Best Evidence Topics
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Oral charcoal for accidental gluten ingestion for children with coeliac disease

Three Part Question

In [children with coelaic disease and accidental gluten ingestion] does [oral charcoal] [reduce symptoms of coeliac disease]

Clinical Scenario

An 8 year boy with coeliac disease has eaten a biscuit at a friends birthday party. His mother has brought him to A+E because she has read on a coelaic disease support forum that charcoal can reduce the risk abdominal pains and diarrhoea.

Search Strategy

Database: Ovid MEDLINE(R) Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE(R) Daily and Ovid MEDLINE(R) 1946 to Present
1 exp Charcoal/ (8467)
2 charcoal.ti,ab. (9718)
3 1 or 2 (14646)
4 exp Glutens/ (7409)
5 exp Glutens/ or exp Celiac Disease/ or exp Diet, Gluten-Free/ (21291)
6 and sensitivity.ti,ab. [mp=title, abstract, original title, name of substance word, subject heading word, keyword heading word, protocol supplementary concept word, rare disease supplementary concept word, unique identifier, synonyms] (1029)
7 coeliac.ti,ab. (7251)
8 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 (23741)
9 3 and 8 (4)

Search Outcome

4 papers of which none answered the clinical questions


There is no published peer-reviewed evidence to support the use of charcoal in patients who have accidentally ingested gluten.

Clinical Bottom Line

There is no evidence that charcoal reduces the symptoms of accidental gluten ingestion in coeliacs.