Does vitamin K prevent strokes?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 25, 2016
Hallowitch68 asked...

I guess I am a tad confused. Vitamin K is a HUGE no-no for me having Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS/Hughes) due to it's propensity to cause clotting. This article indicates that the VitK in spinach has been shown to prevent strokes but I would think that the rather high RDA would work the opposite way. Anyone who takes blood thinners from baby aspirin to Warfarin, Heparin, Plavix, etc. is advised against a high vitK intake. With knowing that I will have to anticoagulate for life it is an attempt to get a daily average through fish, leafy greens, and other high "K" foods and adjust the AC therapy medication to that average. I know it is a MUST for weight maintainance as it allows the body to regulate fat storage, etc.. I know I have to avoid Soy, etc. as natural estrogens cause clotting and chaos as fast as HRT, and I really minimize my Vitamin K intake. (What I wouldn't do for a HUGE fresh salad!!). Anyone have input on this? Just curious.....have always been warned against it to avoid strokes and now I am reading that it supposedly prevents them??

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

You may be overthinking these issues.

Vitamin K would only be contraindicated if you take the medication warfarin (brand name Coumadin). If you are on warfarin, which works by inhibiting the action of vitamin K, you are supposed to limit vitamin K intake and keep it at a constant low level every day. Otherwise, to my knowledge, there is no reason you should not be able to eat vitamin K. Anti-phospholipid antibody production should not be effected by vitamin K intake, and the amount of estrogen in products like Soy should be negligible. I would certainly avoid taking any hormone medications or supplements, but ingredients in basic foods should not increase your estrogen levels enough to be of any concern.

Bottom line, I would not concern yourself with any of these food related issues unless you are specifically taking warfarin (Coumadin), in which case you should be on a stable, low to negligible, amount of vitamin K intake daily.