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Background: In recent decades, several studies have shown changes in the intestinal microflora among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Therapeutic measures using probiotics have shown favorable effects on the recovery of these patients. However, most studies have used probiotic supplements. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of probiotic cheese consumption on inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors, disease severity, and symptoms in these patients. Methods: This study is a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, in which forty patients with mild to moderate severity of RA will be randomly allocated to receive either 30 g/day probiotic cheese (n = 20) or only low-salt and low-fat cheese without any added probiotic (n = 20) for 12 weeks. Assessment of anthropometric measures and biochemical indicators, including serum concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-10 (IL-10), will be done at the study baseline and end of the trial. In addition, disease severity and disability will be assessed by DAS-28 and the HAQ-DI questionnaire, respectively. Discussion: Diet is the leading environmental factor affecting the gut microbiota. A prebiotic-rich diet and probiotics might be beneficial in this regard. To the best of our knowledge, the effect of probiotic supplements on inflammation in these patients has widely been assessed; however, there is only one study that examined the effect of probiotic-containing food in these patients. Further studies are needed to investigate the effect of probiotic-containing foods on inflammatory markers and symptoms in patients with RA. Trial registration: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials IRCT20201120049449N1. Registered on 14 February 2021.
Asoudeh, F., Djafarian, K., Akhalghi, M., Mahmoudi, M., Jamshidi, A. R., Farhadi, E., & Esmaillzadeh, A. (2022). The effect of probiotic cheese consumption on inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers, disease severity, and symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: study protocol for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Trials, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-022-06113-2