Coumadin and Vitamin K Foods

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Can I Still Eat Greens While Taking Coumadin?

Thanks to Mary B for forwarding the information. I have clients ask me all the time what they should do because they hear so much conflicting advice from their doctors, alternative therapists and nutritionists about the use of greens in their diet while on coumadin.

The trick is to be consistent with what you eat and if you can’t eat a salad or greens every day then you must accommodate with an appropriate dose of natural blood thinning agents. My suggestion would be to always use high quality and, if possible, Standardized products (Nature’s Way brand makes a standardized dose of Gingko biloba and Horse Chestnut). And watch for symptoms of overdose on the blood thinning agents. I see that often where the skin bleeds easily and bruising does not go away with even the slightest of bumps.

“Most people on Coumadin would be much safer if they ate an ideal diet with lots of vitamin K containing greens; took an aspirin, EPA/DHA fatty acids, and LDL protect daily; and stopped taking the Coumadin. The risk of all causes of death would decrease precipitously. Eating right will not cause you to bleed to death. Instead, it can save your life.” Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Did you know that another name for coumadin is Warfarin? (Rat poison).

Coumadin (Warfarin)

Coumadin (Warfarin) pills

Picture reference: 

Natural anticoagulants to consider instead of Coumadin include:

  • Tomato juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Horse chestnut seed extract
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Aspirin (use buffered baby aspirin)

“For those who absolutely must take Coumadin, because of a recent thrombotic event, the danger of not eating a healthful diet exceeds the risk of increasing the Coumadin dose slightly to accommodate the healthier diet. As long as the amount of greens you eat is consistent, your doctor can adjust your Coumadin dose to accommodate it.” Says Dr. Fuhrman

“For the patient who must stay on Coumadin, the diet must be consistent from day to day to avoid fluctuations in the effectiveness of the drug. To keep the vitamin K amount constant, it is sensible to eat one large raw salad a day and one serving of dark green vegetables such as asparagus and string beans, but leave out the dark green leafy vegetables, such as steamed kale, collards, and spinach. Adding some of those to a soup is okay, however. The goal is to keep your vitamin K level stable, so the amount of blood thinning does not swing into a danger zone. A dangerous level of blood thinning can occur if the dose of Coumadin is adjusted to a high vitamin K intake and then suddenly the patient does not eat many vitamin K-containing foods for a few days. In other words, the main goal is to eat the same amount of vitamin K-containing foods every day.”  From Dr. Fuhrman’s blog (see link below).

Helpful Links and References about Coumadin: