What does IU mean exactly?

I'm trying to figure out if it is a volume or concentration or something else. What is the difference between two bottles of vitamin e oil, one of which is 5000 IU, and the other of which is 32,000 IU? Does this mean the concentration of vitamin e is more in one or something else? I'm confused...
Answers:    International unit

(intra venous is IV)
Intra Venus
International Units
In pharmacology, the International unit (IU, alternatively abbreviated UI, from French unité internationale) is a unit of measurement for the amount of a substance, based on measured biological activity (or effect). It is used for vitamins, hormones, some drugs, vaccines, blood products and similar biologically active substances. Despite its name, the IU is not part of the International System of Units used in physics and chemistry
It stands for intra venous unit. It is the amount of concentration per unit of the oil. Therefore the higher the number, the greater the concentration and potency. Hope this helps!
IU stands for Imperial Units which is how they measure the concentration of vitamins and minerals.
IU= Indiana University
IU means International Unit. It's used to measure the potency of vitamins and drugs.

Webster's dictionary defines it as "a quantity of a biologic [like vitamins] that produces a particular biological effect agreed upon as an international standard".

My guess would be that the 32,000 IU Vitamin E would be much more potent than the 5,000 IU bottle, but that would depend on the dosage, too. One tablespoon of each of them might have about 5,000 IUs of Vitamin E--the dosage of one might be one tablespoon; of the other, 6 tablespoons. Does that make sense? You could ask a pharmacist what he or she recommends.

And by the way, sjoinery, IV is intra venous (in the vein), not IU.
Google search: iu measurement

http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/...

How can I convert from international units (IU) to milligrams or micrograms?
Generally speaking, you can't. IU's measure the potency of a drug, not its mass or weight.
pdrhealth.com under the OTC section. webmd.com

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