Watch out for mcg vs. mg

I’ve seen this mistake many times in articles produced by content farms, which employ writers whose expertise is clearly elsewhere to produce “articles” designed to answer internet search queries, such as the proper folic acid dosage for female former weight-lifters. Typos are one thing, but this is an error of a factor of 1,000 — 5 mgs is 1,000 times MORE than 5 mcgs.

I think people get these confused easily because in everyday life we usually count things in series of 100, not 1,000. My own doctor used the wrong term repeatedly in a discussion we had recently, even after I asked her to clarify twice.

Supplements typically labeled in microgram doses are biotin, folate and folic acid, vitamin B12, chromium, molybdenum, selenium, and some iodine preparations.

1,000 mcg = 1 mg
1,000 mg = 1 g
1,000,000 mcg = 1 g
1 mcg = 1/1,000th of a milligram
1 mg = 1/1,000th of a gram
1 mcg = 1/1,000,000th of a gram

Metric system prefixes:

d (deci) = /10
c (cent) = /100
m (milli) = /1,000
ยต (micro) = /1,000,000
n (nano) = /1,000,000,000
p (pico) = /1,000,000,000,000
da (deca) = x10
h (hecto) = x100
k (kilo) = x1,000
M (mega) = x1,000,000
G (giga) = x1,000,000,000
T (tera) = x1,000,000,000,000

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