May Help Prevent Heart Disease
The jury is still out on the exact role vitamin K plays in heart health, but the link likely has to do with a compound called matrix gla protein, or MGP.
MGP is yet another vitamin K-dependent protein that inhibits calcification in the blood, soft tissues and bones. That’s important, because vascular calcification is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease, per 2020 research in Current Medicinal Chemistry.
Though more research is needed on this topic, some theorize that without sufficient vitamin K, MGP will not prevent calcification as normal, which may in turn hike up heart disease risk.
What About Vitamin K for Easy Bruising?
A severe vitamin K deficiency may cause symptoms related to increased bleeding, including nosebleeds or bleeding into the skin, causing bruising, according to Merck Manuals. Properly prescribed vitamin K supplements may help decrease bruising if you have a true vitamin K deficiency. However, vitamin K deficiency is rare, and if your bruising is caused by anything else, increased vitamin K intake is unlikely to help your condition.
A few small studies have indicated that vitamin K creams may help with healing bruises, but more research needs to be done in this area.
Talk To Your Other Doctors
Because you take a blood thinner, you will be seen regularly by the doctor who prescribed the medicine. You may also see other doctors for different problems. When you see other doctors, it is very important that you tell them you are taking a blood thinner. You should also tell your dentist and the person who cleans your teeth.
If you use different pharmacies, make sure each pharmacist knows that you take a blood thinner.
Blood thinners can interact with medicines and treatments that other doctors might prescribe for you. If another doctor orders a new medicine for you, tell the doctor who ordered your blood thinner because dose changes for your blood thinner may be needed.
Tell all your doctors about every medication and over-the-counter product that you take.
|Tell your doctor about all your medicines.Always tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking. Tell your doctor when you start taking new medicine, when you stop taking a medicine, and if the amount of medicine you are taking changes. When you visit your doctor, bring a list of current medicines, over-the-counter drugssuch as aspirinand any vitamins and herbal products you take. A personal, medication wallet card can help you keep track of this list. Go to www.ahrq.gov/yourmedicine/ to download a printable wallet card that you can use to record the medicine and other products that you take.|
Does Caffeine Thin Your Blood
When caffeine makes the blood vessels in our bodies narrower, this leaves less room for blood flow which, in turn, raises blood pressure. The blood vessels supplying blood to the brain can also narrow as much as 27% after caffeine intake which can slow down our ability to think and perform mental tasks.
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Conversion Of Vitamin K1 To K2
The ability to convert vitamin K1 to K2 varies widely between species and breeds of animals. Vitamins K1 and K2 chemically share a common ring-structured nucleus but possess different types of side chains. The first step in the conversion of K1 to K2 appears to be the cleavage of its side chain in either the liver or the GI tract, yielding vitamin K3 or menadione much of this metabolite is detoxified by the liver and excreted in the urine, while the remaining portion can be used to synthesize K2 in tissues.
Humans require dietary preformed vitamin K2 for optimal health, due to its superiority over K1. Vitamin K2 is at least three times more effective than vitamin K1 at activating proteins related to skeletal metabolism. While intake of vitamin K2 is inversely associated with heart disease in humans, intake of vitamin K1 is not. This nutritional superiority makes it clear why it is important to use food rich in vitamin K2 like the organs and fats of grass-fed animals and the deeply colored orange butter from animals grazing on rich pastures.9
How Does Warfarin Work
Warfarin works by interfering with how your body uses vitamin K. The metabolism of warfarin , vitamin K, and vitamin K dependent clotting factors takes place in your liver. Warfarin prevents the production of vitamin K dependent clotting factors. As a result, clotting occurs at a much slower rate. One good way to think about vitamin K and its importance while taking warfarin is that you need to maintain a balance between the amount of vitamin K in your body and the amount of warfarin prescribed by your healthcare provider.
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Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide To Using Them Safely
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers a free booklet and a video about blood thinner medicines. Staying Active and Healthy with Blood Thinners, a 10-minute video, features easy-to-understand explanations of how blood thinners work and why it’s important to take them correctly. Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely, a 24-page booklet, explains how these pills can help prevent dangerous blood clots from forming and what to expect when taking these medicines.
How Much Vitamin K Do I Need
Adults need approximately 1 microgram a day of vitamin K for each kilogram of their body weight.
