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A randomized controlled cross-over trial investigating the effect of anti-inflammatory diet on disease activity and quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis: the Anti-inflammatory Diet In Rheumatoid Arthritis (ADIRA) study protocol

Journal article
Authors Anna Winkvist
Linnea Bärebring
Inger Gjertsson
Lars Ellegård
Helen Lindqvist
Published in Nutrition Journal
Volume 17
ISSN 1475-2891
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Language en
Keywords Rheumatoid arthritis, Diet, Anti-inflammatory, Quality of life, Sweden, health, sweden, cohort, sf-36, risk, Nutrition & Dietetics
Subject categories Rheumatology and Autoimmunity, Nutrition and Dietetics


Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects 0.5-1.0% of the population, and where many patients in spite of modern pharmacological treatment fail to reach remission. This affects physical as well as mental wellbeing and leads to severely reduced quality of life and reduced work capacity, thus yielding high individual as well as societal costs. As a complement to modern pharmacological treatment, lifestyle intervention should be evaluated as a treatment option. Scientific evidence exists for anti-inflammatory effects by single foods on RA, but no study exists where these foods have been combined to obtain maximum effect and thus offer a substantial improvement in patient life quality. The main goal of the randomized cross-over trial ADIRA (Anti-inflammatory Diet In Rheumatoid Arthritis) is to test the hypothesis that an anti-inflammatory diet intervention, compared to a regular diet, will decrease disease activity and improve quality of life in patients with stable established RA. Methods: In total, 50 RA patients with moderate disease activity are randomized to receive initially either a portfolio diet based on several food items with suggested anti-inflammatory effects or a control diet during 2 x 10 weeks with 3 months wash-out between diets. Food bags are delivered weekly by a home food delivery chain and referred to as the fiber bag and the protein bag, respectively, to partially blind participants. Both groups continue with regular pharmacological treatment. Known food biomarkers will be analyzed to measure intervention compliance. Impact on disease severity (measured by DAS28, a composite score which predicts disability and progression of RA), risk markers for cardiovascular disease and quality of life are evaluated after each diet regimen. Metabolomics will be used to evaluate the potential to predict responders to dietary treatment. A health economic evaluation is also included. Discussion: The nutritional status of patients with RA often is poor and many ask their physician for diet advice. No evidence-based dietary guidelines for patients with RA exist because of the paucity of well-conducted sufficiently large diet intervention trials. ADIRA is an efficacy study and will provide evidence as to whether dietary treatment of RA can reduce disease activity and improve quality of life as well as reduce individual and societal costs.

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