While searching for the right supplements at the health food store, you see different measurements on the vitamin bottles. Some are listed in ml, while others have the abbreviations mcg and IU. You're not sure what these numbers mean. You're also wondering if more is better when it comes to your vitamins and minerals.
The first thing to understand is that mcg stands for microgram. This is a measurement of mass in the metric system. There are 1000 micrograms in one milligram. This is a common unit of measure in medicine. It is sometimes used as a shorthand symbol in writing because it is easy to mistake for the letter m, which could be misread as "mg" (milligram), resulting in a tenfold overdose.
In contrast, IU stands for international unit. This is a unit of measure for the density or strength of a substance. It is often used in conjunction with other measurements of density and strength, such as mcg or ml, in medical reports and communications.
When it comes to measuring vitamins and minerals, mcg and IU are both useful units of measurement. You may encounter them in your doctor's office, or on the labels of vitamins and minerals you buy at the health food store. It is important to know what they stand for so that you can understand the information on the label. This will help you choose the best supplements for your needs. For example, if you are taking a supplement with vitamin D, you want to be sure that the dosage is correct.