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Oat Straw: Gluten-Free or Not?

 

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1/8/2013

Question: 

For people with a gluten-related disorder, should oat straw consumption be treated the same as oats?

Answer:

Dear Tamara,

This is a great question because oat straw has been getting some attention lately as a new “superfood” rich in calcium and other minerals with the potential to boost hormone levels that stimulate cell growth, which may in turn help with in osteoporosis prevention (although the evidence is limited thus far).

This being said, I could not find any mention of whether or not oat straw contains gluten in the scientific literature.  Indeed, there is the very high potential that the oat straw may be contaminated with gluten from wheat, barley or rye during harvesting, transporting, milling and processing, just like oats may be, so my recommendation would be to not consume any oat straw or products with oat straw, unless the manufacturer can certify it to be gluten-free.

In good health,

EA Stewart, MBA, RD

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