Environmental factors like diet have been linked to depression and/or relapse risk in later life. This could be partially driven by the food metabolome, which communicates with the brain via the circulatory system and interacts with hippocampal neurogenesis (HN), a form of brain plasticity implicated in depression aetiology. Despite the associations between HN, diet and depression, human data further substantiating this hypothesis are largely missing. Here, we used an in vitro model of HN to test the effects of serum samples from a longitudinal ageing cohort of 373 participants, with or without depressive symptomology. 1% participant serum was applied to human fetal hippocampal progenitor cells, and changes in HN markers were related to the occurrence of depressive symptoms across a 12-year period. Key nutritional, metabolomic and lipidomic biomarkers (extracted from participant plasma and serum) were subsequently tested for their ability to modulate HN. In our assay, we found that reduced cell death and increased neuronal differentiation were associated with later life depressive symptomatology. Additionally, we found impairments in neuronal cell morphology in cells treated with serum from participants experiencing recurrent depressive symptoms across the 12-year period. Interestingly, we found that increased neuronal differentiation was modulated by increased serum levels of metabolite butyrylcarnitine and decreased glycerophospholipid, PC35:1(16:0/19:1), levels – both of which are closely linked to diet – all in the context of depressive symptomology. These findings potentially suggest that diet and altered HN could subsequently shape the trajectory of late-life depressive symptomology.