Achieving Personal Potential

Ingredient Equivalency Calculators

Have you ever wanted to know how much of an active nutrient is in a given ingredient?
Have you ever wanted to know how much of an ingredient to use to deliver a certain amount of its active component?

These Ingredient Equivalency Calculators will assist your understanding and calculation of ‘Total Material’ amounts vs ‘Active Component’ amounts for various vitamin, mineral and general nutritional ingredients.

Key Features

Perform Calculations ‘On-The-Fly’
(All mathematical calculations are performed for you in both directions automatically… instantly!)
Optimise Dosing
(Easily select Container and Serving Scoop sizes – for accurate, efficient and easy dosing)
Maximise Value
(Easily save on ingredient costs and formula affordability with clear and easily refined calculations)

Who should use this calculator?

– Anyone seeking to better understand their nutritional supplements and the doses they deliver.
– Anyone making their own supplements who wants to make sure they are dosing accurately and appropriately.
– Anyone who doesn’t like maths, but wants to get the most out of any nutritional supplement regimen.

When would you use this calculator?

a) When analysing foods, supplements and other substances (to better understand how much of their components they are delivering).

b) When designing and making your own nutritional formulas (to assist with calculating how much ingredient to use, and which ingredients are going to deliver the intended doses you would like to target)



The completeness of every statement, calculation or result cannot ever be fully guaranteed. Therefore this calculator requires that you are able (and remain responsible) to use your own personal judgement to determine the appropriateness of any quantities of substances to be ingested by any individual. If you do not feel confident to make such reasoned judgements, please pursue further research and education before applying any of the information and results provided.

Active Ingredient Calculator

Field Values:

Target ‘Active’ Amount:
The amount of active substance to be delivered in a dose (by weight).

Active Portion:
The concentration/portion of the material that is considered to be the active substance (as a percentage).

Total Material Qty:
The total amount of overall material required to achieve the specified target active dose (by weight).

TWO primary ways to use this calculator:

Active Equivalent Amount —> Total Amount

1. Decide on a specific ingredient to be used.
2. Enter a target amount of the active component to be dosed (in milligrams) in the first field.
3. Enter an activity factor (active percentage) value in the second field (consult further resources to determine the correct value to use for your intended purposes here).
4. The calculator will then automatically calculate the amount of total ingredient material that would be required (in milligrams) to deliver the target active component.
(along with some visual graphing to help illustrate the active concentration of the overall material)

Active Equivalent Amount <— Total Amount

1. Decide on a specific ingredient material to use.
2. Enter a value for the total amount of ingredient material to be used (in milligrams) in the last field.
3. Enter an activity factor (active percentage) value in the second field (consult further resources to determine the correct value to use for your intended purposes here).
4. The calculator will then automatically calculate the active component of the material that will be delivered (in milligrams) from the specified amount of total material.
(along with some visual graphing to help illustrate the active portion of the overall material)

Each field will inter-convert with the other fields so that values can be updated ‘on the fly’ to help you achieve quick calculations and fine tune the right amounts of material and doses you want to achieve.

Nutrient Equivalency Calculator

The first ‘Active Ingredient‘ Calculator above is for performing simple calculations between a total material quantity and it’s active portion for a custom ingredient.

The ‘Nutrient Equivalency‘ Calculator is for performing quick calculations between total material quantities and equivalent active portions for a series of known nutrient ingredient materials (divided into sections for minerals, water-soluble vitamin, and fat-soluble vitamins – since each are measured and calculated a little differently).

Use this calculator when you would like to either understand how much of a given ingredient material is delivering in the way of an active dose, or to target a particular intended active dose, and see how much overall material ingredient (in various forms) would be needed to achieve that dose.

Note: This calculator is best viewed in landscape orientation if being viewed on a mobile device.

Note: Some nutrients can quantified using multiple types of units – in which case two fields may be displayed to help convert between these (in particular for the fat-soluble vitamins).

mg: milligrams
mcg: micrograms
IU: International Units
RE: Retinol Equivalents

If you would like to know how to combine ingredients to make your own formulas, see the compounding calculator for health professionals here.

Some further background information and instructions can be found below the calculators.