For example, someone who weighs 65kg would need 65 micrograms a day of vitamin K, while a person who weighs 75kg would need 75 micrograms a day.
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
You should be able to get all the vitamin K you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
Any vitamin K your body does not need immediately is stored in the liver for future use, so you do not need it in your diet every day.
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Vitamin K In Our Diet
Vitamin K is not a single compound, but a group name for a family of related structures that all share a methylated naphthoquinone ring system substituted with a variable aliphatic side chain . In phylloquinone the side chain is composed of four isoprenoid residues, the last three of which are saturated. Menaquinones form a sub-family in which the length of the side chain may range from 1 to 13 isoprene residues, all of which are unsaturated. The various menaquinones are generally denoted as MK-n, where n represents the number of isoprene residues in the aliphatic side chain. Important menaquinones are the short chain MK-4 and the long chain menaquinones MK-7, MK-8, MK-9, and MK-10 that all occur in the human diet, whereas small amounts of MK-6 have also been found in various foods.
How Much Vitamin K2 Do We Need And Do We Get Enough Of It
There is no formal recommendation for vitamin K2 intake, since the body of research about this nutrient is still growing. The Rotterdam study in 2005 showed that the average intake for vitamin K2 was 28.5 micrograms per day, and it seems to be those who consume more might be healthier. The same study showed those consuming > 32.7 micrograms per day had lower measures of cardiovascular disease risk factors than those consuming < 21.6 micrograms per day.
Clinical trials testing health benefits of vitamin K2 can use doses ranging from 50 to 300 micrograms per day. Without a formal recommendation or a universal method of testing whether someone is deficient, though, it remains to be seen how big of a worry vitamin K2 is.
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Can Vitamin K Affect My Inr
Yes, your INR refers to the international normalized ratio test, a standardized way to measure how your blood is clotting. The lower your INR, the more quickly the blood clots or the âthickerâ the blood. The higher your INR, the longer it takes the blood to clot or the âthinnerâ the blood, putting you at risk for bleeding problems. With an increase in vitamin K , your INR level may drop. Conversely, a decrease in vitamin K intake may increase the INR. Other things, like medications, antibiotics, and herbal products may also influence your INR.
Foods That Contain Vitamin K:
Dark green leafy vegetables have the highest amounts of vitamin K. Foods that contain vitamin K include the following:
- Foods with more than 100 mcg per serving:
- ½ cup of cooked kale
- ½ cup of cooked spinach
- ½ cup of cooked collard greens
- 1 cup of cooked broccoli
- 1 cup of cooked brussels sprouts
- 1 cup of raw collard greens
- 1 cup of raw spinach
- 1 cup of raw endive
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Stay Safe While Taking Your Blood Thinner
You can be bleeding but not see any blood. For example, if you fall and hit your head, bleeding can occur inside your skull. Or, if you hurt your arm during a fall and then notice a large purple bruise, this means you are bleeding under your skin.
Because you are taking a blood thinner, you should try not to hurt yourself and cause bleeding. You need to be careful when you use knives, scissors, razors, or any sharp object that can make you bleed.
You also need to avoid activities and sports that could cause injury. Swimming and walking are safe activities. If you would like to start a new activity that will increase the amount of exercise you get every day, talk to your doctor.
You can still do many things that you enjoy. If you like to work in the yard, you still can. Just be sure to wear sturdy shoes and gloves to protect yourself. If you like to ride your bike, be sure you wear a helmet.
|Tell others.Keep a current list of all the medicines you take. Ask your doctor about whether you should wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. If you are badly injured and unable to speak, the bracelet lets health care workers know that you are taking a blood thinner.|
To prevent injury indoors:
Does Drinking Lots Of Water Help Thin Your Blood
Water helps to thin the blood, which in turn makes it less likely to form clots, explains Jackie Chan, Dr. P.H., the lead study author. But don’t chug your extra H2O all at once. “You need to drink water throughout the day to keep your blood thin, starting with a glass or two in the morning,” adds Dr.
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Dont Cut Vitamin K Out Completely
You dont want to cut out vitamin K completely, as it is present in a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. These include leafy greens and many vegetables. Instead, be smart about how much vitamin K you consume, be consistent, and work with your doctor to find just the right balance.
