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Anticoagulants and vitamin K


What is an anticoagulant?

An anticoagulant is a blood thinner, which helps keep blood clots from forming. It can be used to prevent blood clots in the veins and arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

The amount of anticoagulant needed to manage certain health conditions varies from person to person. The doctor will test your child’s blood on a regular basis to make sure that the amount of medicine your child is taking best suits his health needs.

Nutrition facts when taking anticoagulant medicines

The vitamin K in your child’s diet can react with anticoagulant and how it works in the body. The amount of vitamin K eaten may affect the dose of medicine prescribed by the doctor. For this reason, your child’s medicine dose is balanced with the amount of vitamin K in his diet to give the best drug effect.

Vitamin K is found mostly in vegetables, especially green vegetables. Collards, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage contain vitamin K. Some fruits such as kiwi, blackberries, and blueberries are also rich in vitamin K.

Your child does not need to avoid vitamin K foods. You just need to make sure that you do not make large changes in the amount of vitamin K in your child’s diet. If your child likes these foods, the amount consumed should be consistent each week. For example, your child could have ½ cup three times per week. Also, do not take any new or different dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals, or herbs without talking with your doctor, nurse, or dietitian first.

Call the doctor right away if your child is unable to eat for several days, has an upset stomach, diarrhea, or fever. If your child is not eating, this will decrease the amount of vitamin K in the body and could affect how the anticoagulant medicine works.

Vitamin K in food

HIGH vitamin K foods (more than 100 micrograms)

Vitmin K (micrograms per serving
Collard greens, cooked 1060 (1 cup)
Kale, cooked 1054 (1 cup)
Spinach, cooked 884 (1 cup)
Turnip greens, cooked 526 (1 cup)
Brussels sprouts, cooked 220 (1 cup)
Broccoli, cooked 220 (1 cup)
Cabbage, cooked 163 (1 cup)
Spinach, raw 145 (1 cup)
Asparagus, cooked 144 (1 cup)

MEDIUM vitamin K foods (between 10 and 100 micrograms)

Vitamin K (micrograms per serving)
Broccoli, raw 89 (1 cup)
Coleslaw 89 (1 cup)
Okra, boiled, cooked 64 (1 cup)
Romaine lettuce 63 (1 cup)
Cashews 45 (1 cup)
Avocado 42 (1 cup)
Peas 41 (1 cup)
Kiwi 31 (1 medium)
Blackberries 29 (1 cup)
Blueberries 28 (1 cup)
Grapes 23 (1 cup)
Pistachios 17 (1 cup)
Carrots, raw 15 (1 cup)
Iceberg lettuce 13 (1 cup)
Mayonnaise 12 (2 tbsp)

LOW vitamin K foods (below 10 micrograms)

Vitamin K (micrograms per serving)
Cucumber 9 (1 cup)
Zucchini 9 (1 cup)
Olive oil 8 (1 tbsp.)
Pear 7 (1 cup)
Beans (plain, black, white) <6 (1 cup)
Cantaloupe 4 (1 cup)
Apple 3 (1 cup)
Pecans 3 (1 cup)
Strawberries 3 (1 cup)
Dairy (milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese) <3 (1 cup)
Potato with peel, baked 2 (1 cup)
Eggs 1 (1 egg)
Grains (bread, pasta, oatmeal) 1 (1 cup)
Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit) <1 (1 cup)
Rice (brown, white, wild) <1 (1 cup)
Peanuts <1 (1 cup)
Beverages (water, black tea, green tea, orange
<1 (1 cup)


If you have questions about anticoagulants and vitamin K, please talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or dietitian.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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