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What does µg mean?

Jul 29, 2014 | 1 min read
µg means microgram or mcg

µg is the correct symbol for the metric measurement microgram which is one millionth of a gram or one thousandth of a milligram.

The symbol for µ is a Greek letter (mu) which means 'small'.

Due to the symbol µ being typographically unavailable much of the time i.e. you cannot type it on a keyboard, other versions were devised; two of which are ug and mcg and are now widely used in its place.

» Categories: Terminologies Explained

9 Comments

Apr 23, 2016
what is the difference between mcg & ug? If something is 60mcg & you are allowed 300ugs, what does that mean?
Replied to on: Apr 26, 2016
Hi Debra,
There is no difference - they both mean 'micrograms'
µ is the Greek letter micron, which is used as µg for micrograms; sometimes this is abbreviated as mcg instead.
So 60mcg is one-fifth of 300µg, so you are well within the defined limit.
(or 60µg is one-fifth of 300mcg - they mean the same thing)
I hope this clears things up!
Sep 17, 2016
I can find plenty of explanations for ug in vitamin amounts but what is Aug?
Replied to on: Sep 24, 2016
Can you clarify what you mean by Aug please? Maybe an example of where you have seen this? Thanks.
Oct 11, 2016
Thank you for your reply, saying the 'A' doesn't mean anything but I've thought about this & there must be a reason they put it there. It appears in several other lists of 'Nutrition and You' site. The lists are from USDA (United States Department of Agriculture. The 'A' only appears on some ug's not all. Does it mean it only applies to America or some place starting with 'A'? I hope someone can shed some light on this. Thanks.
Replied to on: Oct 11, 2016
Having investigated this in detail with you via direct messages, it transpires that it is just a formatting issue caused by some sort of conflict/ error between the way the document was created and how it is being displayed now. Sometimes, special characters (such as the mcg µ) or non-printing characters (such as a space) in a document can cause issues between different creation and display modes. So in conclusion, just ignore the  and read it as µg.

Mystery solved!
Jan 2, 2017
I need to but vit d tabs. Which. Are best for adult over 60
Replied to on: Jan 2, 2017
We would recommend 10mcg / 400iu per day as a minimum maintenance intake. There may be therapeutic reasons why you may want to take a higher level, so those are available too.
Jan 16, 2017
Just to be pedantic: µ is the Greek letter 'mu', not 'micron'. 'Micron' is the Greek word for 'small', but has come to be used in the form, 'micro-' to mean 'a millionth', where 'milli-' means 'a thousandth'. 'µ' is used as the abbreviation for 'micro-' as 'm' is the abbreviation for 'milli-'.
Replied to on: Jan 16, 2017
Thanks for the comment and further information. Just for anyone else reading this, I believe you are referring to one of our responses to a comment, rather than information in the article itself...
Apr 14, 2017
I need to take 5mg folic acid tablets, but I can find 400 ug tablets! Does it mean same
Replied to on: Apr 18, 2017
Our Folic Acid tablets are 400ug, which is equal to 0.4mg - that means you would need to take 12.5 of these tablets to achieve 5mg of Folic Acid. The level that you are looking for in a tablet (5mg) is a medicinal level in the UK, so you may be able to purchase that from a pharmacy, or you may need a prescription, but we can't supply it as a Food Supplement.
Aug 3, 2017
Very useful but is there a conversion chart /method for converting ug measurements to mgs
Replied to on: Aug 9, 2017
The conversion is quite simple: 1000ug = 1mg.
Oct 3, 2017
Hi, can I just clarify that if I’m recommended to take 400mcg of folic acid, is 400ug the exact same dosage?
Replied to on: Oct 4, 2017
Yes I can confirm that 400mcg and 400ug are the exact same dosage. As described in the article above, µg, ug and mcg all mean the same thing - microgram.
Jun 1, 2018
If I take 100 μg daily it is the same as 100 mcg?
Replied to on: Jun 4, 2018
Hi Tina

Yes that is correct, μg is the symbol for Microgram.

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