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How Does Vitamin K Affect Blood Clots?

by
author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
How Does Vitamin K Affect Blood Clots?
A colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a blood clot. Photo Credit Science Photo Library - STEVE GSCHMEISSNER./Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a crucial role in blood clotting. They act as a co-factor for seven vitamin K-dependent clotting factors, because without vitamin K, your blood is unable to clot. You get vitamin K from a variety of foods in your diet. Rich sources include liver, turnip greens, broccoli, kale, cabbage and asparagus. Vitamin K causes the blood to coagulate, thereby reducing the risk of bleeding. This effect may interact with certain medications.

Blood Clotting Interactions

Some individuals are at risk of developing dangerous blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe a blood thinner. If you are prescribed a blood thinner, avoid taking vitamin-K supplements. You may also need to avoid vitamin K-rich foods. Vitamin K blocks the effects of the blood-thinning medication warfarin, which can increase the risk of clotting, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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