Active Ingredient Calculator

Nutrient Equivalency Calculator

Background Information

Understanding Quantity Values

While milligrams (mg) serve most needs for planning nutritional dosing (and therefore are used as the base unit in these calculators), if you would like to enter, or view the calculator results in any value that is larger or smaller than 1-999 milligrams, then here is a quick visual that may help you work with such values when using this calculator.
Digit Value Interpretation
For example:
If you wanted to enter 5 grams (which would be around a teaspoon of a dense powder) that would be 5,000 mg
If you wanted to enter 500 grams, that would be 500,000 mg
If you wanted to enter 5 kilograms, that would be 5,000,000 mg
and if you wanted to work with 5 micrograms (which would require an extremely precise scale by the way) that would be 0.005 mg
(any values that appear after the decimal point relate to micrograms)

How to Dose?

Note sure how much to dose?
For more information on typical clinical doses for both adults and children, for a list of various vitamins and minerals, see the dosing guide here, for a visual representation of these units and some perspective on their physical scale, and some suggested quantity ranges to help find appropriate target amounts.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Note on Activity vs Active Portion:
It is conventional to standardise certain vitamins to their base parent form (usually the component considered most active in the body).

Certain ‘activated’ and novel vitamin forms may contain additional components and molecules that enhance their function, but therefore also contain less of the base component in it’s overall structure by weight, yet these additional molecules may substantially increase the absorption and metabolic effects of the overall nutrient, potentially making it far MORE ‘active’ in the body rather than less so, at equivalent quantities.

Note on Vitamin B3:
Due to the small size of the ‘amide’ portion (less than 1%), Niacin and Niacinamide may both essentially constitute 100% Vitamin B3 – albeit with different metabolic properties in the body.

Note on ‘Active’ Folate:
* Due to half of the two Folinic acid isomers being inactive and not absorbed when taken orally, the value resulting from removing the mineral portion (e.g. 7%) to yield pure folate, can be further halved to yield the true ‘Active Folate’ amount that can be expected from that oral dose (therefore it is recommended that you adjust dosing quantities and expectations accordingly e.g. doubling doses of Folinic Acid to equate to comparative amounts of other forms of folate).

Note that whilst 100% of Folic acid may be regarded as a form of Folate, it is not a natural dietary form of folate and may not be efficiently metabolised in the body (this may affect certain individuals more than others, and can have negative effects, making Folic Acid a less ideal form for clinical supplementation, despite its apparent dose potency, with patients potentially experiencing negative side effects from excess doses far more readily than from other more natural forms of folate).

Note on Vitamin B12 Forms:
* Due to the large size of the Cobalamin molecule, most B12 forms contain over 98% Cobalamin (except Adenosyl which is only 81% Cobalamin) making all oral forms essentially considered 100% B12.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

What is an International Unit?
‘International Units’ (IU) are commonly used in the measurement of certain medications, vaccines and vitamins.
The quantity that makes up one International Unit depends on the concentration or potency of the particular substance in question and therefore varies from substance to substance (depending on what is being measured) i.e. it is not a standardised unit.

This means that converting between international units and weight-based units such as micrograms or milligrams is not a simple calculation and the conversion method used between one nutrient and another will be different. The exact measure of one IU of a substance is in fact established by international agreement for each substance.

For example, vitamin E exists in a number of different forms having different biological activities. Rather than specifying the precise type and mass of vitamin E in a formula, ingredient labels often simply summarise the biological activity of the forms present as an IU value.

For this reason, even though it has been a common practice for many decades (and you may therefore be familiar with dosing certain nutrients using IUs) it is recommended to convert to, and understand, standardised weight based units (such as micrograms) for these types of nutrients, wherever possible.

Vitamin A

Retinol Activity Equivalent (RAE) equates to 1 mcg of ‘all-trans Retinol’ (the fully active form of Vitamin A)

The absorption and conversion of Betacarotene in the body is affected by numerous factors and therefore varies from person to person and situation to situation. Recent studies suggest that the conversion efficiency of dietary (e.g. vegetables) β-carotene is in the range of 10 to 28:1 by weight.

These data indicated that the bioconversion of β-carotene to vitamin A was not as efficient as expected, and, as a result, the Food and Nutrition Board recently revised the estimated efficiency factor for the conversion of dietary β-carotene to vitamin A from 6:1 by weight, to the new value of 12:1 by weight.

