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iU Confused? A Guide to Vitamin Measurements

A Viridian Nutrition guide to vitamin and mineral comparison calculations.


Mg, Mcg, ug, IU the measuring of vitamins and minerals can be confusing. Here we help you through the vitamin measurement maze.

GRAM
A gram is a metric measurement of weight. An old imperial measure of weight is the ounce and one ounce = 28.4 grams.

MILLIGRAM
One milligram is one thousandth of a gram and one thousand micrograms. A milligram is generally abbreviated as mg.

MICROGRAM
One microgram is one millionth of a gram and one thousandth of a milligram. It is usually abbreviated as mcg or ug. Mcg and ug are the same.

IU
The IU is an International Unit, usually used to measure fat soluble vitamins including Vitamin A, D and E.
The conversion of IU to mg varies depending on the nutrient.

VITAMIN A
One milligram of beta carotene = 1667IU of Vitamin A activity.
15mg of beta carotene = 25,000IU of Vitamin A activity.
VITAMIN E
One milligram of Vitamin E = approx 1.21 to 1.49IU (depending on the carrier).
400IU of d-alpha tocopherol = 268mg.
VITAMIN D
One microgram of Vitamin D = 40IU.
400IU of Vitamin D = 10ug.

 

Please remember that 'more' isn't necessarily better in nutrition. Many nutrients are only required in microgram amounts and taking larger amounts could be unnecessary or even detrimental to health.

 

We hope this will help you when comparing different supplements in your local health food store, where you will find experienced staff able to give you further guidance.

 




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