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If my mother is taking warfarin, should she avoid all foods with vitamin K?

She doesn't need to AVOID vitamin K, but rather consume a consistent amount daily in her diet.

Individuals taking anticoagulant (anticlotting) medications such as warfarin (also known as Coumadin) need to keep a consistent intake of vitamin K. This medication decreases the activity of vitamin K and prolongs the time it takes for blood to clot.

If these individuals suddenly increase the vitamin K in their diets, the vitamin can override the effect of the drug, enabling the blood to clot too quickly. In contrast, a sudden decline in dietary vitamin K can enhance the effectiveness of the drug.

Green leafy veggies such as collards, spinach, kale, and broccoli are potent sources of vitamin K in the diet.

Picture of kale
If your mother is taking warfarin, she should eat the same amount of foods (like leafy green vegetables) that contain vitamin K every day. If she has leafy green vegetables in her salad every day, she should continue to have them. She should not eat a big serving of a food that has a large amount of vitamin K one day, though, if she does not usually eat it. Vitamin K affects her blood clotting and the amount of warfarin she needs.

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