I’m taking blood thinners. Why do I need to pay attention to my diet?

Many foods you eat have vitamin K in them, and vitamin K helps your blood make clots.

Foods containing fat substitutes, such as Olestra (Olean), are supplemented with fat-soluble vitamins including vitamin K. These foods should be considered a source of vitamin K in the diet.

In addition, you may want to avoid herbal teas that have tonka beans, melilot (sweet clover), or sweet woodruff in them.

Why should I stay on the same general diet every day?

Large changes in the amount of vitamin K you eat may affect the way your Coumadin Crystalline (Warfarin Sodium Tablets, USP) works. It is important for you to keep your diet consistent so the amount of vitamin K you eat is also consistent. Please contact your healthcare provider before making major changes to your diet. Tell your healthcare provider if you change your diet because you are sick; or if your body will be undergoing great stress such as surgery, pregnancy or a planned weight loss.

Should I avoid foods with a lot of Vit. K?

No. Just keep your diet consistent. Some foods that are important to a healthy diet are high in vitamin K, like leafy, green vegetables and some beans and peas.

Does cooking, freezing, or drying foods change how much Vitamin K is in them?

There is little information about the effects of cooking, freezing, or drying on the vitamin K content of foods. It appears that the vitamin K content of cooked, frozen, or dried foods is about the same as fresh foods.

Source: A Patient’s Guide to Using COUMADIN, 2002, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Edited for publication. 

Before you use any anticoagulant, tell your doctor if you have or have had any Vitamin C or K deficiency.

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