As the European population is aging rapidly, our society will increasingly depend on the productivity of the senior population and health care providers are challenged by the marked increase in age-related chronic diseases. To address this concern, effective, affordable, and well-tolerated strategies that prevent or delay chronic disease at older age and prolong healthy life expectancy are urgently needed.
Among the most promising strategies are vitamin D, marine omega-3 fatty acids and physical exercise. Vitamin D fortification and supplementation is particularly promising due to the EFSA approved health claim on vitamin D for reduced risk of falling in elderly as well as successful national fortification strategies (Finland). Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties, and it is expected that health benefits are consolidated by regular exercise. Individual and combined effects of the three interventions however, have yet to be confirmed in a large clinical trial.
DO-HEALTH, supported by DSM and other partners, will close this knowledge gap in a large multi-centre clinical trial. The project started in December 2012 and has already recruited 2,158 seniors age 70+. DO-HEALTH will be ongoing until 2017.