For example, if you eat a diet rich in vitamin K, you may need to check your blood a little more frequently or take more warfarin. If you change your diet and eat fewer foods containing vitamin K, you may need to take less warfarin.
Work with your doctor to find the right dose for you.
Here are three tips to help you safely manage your vitamin K intake:
How Much Vitamin K Should I Eat While I Take Warfarin
Eat the same amount of vitamin K each day. Do not change the amount of vitamin K you normally have from foods or supplements. This helps keep your INR at the same healthy level.
- A big increase in vitamin K can lower your INR. This can cause dangerous clotting in your blood.
- A big decrease in vitamin K can raise your INR. This can make it harder for your blood to clot. It can cause you to bleed too much. Do not avoid foods that contain vitamin K.
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The Emerging Role Of Vitamin K2
Manouchehr Saljoughian, PharmD, PhDAlta Bates Summit Medical Center,Berkeley, California
Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins with similar chemical structures that are needed for blood coagulation. Research over the last few decades has shown a new and emerging role for this vitamin in treating osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. Other new and exciting applications for this vitamin have been found in treating Alzheimers disease, skin aging, and a variety of cancers. This vitamin was discovered in the 1920s and was called K for koagulation due to its role in blood coagulation.1 Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the health benefits of vitamin K. The K vitamins have been underrated and misunderstood until very recently by both the scientific community and the general public.
Although the effect of magnesium and vitamin D3 on calcium metabolism was previously known, the importance of vitamin K in regulating the healthy function of calcium has only recently been recognized.2 Vitamin K has now been found to have a role in putting calcium in the right places in the body, such as in the bones and blood, and preventing pathologic calcification of the vessels and soft tissues.2
Is There Risk Associated With These Drugs
If you take too much Warfarin, you can wipe out most of your body’s Vitamin K. This causes an artificial, drug-induced Vitamin K deficiency – for both K1 and K2.
If you take less Warfarin than needed, you’ll protect your Vitamin K, but your blood thinning needs may go unaddressed.
Long term use of these drugs may be linked to an increased risk of bone loss as a result of chronic Vitamin K2 deficiency.
Long-term use of these drug may lower bone density and increase risk of fractures. It may also cause inappropriate calcium deposits in soft tissues like arteries, kidneys etc.
Mice that were fed K2-inhibiting Warfarin quickly developed arterial calcification. Feeding them K2 completely inhibits this effect. Whether K2 will do the same for humans needs more investigation.
If you are concerned about the effect this medication may have on your bone mineral density, talk to your doctor about testing for uncarboxylated osteocalcin or uncarboxylated GLA proteins. Both these markers are a good measure of your Vitamin K status and by extension, an indicator for bone density loss.
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Supplements That May Affect Your Blood
Research shows several supplements may affect how well your blood can form clots. For many of these, its not clear how much of the supplement is needed to affect clot formation. Some of these include:
Aloe. In one case, a woman taking an aloe supplement bled heavily after oral surgery. There’s also a risk of bleeding if you take aloe with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen.
Cranberry. There are documented cases of cranberry supplements interacting with warfarin. This can lead to bleeding.
Feverfew. Lab studies of platelets show it can affect their ability to stick together and form clots.
Garlic. Animal and human studies show it can slow blood clotting and lead to bleeding.
Ginger. One study found high doses of ginger affected clotting. More research is needed, but theres also evidence it can raise your risk of bleeding if you’re taking warfarin.
Ginkgo. Research shows it can slow clotting. Its also led to bleeding in people who took it alone or with NSAIDs.
Meadowsweet. There are no reports of meadowsweet interacting with warfarin or NSAIDs. But it has a compound called salicylate that affects how well platelets can stick together.
Turmeric. Curcumin, one of turmeric’s active ingredients, has antiplatelet effects.
White willow. This supplement has aspirin-like effects in the body. That means it can keep platelets from sticking together. There’s no documented evidence of it interfering with warfarin.
Blood Thinners And Alcohol
Alcohol may interact with blood thinners by either decreasing or increasing the anticoagulation effects of the drugs. For example, people who drink while taking warfarin may be at risk of excessive bleeding because alcohol can enhance drugs anticoagulation effects.
Alternately, chronic drinkers may metabolize warfarin more quickly, causing them to need a higher dose for the same therapeutic effect. Either way, warfarin and alcohol are a dangerous mix.
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One: Diet And Lifestyle