We tested the effects of an uncooked vegan diet, rich in lactobacilli, in rheumatoid patients randomized into diet and control groups. The intervention group experienced subjective relief of rheumatic symptoms during intervention. A return to an omnivorous diet aggravated symptoms. Half of the patients experienced adverse effects (nausea, diarrhoea) during the diet and stopped the experiment prematurely. Indicators of rheumatic disease activity did not differ statistically between groups. The positive subjective effect experienced by the patients was not discernible in the more objective measures of disease activity (Health Assessment Questionnaire, duration of morning stiffness, pain at rest and pain on movement). However, a composite index showed a higher number of patients with 3-5 improved disease activity measures in the intervention group. Stepwise regression analysis associated a decrease in the disease activity (measured as change in the Disease Activity Score, DAS) with lactobacilli-rich and chlorophyll-rich drinks, increase in fibre intake, and no need for gold, methotrexate or steroid medication (R2=0.48, P=0.02). The results showed that an uncooked vegan diet, rich in lactobacilli, decreased subjective symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Large amounts of living lactobacilli consumed daily may also have positive effects on objective measures of rheumatoid arthritis.