Ask the doctor.
Can I have oatmeal for breakfast on the Gerson Therapy if I have gluten sensitivity?
This is a good question that does not have a simple answer. In the past, it was believed that oats do not contain gluten and that any reactivity was the result of contamination of the oats by equipment that also processed other gluten-containing grains. You can obtain oats in health food stores that are certified to be processed by equipment used exclusively to process oats.
Now there is research showing that certain varieties of oats contain components of the antigen called alpha-gliadin, and others do not. An antigen is a substance that stimulates an immune response. Gliadin is a prime example of an antigen that cross-reacts with other foods as well as human tissue antigens. In other words, the immune system will recognize an antigen in the oats that is similar to an antigen in another food that contains gluten and will react the same way. This study indicated that reactivity to oats is not just a matter of contamination by machinery, but occurs because of cross-breeding. Some varieties of oats carry a cross-reactive epitome (feature) that resembles the same epitome in alpha-gliadin. Therefore, antibodies against alpha-gliadin cross-react with certain types of oats, but not with other types of oats that may not have that particular feature. The researchers concluded that since there is no way to screen every variety of oats on the market for alpha-gliadin-type epitomes, the best approach for patients with celiac disease would be to consider oats cross-reactive and eliminate them from their diet.
From the Gerson perspective, the above conclusion is true for someone with celiac disease. However, for someone with a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it may be possible that, after being on the Gerson Therapy for a period of time, certain sensitivities can be cleared. When the cells are properly nourished and the liver becomes healthier and able to cleanse the blood properly, many allergies and sensitivities disappear. It may be wise to eliminate oatmeal for a few weeks and then re-introduce it and see if any symptoms reappear. While eliminating oatmeal, you can try temporarily substituting millet or quinoa for breakfast. If no symptoms are experienced after re-introducing oatmeal, it should be safe to bring oatmeal back into the diet. Oatmeal is high in protein and potassium and is the best cereal for breakfast for a Gerson patient.
by Dr. Kayla Smith