Do vitamins and minerals help to become less irritable?

In the VANTASTIC (Vitamins and Nutrients as Supplementation for Impulsivity, Irritability, and Compulsivity) study we want to determine the effects of broad-spectrum supplementation on reducing impulsive, compulsive and aggressive behavior in adolescents.

The study is part of Work Package 2 of the Eat2beNICE project and is conducted at two sites: University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands, and Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.


Some children are easily irritated or suffer from having a ‘short fuse’ (for example, they may have anger outbursts or lose their temper easily). Being easily irritated frequently occurs in children and adolescents with ADHD, but also with aggression-related disorders or emotion-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression. High impulsivity and irritability may continue into adulthood. It places a serious burden on a person and reduce quality of life. Therefore, it is important to find more treatment options to reduce impulsivity and irritability.

Some researchers claim that food supplements could help if someone is easily irritated. Broad-spectrum supplements contain micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and trace elements (for example vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, iron), which are also part of our food. By taking supplements, you increase these micronutrients in your body, or compensate for micronutrients that are lacking in your diet. Food supplements might also have a favorable effect on other problems, such as fatigue, sleep problems, negative feelings, or concentration difficulties. But is this true? If yes, to what extent can food supplements indeed help children and adolescents?

Unfortunately, as of yet, these questions have not been answered sufficiently. So far, only few high-quality studies exist on this topic. Therefore, in the VANTASTIC study we are examining if food supplements have an influence on impulsive, compulsive and aggressive behavior in adolescents with a high level of impulsivity and irritability.

In addition, we collaborate with other work packages in the project to investigate the effect of broad-spectrum micronutrients on the gut microbiome, epigenetics, blood biomarkers, physical activity and neurocognitive functioning.

The VANTASTIC (Vitamins and Nutrients as Supplementation for Impulsivity, Irritability, and Compulsivity) study design

This clinical trial starts with a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled phase of 10 weeks. Here, one group of the participants gets the food supplement, while the other gets a placebo. Whether a participant receives the supplement, or the placebo is determined by chance (drawing lots). Neither the participants nor the researchers know who has received the supplement and who the placebo. That is why this part of the study is called ‘double-blind randomized placebo-controlled’. This phase is followed by an open label phase of another 10 weeks, where all participants get the food supplement.

During the 20-week period, participants visit the research institute five times for assessments and receive a short follow up phone call two weeks later. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, assessments can also be done online (via video). To determine the effectiveness of the broad-spectrum supplementation the first (double-blind placebo controlled) phase is most important. During the study, current medication and other treatments can be continued as usual. Also, the participant should continue to eat and drink like he or she is used to.

For more in depth information about the VANTASTIC study you can watch this video:

Please note that the clinical trial has been completed.
For further information feel free to contact us or read more here:

University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Netherlands: 

Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany:


You can also read more about this topic in the following blogs:

For more in depth information about the VANTASTIC study you can watch this video: