled Celiac Disease and the Safety of Oats is available on the Health Canada website
The safety of oats in non-celiac gluten sensitivity has not been studied. The CCA will continue to monitor the scientific developments in the area of oats in celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders and will keep its members updated.
Professional Advisory Board
Canadian Celiac Association
View the guidelines for consumption of pure and uncontaminated oats by individuals with celiac disease