19 June 2017

Dr. Alejandro Arias-Vásquez, from Radboudumc, will coordinate the Horizon 2020 project “Effects of Nutrition and Lifestyle on Impulsive, Compulsive, and Externalizing behaviours: Eat2beNICE”. This multi-million European project will investigate which dietary components (including sugar, fat, protein content, vitamin and mineral supplementation) and lifestyle factors (including exercise) influence impulsivity, compulsivity and addiction.

Eat2beNICE will use information from large population registries and perform four dietary interventions. Restriction elimination diet, broad-spectrum supplementation, probiotics and the Mediterranean diet will be compared and analysed for positive effects on impulsivity/compulsivity.  These trials will focus on the extreme impulsive/compulsive behaviour that contributes most to the societal burden.

The project will clarify key underlying mechanisms involved in the link between diet and behaviour. The programme will focus on how the gut bacteria (microbiota) impacts the brain, specifically if brain areas central to impulsivity, compulsivity, addiction and aggression are altered by nutrition/lifestyle. Furthermore, the underlying interaction between genetic factors and nutrition/lifestyle will be researched.

An important additional innovative aspect is the direct translation of our findings into tangible real-life food solutions for persons with impulsivity and compulsivity with the help of celebrity chef Sebastian Lege (www.sebastianlege.de), through the generation of recipes, a cookbook, cooking-lessons, all translated into multiple European languages, and leveraging his connections to develop food solutions.

The project will start on the 1st of September and includes 20 partners from which four are from Radboudumc and Radboud University. Besides the group of Dr. Alejandro Arias Vasquez, research groups from Prof. Barbara Franke, Prof. Jan Buitelaar, Dr. Nanda Rommelse and Dr. Jeffrey Glennon from Radboudumc and the group from Prof. Carolina de Weerth from Radboud University  also make part of the Nijmegen team. In total, 3.7 Million Euro has been awarded to this group of researchers.