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Vitamin K & Blood Thinners
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Thanks to a response you gave a previous reader. I was able to copy the list of vegetables containing vitamin K. I am currently under a doctor's care for a clot in my jugular vein and take 8 milligrams of Coumadin daily. I avoid eating leafy greens, caffeine drinks and chocolate. Do you know of any other foods that might have higher levels of vitamin K?
I would really appreciate your advice on the use of coumadin and vitamin K supplements. I have a genetic condition called Protein C Deficiency. I am 44 years old and have been on coumadin for 11 years. There are 2 supplement products on the market that I would really like to take, but they both contain vitamin K. One has 80 micrograms of vitamin K and the other 50 micrograms. I am receiving mixed advice from my doctors. My family doctor thinks it would be OK to try these products and watch my INR (prothrombin time) and increase the coumadin if necessary, but my hematologist says not take any supplement with vitamin K. An immunologist also thinks it would be OK to try the supplements. Please advise if you are able. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
It is confusing when doctors don't agree. Ask your doctors to talk to each other to reach a consensus on whether or not you should take a supplement with vitamin K. Until then, caution would be the better choice and not take a supplement with vitamin K. Ask a pharmacist at your favorite store for their recommendation of a supplement without vitamin K.
The biggest issue with coumadin and vitamin K is you need to eat a consistent amount of vitamin K containing foods every day. In other words, one day, don't eat lots of green leafy vegetables and the next few days go without. It would be more difficult to regulate your clotting time with varying vitamin K intakes. Go back and read the vitamin K topic as there is a list of high vitamin K foods. Try to eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day.
I am on Coumadin to thin my blood and prevent blood clots. I am having trouble regulating my dosage. My diet could be the problem. Could you send me a list of foods to avoid.
Read below for what you need to know to regulate food intake which is influencing your clotting time (prothrombin). Just because you are on a blood thinner does not mean you should avoid all foods with vitamin K.
Thank you for having a site where questions may be answered. My mother is on a blood thinning medicine called "Coumadin". She had heard there is a diet that can help her while on this medication. Foods that might be low in iron perhaps?
The doctor never told her anything about controlling her diet in that respect. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.
Your mother does not need to restrict foods containing iron. She needs to eat foods with iron to maintain her red blood cell hemoglobin which carries oxygen around her body.
Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting and if your mother eats different amounts (high one day and low the next day) of vitamin K, it will be more difficult to regulate her clotting time. Remember that vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin so it is stored in your body. If your mother is on Coumadin, she needs to eat enough foods containing vitamin K to meet her RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) which is 90 micrograms per day for women 19 to 70+ years of age. See table below for a list of foods with vitamin K.
In Canada, vitamin K is known by another name. I believe we refer to it as one of the B vitamins, but for the life of me, I can not remember which one. I'm hoping that you can turn that light bulb on for me. Thanks.
Vitamin K comes in different forms including phyloquinone in plants and menaquinone in animal products in addition to a synthetic form menadione.
The known B vitamins are:
My Grandmother has in the past taken a commonly prescribe blood thinner. In the near future her doctor will be removing a fatty tumor located on her left shoulder towards the center of her neck. He required her to stop taking the blood thinners. My family and I are looking for a natural herb or something to keep her blood thin. She had heart surgery 1 year ago. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.
Your grandmother's doctor probably took her off the prescribed blood thinner (warfarin) so that she would not excessively bleed during and after surgery. This is standard practice. If she were to start taking an herbal blood thinner, she may excessively bleed during surgery and the doctor may not be able to stop the bleeding. Follow her doctor's advice and keep your grandmother off her prescribed blood thinner and don't substitute anything else to thin her blood. Make sure your grandmother informs her surgeon of all her medications (prescribed and over the counter) including vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements. Make sure that your grandmother's tumor surgeon is conferring with her heart surgeon as they may work in different hospitals or clinics.
Vitamin K promotes blood clotting. Ask your grandmother's doctor if there is any need to limit vitamin K foods pre or post surgery.
Which foods are high in vitamin K?
I would like to know what foods are lower in vitamin K that are pure vegetarian (no meat, dairy, eggs). I have a friend who's taking anti-coagulants and needs to reduce vitamin K in her diet. She is a pure vegetarian for ethical reasons, but must stay away from soy products, dark leafy green vegetables, etc. because of the vitamin K content. What foods are available to her for a balanced diet that is vegetarian and low in vitamin K? Thank you!
There is some misinformation that people on anticoagulants have to avoid all foods with vitamin K. What they need is a consistent amount of vitamin K each day that meets their RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) which is 90 micrograms per day for a woman ages 19 to 70+ years and 120 micrograms per day for men ages 19 to 70+ years.
Soy beans have about 1/3 of your friend's RDA for vitamin K, but should be limited to less than 2 cups of soybeans per day. Fortified soy milk is low in vitamin K so she can drink 3 cups per day to get her calcium and vitamin D. Tofu is low in vitamin K.
See table below for a list of vegetarian foods with vitamin K.
My husband recently had a valve replacement. He will be taking Coumadin for the rest of his life. I read your helpful info on vitamin K, but have one more question - are all lettuces equally high in vitamin K? He has been told he can eat some foods as long as it is done on a consistent basis and really loves salad.
Would suggest he try salads made of other raw vegetables that are low to moderate sources of vitamin K like white mushrooms, corn, beets, radishes, red, yellow or orange peppers, cooked dried beans (chickpeas, garbanzo, pinto, navy or red kidney), avocado, onions other than scallions or Spring type, cucumbers (peeled), peas, edible pod peas, mung bean sprouts, tomatoes, red cabbage, carrots and potatoes.
Hi! I am a nutrition student doing an internship and one of my projects is to revise a Coumadin diet instruction sheet for patients. I was wondering if you could send me a listing of foods high in vitamin K with values i.e. micrograms (mcg). There has been some conflicting information on vitamin K in onions and onion soup. Any information you could send would be appreciated! Thank you.
Onions are OK for persons on Coumadin except for green or Spring type onions. Onion soup is most often made with yellow or white onions so it should be fine. A few green onions slices sprinkled on the top would not be a problem either.
Here is a table of vitamin K values (micrograms per serving) which you can also get from the USDA. I have selected foods high in vitamin K that people usually consume (excluding spices and herbs which are used in very small amounts). The Recommended Dietary Allowances for vitamin K for adult males is 120 mcg and for adult females 90 mcg.
Table: vitamin K in 1 cup serving:
I'm on a cardiac diet with Coumadin therapy - What foods should I avoid?
Coumadin is prescribed to prevent blood clots and increase the amount of time it takes your blood to form a clot. This allows the blood to flow more easily through narrowed blood vessels.
You should have a consistent intake of vitamin K (Recommended Dietary Allowance for men is 120 micrograms, women 90 micrograms per day). Avoid supplements with vitamin K as that would interfere with the amount of Coumadin needed to regulate your clotting time. Your clotting time will be periodically tested by your doctor to regulate this medication.
Foods high in vitamin K are green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, turnip greens, beet greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens), Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green onions, parsley, asparagus, sauerkraut and lettuce (endive and green leaf). Milk, meat, eggs and cereal contain small amounts. Vitamin K content in vegetables and fruits vary. See table above for a list of foods with vitamin K because vitamin K content of food is not usually listed on food labels. Vitamin supplements containing vitamin K are available by prescription.
You did not say what type of cardiac nutrition therapy you are supposed to follow. Are you on a low saturated fat, low trans fat , low fat / calorie reduced nutrition therapy? Please write back.
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