Are You a Celiac Who Can’t Tolerate Pure, Gluten-Free Oats?

libre-naturalsThe Celiac Scene had the pleasure of  meeting Alana Elliott of Libre Naturals at a recent Gluten-Free Foodie Event in Victoria, BC! An internationally recognized innovator in Food Allergen and Gluten-Free Protocols, I asked her what she could tell me about a subspecies of pure oats known to trigger a digestive response in some celiacs. She knew exactly what I was talking about – and beyond. Her company, Libre Naturals checks all incoming oats1 for the G12 amino acid strand.

Please join me in learning more!

As a family company that truly understands life-threatening food allergies,The Back Story on Oats

Oats have so much to offer in terms of dietary fibre, heart health, coronary artery disease, lowering levels of cholesterol and reducing one’s risk of colorectal cancer. 2 Better yet, the storage protein in oats (avenin) is one that celiacs should be able to tolerate 3, provided that the oats are not cross-contaminated with wheat. 4

Leaders in Canada’s oat production industry took up the challenge and developed a ‘purity protocol’ that minimized or prevented the chance of cross-contact with gluten as seed, at planting, while growing in the field, at harvesting, during transport, in storage and during processing and packaging.

• Cream Hill Estates Purity Guarantee
• Avena Foods Purity Protocol

The ‘purity protocol’ was endorsed by Health Canada 5 and the Canadian Celiac Association6 and was received with fanfare by the gluten-free community.  However, not everything was to be roses; a small subset of celiacs remain unable to tolerate even the purest of gluten-free oats.

pure, gluten free oatsThe Search for Pure Oats that All Celiacs Could Tolerate

A study published in the medical journal Gut entitled, ‘Diversity in Oat Potential Immunogenicity: basis for the selection of oat varieties with no toxicity in coeliac disease,’ shed new light on the subject.  7

  • Scientists took great pains to make sure they were testing oat and only oat. [ie pure oats]  and even so, they found big differences in toxicity between different oat varieties. 8
  • Using a new antibody raised against the toxic fragment, G12 Antibody Test, the study showed that oat immunogenicity for patients with CD varies according to the cultivars [varieties].
  • The study distinguished three groups of oat cultivars reacting differently against theG12 Antibody Test:  a group with considerable affinity (Nave oat cultivar), a group showing slight reactivity and another with no detectable reactivity (Irina and Potenza varieties, respectively) 
  • This gives a rational explanation for why only some oats trigger an immunological response in some celiacs.
  • The results open up a means to identify immunologically-safe oat cultivars.

libre-naturals-red-berry-granola-barsLibre Naturals – Pioneers in G12 Testing 9

As a family company that truly understands life-threatening food allergies, Alana Elliott explains, “As of December 2012, we  began testing our oats for G12.  This test is based on science that says some celiacs react to gluten-free oats not because of gluten grains contamination but because certain varieties of gluten-free oats are not suitable for a small percentage of celiacs.”

  • Libre Naturals’ G12-tested oatmeal, granola and granola bars are dedicated to  providing safe and delicious options for all celiacs.

Goodbye NoNuttin – Hello Libre Naturals Granola Bars!

Libre Naturals is in the final stages of rebranding all of their Nonuttin’ products and adding a fourth,  new flavour – Red Berry – full of unsweetened dried raspberries, strawberries and cranberries. Read more here

Libre Naturals Granola Bars

Additional changes:

  • Refined sunflower oil replaces the canola oil
  • No changes to our declarations since we’ve had sunflower seeds in our facility since 2011
  • New whole grain, puffy brown crisp rice 
  • Now at least 16 g whole grains per bar = 1 whole serving
  • Now vegan

Read more here