Coumadin and Green Leafy Vegetables

Rutuja Jathar Mar 24, 2019
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There is a lot of uncertainty about the combination of Coumadin and green leafy vegetables. Read on to know the effects of green leafy vegetables on Coumadin, and find out more...
Coumadin is the trade name of warfarin, which is a powerful anticoagulant prescribed for reducing the amount of certain blood plasma proteins that cause blood clotting or the process of thrombosis. People who are suffering with the problems of excessive thrombosis and secondary prophylaxis are mostly prescribed with the Coumadin or warfarin therapy.
This therapy prevents formation of blood clots by reducing the amount of the elements that are responsible for it. Excessive thrombosis can lead to certain severe health conditions, including heart attacks, brain strokes, and excessive bleeding.
It is prescribed for those patients who are suffering from atrial fibrillation, deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and artificial heart valves. Since this is a prescribed drug, there are a few contraindications associated with it. There are certain plant-based foods that are said to have side effects on the patients who are on Coumadin therapy.
For instance, the connection between Coumadin and green leafy vegetables. It is advocated that green leafy vegetables should be avoided by those on Coumadin. Let's find out more about the same.

Do Green Leafy Vegetables Affect Coumadin Therapy?

Diet is an extremely crucial factor for the people who are on Coumadin or warfarin therapy. Warfarin is likely to interact with certain vitamins that are present in vegetables and other such plant-based foods. The biggest cause of concern is vitamin K, which is essential for the healthy body system. It is also essential for proper blood clotting.
Coumadin on the other hand, prevents the process of blood clotting. As both these elements prevent basic functions of each other, they should not be consumed in combination.
According to the Natural Institute of Health, when a person is prescribed with Coumadin therapy, he / she should limit the intake of foods that contain vitamin K, along with other foods that are responsible for proper blood clotting. As we all are well aware, vitamin K is abundantly present in green and leafy vegetables.
Hence, it is advised that one should not consume large servings of green leafy vegetables, that contain a high amount of vitamin K. Along with these vegetables, one should also avoid liver meat, vegetable oils, and consult a health care provider before consuming any sort of medications for any other health condition.
One needs to find out about the green leafy vegetables that affect Coumadin. To be precise, all the vegetables and food products that contain vitamin K should be either avoided or consumed in moderate amount.
They include, spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, parsley, lettuce, Iceberg lettuce, Romain lettuce, salad greens, broccoli, green tea, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, spring onions, soybeans, amaranth, beet greens, dandelion, endive, escarole, fenugreek greens, kohlrabi greens, and mustard greens.
Several high fiber fruits like apples, pears, strawberries, grapefruits, etc., also contain moderate levels of vitamin K, which makes them not-so-safe for those people who are on Coumadin or warfarin therapy. This fact is likely to make you worry about the exact diet plan to follow when on Coumadin.
Well, as we all know, green leafy vegetables are a must have food in a balanced diet, which is needed for a healthy body. In such a case, barring their consumption is likely to have some ill effects on your health. As a solution, you can consume these vegetables in a controlled manner.
What is the controlled manner to consume green leafy vegetables now? Well, men should consume at least 120 mcg of vitamin K, while women should consume at least 90 mcg of vitamin K. These limits are for those patients who are already on a warfarin therapy.
One needs to avoid foods or limit the serving size of the foods that contain exceeding levels of vitamin K, than those mentioned earlier.Most of the green and leafy vegetables contain around 60% to 199% more vitamin K, than their required daily allowance (RDA).
Hence, choosing the best vegetables that will not affect Coumadin and still provide you with adequate nutrients is a tricky decision. The best solution for this problem is to consult the health care provider and get to know about the foods to avoid while on Coumadin.
The doctor will also prescribe you the proper dosage of Coumadin and these vegetables, so that they won't interact with each other. It is important to maintain a balance between the intake of green leafy vegetables and Coumadin. Frequent inconsistency is likely to create other health problems.
If you are finding it hard to maintain the balance between vitamin K and Coumadin, then the best thing to do would be to ask the health care provider about another equally effective anticoagulant. As a parting note, it's advisable that one should never make any dietary changes without prior consultation with his health care provider. Take care.
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