Living with Anticoagulation - Nutrition

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Oral anticoagulants create a deficiency of vitamin k, slowing your blood’s ability to clot.  Many people being treated with oral anticoagulants such as warfarin wonder if they should restrict the amount of vitamin K they consume in their food which might reduce the effectiveness of their warfarin. In the first instance patients should talk to their health care professional for advice.

There is no evidence that eating fewer vegetables is advantageous.

Patients taking oral anticoagulants are advised against dramatically altering their diet e.g. from eating few vegetables to a strict vegetarian or vegan diet with lots of vegetables.  If you would like to make this switch, your INR should be checked more regularly during the period when the diet is being changed.

Remember that vegetables (all kinds) and fruit belong in your diet just like anybody else not taking anticoagulants. Diversity and consistency of vegetable consumption combined with the right anticoagulant dosage is the way to a good balance of INR with heart-healthy food.  A healthy and diversified diet followed by anticoagulant therapy adjusted to your personal requirements is of core importance.  Testing regularly can be instrumental to your health care provider in making those correct adjustments.

What is definitely unhelpful for your INR value is irregular consumption of vegetables i.e. eating a lot of green vegetables one day and none the next.

Useful Links

http://www.clotcare.com/vitaminkandwarfarin.aspx 

http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/drug_nutrient/coumadin1.pdf

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/jun2007_report_vitamink_01.htm

http://www.stoptheclot.org/news/article141.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thrombophlebitis/expert-answers/warfarin/faq-20058443

http://www.nps.org.au/medicines/heart-blood-and-blood-vessels/anti-clotting-medicines/for-individuals/anticoagulant-medicines/for-individuals/active-ingredients/warfarin/for-individuals/living-with-warfarin/diet-and-warfarin