Why You Shouldnt Avoid Green Vegetables
Two main reasons can explain why reducing your intake of green vegetables is not necessary, even if youre going through anticoagulation therapy.
Firstly, despite what you might have heard, the presence of Vitamin K in the diet helps better balance your INR. Indeed, regularly eating vegetables, particularly green ones, helps you to be less sensitive to daily variations in Vitamin K. This is explained by the fact the liver stocks some Vitamin K, because it is a fat soluble vitamin.
For example, if you eat green vegetables every day, your liver stores Vitamin K. If, one day, you have a lower intake of Vitamin K, this will have practically no repercussions. Vitamin K stored in the liver will be used. This way, you can maintain you INR as stable as possible. However, if you never eat green vegetables, you dont have Vitamin K stores, so if you eat a good amount of green vegetables one day, youll experience a peak of Vitamin K, which will then destabilize your INR.
Secondly, Vitamin Ks bioavailability depends on several factors like cultivation, storage and cooking of foods. Whats more, we only know the Vitamin K content of around half the food in the North American diet. Its therefore practically impossible to establish and respect a recommended daily intake of Vitamin K.
Note: if you are a fan of Asian cuisine and regularly eat natto , it would be a good idea to avoid it, because it contains a large quantity of Vitamin K , which can influence your INR.
Can You Take Vitamin K2 With Blood Thinners
by Ford Brewer | Oct 6, 2020 | Plaque, Supplements
Vitamin K2 is one of our channel subscribers favorite topics. We also get a lot of questions about blood thinners and vitamin K2.
For instance, heres a question posted by a viewer on our YouTube channel.
Does vitamin K thin your blood? No. In fact, vitamin K makes blood thicken or coagulate to form a clot. If youre wounded or get a cut, it is this clotting process that would stop the flow of blood.
However, vitamin K can interfere with a specific class of blood thinners called VKA .
British Columbia Specific Information
Vitamin K helps make proteins that keeps your bones strong and causes your blood to clot when you are bleeding. You need some vitamin K every day for good health. For information on foods that contain vitamin K, see Food Sources of Vitamin K.
Warfarin, also known as Coumadin, is a blood thinner that helps prevent blood clots or keeps a clot from getting bigger. Vitamin K and Warfarin work against each other in your body. When you are on Warfarin, it is important to keep eating the same amount of vitamin K foods that you usually do, and not suddenly eat a lot more or a lot less. For more information, see Warfarin and Food: A guide for Patients.
If you want to make any changes to your diet, speak to your health care provider about how to do this safely. Your health care provider may need to adjust your Warfarin dose based on your blood work. The International Normalised Ratio measurement is routine blood work for those on Warfarin. It measures how long it takes to form a blood clot and is used by your health care provider to determine how much Warfarin you should be taking. Always check with your health care provider before making changes in what you eat, or before taking any herbal supplements and other medications , while taking blood thinners.
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What Do I Need To Know About Warfarin And Vitamin K
- Warfarin is a type of medicine called a blood thinner. It makes your blood clot more slowly. This can help prevent dangerous problems, such as a stroke . Vitamin K helps your blood to clot . Warfarin works by making it harder for your body to use vitamin K to clot blood. Changes in the amount of vitamin K that you normally eat can affect how warfarin works.
- Your healthcare provider can tell how well warfarin is working from a blood test that you will have regularly. This test is called an international normalized ratio . It shows how quickly your blood clots. To keep your INR at a healthy level, you need to manage how much vitamin K you eat.
How To Get Enough Vitamin K:
There are different types of the nutrient, but most people get it from plants.
It is very, very easy to get adequate vitamin K by following general guidance on a healthy diet, Booth said. The governments current dietary guidelines for Americans recommend eating 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day.
Particularly good sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables such as kale, lettuce and collard greens. We always tell people that the greener the vegetable, the more vitamin K theres in it, Booth noted. That also includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus and green peas. Dark berries are another good source.
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Does Vitamin K2 Interfere With Blood Thinners
Debates still linger on whether vitamin K2 acts like vitamin K1 when it comes to blood clotting and blood thinners.
We can base the argument that vitamin K2 should not be a problem of blood thinner users primarily on the following premises:
- Vitamin K1 differs from vitamin K2 to some degrees in terms of chemical structures. The dietary sources of vitamin K2 are not the same as that of K1.
Vitamin K1 vs. vitamin K2. Source: Turck D, Bresson JL, Burlingame B, et al. EFSA Journal. Dietary reference values for vitamin K. 2017 15. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2017.4780
- If we assume that all types of vitamin K do have an interfering effect, we know that vitamin K only affects one class of blood thinnersthe VKAs.
- Moreover, most blood thinners are not in the VKA class.
While the above premises sound logical, they still dont prove that vitamin K2 wont affect blood thinners at all. In fact, there are some pieces of evidence that vitamin K2 could affect VKA blood thinners .
What Is Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a naturally occurring vitamin. Vitamin K is primarily found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce, and enters your body when you eat these foods. Vitamin K is produced by the bacteria in your intestines, and it is also in vitamin and nutritional supplements. Your body uses vitamin K to produce some of the clotting factors that helps blood clot.
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Why Do I Have Blood Tests
The aim of treatment with warfarin is to thin your blood but not stop it clotting completely. Getting this balance right means your dose of warfarin must be carefully monitored.
Youll have a regular blood test called the international normalised ratio . It measures how long it takes your blood to clot. The longer your blood takes to clot, the higher the INR.
Most people taking anticoagulants have a ratio of between 2 and 3.5. This means their blood takes 2 to 3.5 times longer to clot than usual.
The dose of warfarin you need depends on your blood test result. If the blood test result has gone up or down, your warfarin dose will be increased or decreased.
