The twenty-first century is facing the challenge of an accelerating speed of ageing, and with it an increasing prevalence of ageing-related pathologies. Specific age-related conditions, which predominantly affect older people, include dementia (cognitive decline), depression, prediabetes and diabetes, which all rise sharply with age.
A number of epidemiological human studies suggest there are important links between these pathologies, and that they may even share common nutritional risk factors. One of these, a seemingly novel and very relevant risk factor, is Vitamin D. These findings are important, as it is widely recognized that vitamin D status is suboptimal in older adults. The project 4xD (Vitamin D for preventing Dementia and Depression in Diabetes) focusses on the links between prediabetes and diabetes, dementia and depression on the one hand and vitamin D as a joint and novel predisposing factor for these conditions on the other.