However supplements with highly purified β-carotene and an effective delivery mechanism may increase absorption to such a degree that the newly proposed conversion ratio for supplemental beta-carotene has been suggested as 2:1. However increasing absorption does not necessarily address some of the other factors affecting how much beta-carotene will convert to active retinol (such as tissue health, genetics and cofactor nutritional status, etc.).

Therefore, when dosing Vitamin A forms it is important to know what the likely activity level is going to be for the form and individual in question. It may also therefore be advisable to seek supplements that provide β-carotene in a natural form rather than synthetic, and otherwise to seek natural active retinol for precise and direct dosing of Vitamin A (within acceptable dose limits appropriate for the situation).

Vitamin D

Cholecalciferol (D3) and Ergocalciferol (D2) have the same conversion calculation between mcg and IU for each of their respective forms.

However D3 leads to conversion to active forms of D3 in the body (such as 25-OH-D3), and D2 leads to alternate forms of vitamin D in the body (such as 25-OH-D2) which are technically analogs of vitamin D and do not necessarily have the same metabolic functions and efficiency (although found in certain plants, these are not typically found within the human body in appreciable amounts, and therefore may be considered less ‘natural’ by some researchers and clinicians).

Therefore there is technically no direct vitamin D3 activity from vitamin D2, and nor is there vitamin D2 activity from vitamin D3 (reflected by the 0 values in this calculator)

For more information on the topic of Vitamin D3 vs D2 see the following article ‘Is Vitamin D2 Really Bioequivalent to Vitamin D3?‘.

Vitamin E

Tocopherols and tocotrienols are fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients that appear to have numerous functions in the body (beyond acting as an antioxidant alone).

Both Tocopherols and Tocotrienols occur in α (alpha), β (beta), γ (gamma), and δ (delta) forms, making a total of 8 Vitamin E forms, each with slightly differing levels of concentration and activity within foods and our body.

A mixed diet will contain varying proportions of each – with the alpha forms being the first and most extensively studied (hence the naming convention). For dietary purposes, the activity of vitamin E isomers is sometimes expressed as α-tocopherol equivalents (a-TEs) (with 1 a-TE being defined by the biological activity of 1 mg of natural d-alpha-Tocopherol in the resorption-gestation test).

However more recent research is beginning to show surprising importance to some of the forms initially presumed to be less relevant.

D- forms are found in nature (all isomers occur as D-forms in foods).
DL- forms are synthetic laboratory made forms (not typically found in nature), with lesser (and potentially interfering) activity (owing predominantly to the L- portion).

IUs have been used to quantify alpha forms historically, however due to the expanding research on other forms, it may not be considered the most appropriate method to quantify vitamin E going forward (and is not conventionally used to measure non-alpha forms).

It is recommended to use weight measurements (with metabolic equivalencies to alpha-tocopherol) wherever possible, for all forms (noting that some forms may have seemingly low equivalency to the function of alpha-tocopherol, however may have high levels of their own activity within other physiological contexts and functions (making a a comprehensive mixture of all forms, especially tocotrienols, potentially most optimum for health – contrary to previous understanding).

Vitamin K

‘Vitamin K’ is the generic name for a family of fat-soluble vitamin compounds that share a common chemical structure that serves as a coenzyme for numerous important body functions (such as blood clotting, bone metabolism (and the distribution of calcium throughout the body).

These compounds include phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and a series of menaquinone (vitamin K2) forms e.g. named ‘MK-4’ through to ‘MK-13’, based on the length of their side chains (with MK-4 and MK-7 being the most studied).

Phylloquinone K1 is present primarily in green leafy vegetables and is the main dietary form of vitamin K.

K2 Menaquinones are predominantly of bacterial origin and are present in modest amounts in various animal-based and fermented foods (as well as produced by bacteria in the human gut).

The MK-4 form is unique in that it is produced by the body from phylloquinone via a conversion process that does not involve bacterial action.

For these reasons it may be important to know which forms are being delivered in various foods and supplements (and how to convert between each form in order to target different levels of activity).

– Vitamin K is not measured in IU.
– Vitamin K has demonstrated a very high safety profile (with few adverse effects noticed, even at high doses) in those not taking any medications (caution may be warranted in those with blood clotting disorders or on blood thinning medications).
– It may be important to maintain vitamin K sufficiency when taking calcium or vitamin D supplements (to ensure the calcium is metabolised and distributed optimally in the body).

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.