Dietary vitamin K intake and anticoagulation in elderly patients

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Vitamin K is an essential co-factor for the synthesis of several coagulation factors. Oral anticoagulants competitively inhibit enzymes that participate in vitamin K metabolism. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the potential interaction of dietary vitamin K and coagulation stability, particularly in the elderly patient.

Recent findings

Recent prospective evidences suggest that dietary vitamin K plays an essential role in anticoagulation stability. Vitamin K intake of more than 250 μg/day was shown to decrease warfarin sensitivity in anticoagulated patients consuming regular diets. In a randomized crossover study, brief periods of changes on vitamin K intake also had significant effects on coagulation parameters. Patients that were allocated to an 80% decrease of intake increased International Normalized Ratio (INR) by almost 30% 7 days after the intervention. Similarly, it was estimated by dietary records that for each increase in 100 μg of vitamin K intake, the INR would be reduced by 0.2. A recent study also demonstrated that over-the-counter multivitamin supplements contain enough vitamin K1 to significantly alter coagulation parameters.

Summary

Contemporary data strengthen the concept that the interaction between dietary vitamin K and coumarin derivatives is clinically relevant and plays a major role in INR fluctuations in chronic anticoagulated patients.

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