The Swisse Men’s Ultivite 50+ (SM50) is more than double the RRP of the standard Swisse Men’s Ultivite (SMU). Is there actually a big difference or has some marketing hack just worked out that fifty year olds have deeper pockets and a greater fear of death?
If you’re wondering what you’re getting for that extra money, read on!
In the vitamin B area the big differences on the downside are no biotin (B7) or inositol (B8) in the SM50 brand compared to 50mcg of B7 and 25mg of inositol in the standard SMU product. The RDI for biotin is 30mcg in men over fifty so it would be preferable to have retained the same dosage.
There is however a much higher dose of B12, despite there being no difference in the RDI for Australian men over 50. B1, B2 and B5 have about 10% more in the SM50 product but either brand would provide sufficient to cover your RDI.
Vitamins C and D are exactly the same in both products, but there is an inclusion of vitamin E in the SM50 brand, which was lacking in the standard Men’s Ultivite (but included in Nature’s Own, Centrum and Cenovis). Given the RDI is unchanged in men over fifty, it would be preferable to have included this dosage of E in both products, but makes sense as a premium inclusion.
There is triple the amount of CoEnzyme Q10 in the SM50 product, but at 3mg, it is less than 1/10th of the dose that has been shown as effective in clinical trials.
SM50 includes 1mg of lutein, five times the dosage in the standard product, and likely a nod to lutein’s potential role in preventing age-related macular damage. The amount of lutein administered to patients in trials showing its beneficial role, however was 10mg which is ten times more than the amount included in SM50. Nevertheless an inclusion of some lutein is logically going to be beneficial long-term as prevention.
Oddly there is only half as much calcium in the SM50 product than SMU. While osteoporosis in men is lower than women, it is still more than 6% in over fifties and closer to 20% for men over eighty years old. Calcium works well with vitamin K and zinc to build bone, however and with the inclusion of more than triple the dose of zinc in the SM50 product the overall bone support is still probably better.
There is 50mcg of chromium in SM50 compared to just 6mcg in SMU, which is a little higher than the RDI of 35mcg but there are no adverse affects reported in higher supplementation at this level.
With 1700mcg of copper in the SM50, that’s sixty times more than the standard product. This is at the full Australian RDI for men, but it is important to take care not to consume too much copper elsewhere as it can lead to toxicity, and is implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Iodine is included at 150mcg which is triple the standard Swisse Men’s Ultivite and 50% higher than the Australian RDI. Most bread is fortified with iodine so be mindful of your total dosage.
Molybdenum is definitely an interesting inclusion in the SM50 product, as it is not included in any of the standard men’s multivitamins despite being designated one of nineteen essential minerals and vitamins. The dosage is 45mcg which is the same as the Australian RDI. Deficiency in molybdenum is extremely rare as it is prevalent in legumes, grains and nuts which form the basis of most diets.
The laundry list of exotic plants and herbs is much smaller in the Swisse Men’s Ultivite 50+ than in the standard Men’s Ultivite, perhaps reflecting a more mature and clinical perspective on supplementation.
With 1000mg of gingko in the SM50 product, there is definitely an orientation towards energy and mental focus.
1000mg of cranberry is great for prostate health and a similar dosage to the amounts administered in double-blind trials that showed cranberry’s efficacy.
Muira puama and tribulus are included as a potential boost to sexual performance, in doses that are likely to have at least some impact, especially when combined with gingko.
There is also a much higher dose of St Mary’s Thistle, a liver tonic which may well be useful after a lifetime of heavy drinking. (We don’t judge, don’t worry!)
The SM50 product does not include lysine, tyrosine, sarsaparilla, parsley, papaya, oats, lycopene, ginseng, horsetail, green tea, gotu kola, ginger, fennel, damiana, celery, buchu or astralagus. But with minimal doses of each of those in SMU you aren’t missing out on anything that won’t be fixed with an occasional trip to a salad bar.
The Final Word
While the Swisse Men’s Ultivite 50+ is quite a bit more expensive, if you have the money and want a simple one-stop supplement then we recommend paying the extra money for the quality and quantity delivered.
Remember that any multivitamin should be an addition to a healthy and varied diet and not a substitute.
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