Youll have the blood tests at your GP surgery or local hospitals anticoagulant clinic.
If your blood test results are stable, you might only need a blood test once every 8 to 12 weeks. If its unstable or you have just started on warfarin, you might need to have a blood test every week.
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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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What Are Vitamin K Antagonists
A vitamin K antagonist is a special blood thinner. VKAs prevent blood clots by decreasing the action of vitamin K.
Among VKAs, coumarins are the most commonly used. And among coumarins, warfarin is the most popular.
The interfering action, however, goes both ways. VKA depletes the action of vitamin K. On the other hand, vitamin K also interferes with the blood-thinning action of VKAs .
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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What To Do If A Dose Is Missed
If you miss a dose of rivaroxaban, apixaban, or edoxaban take one dose as soon as you remember. If you miss a dose of dabigatran, as long as there are 6 hours or more until your next scheduled dose is due, you can take one tablet, otherwise, DO NOT take the dose you have missed. Just take the next dose when scheduled.
Never miss a dose or run out of the medication. Make sure you have a repeat prescription to help reduce your risk of stroke.
Types Of Blood Thinners
There are a variety of blood thinners, both new and old, that fall under two categories. The first group of blood thinner medications is called anticoagulants. Anti means against and coagulant means to thicken into a gel or solid. Coagulation is the process of blood clotting.
Warfarin is an anticoagulant blood thinner that has been around since the 1950s. Despite the fact that newer blood thinners are now on the market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has estimated that approximately two million people still take warfarin.
But even with the continued popularity of this tried-and-true anticoagulant, a newer class of blood thinners has been introduced in recent years. Pradaxa, Xarelto, Eliquis and Savaysa are among the blood thinners approved by the FDA since 2010.
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Why Do People Take Blood Thinners
Around 2 to 3 million people take blood thinners every year. Some people need to take blood thinners only for a few months, while others may need them permanently.
Blood thinners help with many conditions where blood clots are a risk. Here are examples of conditions that may require a person to take a blood thinner :
Study Selection And Characteristics Of Included Studies
Table 1. Summarized Characteristics of Included Trials.
Figure 1. Flow diagram for the selection of eligible randomized controlled trials.
Figure 2. Network map for patients with normal renal function, mild renal impairment, and moderate renal impairment. Nodes show interventions being compared. Edges represent direct comparison between pairs of interventions. The color of edges represents the level of bias in the majority of included studies in each comparison . War indicates Warfarin. Dab 110 mg indicates Dabigatran 110 mg. Dab 150 mg indicates Dabigatran 150 mg. Riv 10â15 mg indicates Rivaroxaban 10â15mg. Riv 15â20mg indicates Rivaroxaban 15â20mg. Api 2.5mg indicates Apixaban 2.5 mg. Api 5 mg indicates Apixaban 5 mg. Edo 15 mg indicates Edoxaban 15 mg. Edo 30 mg indicates Edoxaban 30 mg. Edo 60 mg indicates Edoxaban 60 mg.
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Avoid Problems With These Tips
There are lots of things you can do to take prescription or over-the-counter medications safely.
- Always read drug labels carefully and learn about the warnings for all the drugs you take.
- Keep medications in their original containers so you can easily identify them.
- Ask your doctor what you need to avoid when you are prescribed a new medication. Ask about food, beverages, dietary supplements and other drugs.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking an OTC drug if you are taking any prescription medications.
- Use one pharmacy for all your drug needs.
- Keep all of your health care professionals informed about everything that you take.
- Keep a record of all prescription drugs, OTC drugs, and dietary supplements that you take. Try to keep this list with you at all times, but especially when you go on any medical appointment.
Before taking a drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist these questions:
- Can I take it with other drugs?
- Should I avoid certain foods, beverages or other products?
- What are possible drug interaction signs I should know about?
- How will the drug work in my body?
- Is there more information available about the drug or my condition?
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 30, 2014
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 thicker the blood. The higher your INR, the longer it takes the blood to clot or the thinner 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.
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Why Is There Little Information About Vitamin K2 And Its Interactions
The recognition of vitamin K2 is still very low. This starts with the US federal guidelines.
Vitamin K food list . Source: NIH ODS. Vitamin K: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.
There is a lot of research this year in the area of understanding vitamin K2. We will keep you posted as we learn more.
My name is Ford Brewer. My team and I work to prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer, and dementia. Our goal is to help you understand how to prevent major killers and disablers. Most of them are driven by the process of cardiovascular inflammation.
When Youre Taking A Blood Thinner
Warfarin is one of the commonly used blood thinners. It slows the clotting process. Doctors usually prescribe it to help lower your risk of:
- Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT
- Pulmonary embolism
Its not a good idea to take this drug with a supplement that thins blood. It raises your chances of severe bleeding inside and outside your body.
If your doctor wants you to start using warfarin, you might wonder if you can take a supplement instead. But theres no good scientific evidence that shows they work as well as prescription drugs.
Always talk to your doctor before using any kind of supplement. Theyll tell you if itll affect any medications youre taking.
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Vitamin K And Warfarin
Patients prescribed warfarin have long been told to avoid vitamin K. Growing research, however, indicates that low-dose vitamin K may help stabilize the anticoagulant effect of Coumadin®.
Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in January 2021. Written by: Laurie Barclay, MD.
Traditionally, patients taking warfarin have been advised to avoid vitamin K to prevent excess clotting. Surprisingly, scientists have now discovered that regular consumption of a modest amount of vitamin K actually helps stabilize the anticoagulant effects of warfarin. Vitamin K intake may thus help individuals using warfarin achieve the therapeutic benefits of the drugwithout danger of clots or bleeding. Vitamin K is attracting attention for its benefits of protecting cardiovascular health and promoting strong bones, making its inclusion in a warfarin users daily program that much more important.