Plavix, also called clopidogrel, is prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by preventing clot formations from blocking blood vessels. Plavix is one of two types of blood thinners known as antiplatelets and anticoagulants. Platelets are cells with a sticky surface that travel through the circulatory system ready to prevent blood loss due to injury. When they arrive at the site of an injury, they immediately stick to the wound and, with the help of vitamin K and other blood components, form a clot to stop the bleeding. Antiplatelets keep platelets from sticking together to form clots. Anticoagulants delay clot formation by inhibiting the effects of vitamin K. Some foods may interfere with drugs that prevent or impede clot formation.
How Foods Affect Blood Thinners
Eating foods that contain high amounts of vitamin K interferes with the blood-thinning effect of Plavix. Inform your doctor, if these foods are part of your normal diet, and consume them consistently from week to week. Salicylate is the chemical basis of aspirin, which is used as an antiplatelet drug. Salicylates are found naturally in some foods. Consuming high amounts of these foods can increase the effects of Plavix and cause excessive bleeding. Your doctor may advise you to limit foods containing vitamin K and salicylates.
Foods Containing Vitamin K
Foods high in vitamin K contain more than 100 micrograms per serving. Among these foods are canola, salad and soybean oils with 140 to 190 micrograms per 7 tablespoons. A 1/2-cup serving of spinach, contain 360 micrograms. Broccoli contains 113 micrograms per each 1/2-cup serving and five Brussels sprouts have 289 micrograms. A 1/2-cup of boiled collard greens has 440 micrograms and a 1.5-cup serving of raw leaf parsley contains 540 micrograms, according to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Meats and most fruits are low in vitamin K, and nuts have low to medium amounts of the vitamin. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K is between 65 to 80 micrograms in adults.
Fruits, Vegetables and Salicylates
The “Journal of the American Dietetic Association” measures salicylates in foods serving sizes equal to 100 grams, about 3.5 ounces. Fruits such as mulberries contain 0.76 milligrams of salicylates and raspberries have 4.4 milligrams. A golden delicious apple contains 0.08 milligrams, while an orange has 2.39 milligrams. Vegetables containing salicylates include sweet green peppers with 1.20 milligrams, zucchini has 1.04 milligrams and some brands of tomato sauces contain 2.48 milligrams. The salicylate content of fruits and vegetables may not appear to be a matter of concern, and as part of a healthy diet, they should not have a negative effect on your blood thinners. A nutritionist can provide a complete breakdown of salicylates in the foods you eat and recommend adequate portion sizes that will not counteract your medications effectiveness.
Spices and Condiments
Spices with the highest amount of salicylates per 100 gram servings include rosemary with 68 milligrams, hot paprika containing 203 milligrams, curry has 218 milligrams and thyme contains 183 milligrams. Because the pickling process uses salicylates in vinegar as a preservative to protect against spoilage, bacteria and fungus, pickles and condiments also contain salicylates. Gherkins contain 6.1 milligrams per 100 grams, mustard powder contains 26 milligrams and Worcestershire sauce has 64.3 milligrams. Like fruits and vegetables, most spices and condiments are not excessively high in salicylates. However, if consumed in large amounts, they can significantly affect your antiplatelet medication.