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What Are International Units?

It is typical to refer to vitamins and minerals in milligrams, usually represented as mg.

Occasionally you will see micrograms or mcg for trace elements as these are found in such small amounts. These are sometimes also shown as μg, in fact, this is the correct term, however it is tricky on a keyboard, and mcg is widely used.

What can cause some confusion is “International Units”.

This phrase is used widely in the pharmaceutical world, but also sometimes in the field of natural health, this is shown as IU.

It is used for a small number of vitamins, notably vitamin A when this is found in the retinol or beta carotene form, and also vitamin D.

The nutrients typically (and correctly) referred to in this way are enzymes, and this includes the proteolytic enzyme we supply Serrapeptase.  In this example, this is supplied as an 80,000 IU.  It would not be correct to show this example in milligrams.

IUs cannot be directly converted to mgs as this conversion is dependant on the potency of the particular substance in question.  For example 100IU of vitamin D could not be compared with 100IU of Serrapeptase.

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