Vitamin K and Potassium daily intake for Coumadin (Warfarin) users

This blog post really ought to have been….

Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.

The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Vitamin K for Coumadin (Warfarin) patients is:

  • 80 mcg (micrograms) for men
  • 70 mcg (micrograms) for women

Vitamin K is needed by the liver to produce blood clotting factors in a person’s blood.  For people taking Coumadin (Warfarin) the blood clotting factors have to be kept in check to help the body break down blood clots in the arteries and vessels that could come loose and do further damage.

Trying to figure out how to care for, and feed, my husband has become a real uphill battle.  Mining the plethora of information on the Internet has me googly eyed and I have a headache.

If you are caring for yourself as you take Coumadin, or if you are the help mate to someone taking Coumadin, I found a complete – and I do mean COMPLETE – list of foods and their Vitamin K content.  Please get yourself over to this website – Vitamin K Finder.

At least the major food groups, in my opinion, are still in play with the Vitamin K thing.  Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins 😀  and I can’t forget M&M’s and Snickers.

Okay, yes I know, you are probably about to send me a flaming comment about my choices in foods.  But it is seriously screwed up when celery is in the HIGH category of Vitamin K, along with most of all fruits and vegetables while a serving of Chef Boyardee Spagetti and Meat Balls is in the LOW Vitamin K category.

The next item I have to be concerned with for Joe is his Potassium intake.

The RDA for Potassium is:

  • 2.0 – 5.5 grams for adults
  • 1.0 – 5.5 grams for children
  • 0.4 – 1.4 grams for infants

Potassium is essential for the entire body to work.  Maintain blood sugar levels, keeps the muscles in our bodies healthy, maintains electrical conductivity of the brain, balances blood pressure, regulating fluids in the body so the kidneys work properly to remove waste, and it boosts the nerve reflexes in our bodies to help in muscle contraction – walking, talking, sitting, standing, bending, reaching, grabbing, and all other things the body does on a daily basis.

Joe’s kidney doctor said his Potassium levels need to be in the 2.1 range for his size and weight.  Joe has kidney stones, his right kidney is smaller than his left.  His right kidney is considered diseased and not functioning as well as his left one.

Here is a website I’ve come across listing the Potassium Levels in Foods.

There are some foods I’m unfamiliar with.  This website is from Australia, I think.  What is Bream?  Or Lychees?  How about Papaw?  Then there is Meat paste in the Jams and Jellies section?  What about Vegemite?  What is Swede?  I thought that was a person from Sweden – oh well.  I don’t think I will boil a Swede though.

I know from my math classes, back in caveman days, that a milligram is 1,000th of a gram and to cause serious harm to Joe I’d have to work overtime at his consumption of foods rich in Potassium….like some of these listed below.

Potassium levels in Cocoa Powder is 1500 milligrams – just a tad way over the HIGH range.

Low Fat Soya (whatever that is) in the Flour Section has Cocoa Powder beat on the High range at 2030 milligrams.

Baker’s Yeast is right behind Low Fat Soya with 2000 milligrams.  So I kind of think that Dunkin Donuts is out of the running as far as Potassium goes.

In the fruits section Dried Apricots is right up there coming in at 1880 milligrams.  Further, it seems that all dried fruits – peaches and figs – are over the 1000 milligram amount.

The thing here is that all foods have to be taken into consideration with the Vitamin K and Potassium levels spread out over a full week.

The thing to take away from this bit of “Foolishness and Mayhem” is that everything we eat has deleterious effects on our bodies if we are not informed and take care of ourselves.  All of the over consumption of Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins, not to mention M&M’s and Snickers has brought Joe and I to the fork in the road we now stand at.  Continue on down the road we have traveled for 22 years or veer off into the unknown world of physical health.

Can I just have a bite of a chocolate bar before I make the decision to turn off this road?

Dinner for Joe and I last night was Pork Chops with Sage-Tarragon Butter, Mashed Yams, and Japanese Cucumber Salad.  Vitamin K content for the entire meal is:  15 mcg.  The Potassium content for the entire meal is:  1.9 grams.  Scroll down to near the bottom of the recipes and you will see the Nutrition Facts per serving which include a listing of vitamins and nutrients.

I hope this research I’ve been doing is helpful to any of you that have dropped by my blog.  I am overwhelmed by it all but I feel positive that this will benefit both Joe and I in the long run.  I have printed out the entire Vitamin K Food List and the Potassium Food List.  I now have a place to start in getting Joe fed and cared for properly.

If you have found information on the Internet that you have found useful in your daily life and would like to pass it on, please do so by leaving a comment with a link to your source.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

5 responses to “Vitamin K and Potassium daily intake for Coumadin (Warfarin) users

  • gardenpinks

    Bream is fish, swede is a root vegetable and some people enjoy swede and carrot mashed together-as you may have guessed I wouldn’t enjoy it! I do like carrots but not swede or turnips (rutabaga).Lychees and pawpaw are delicious fruits;pawpaw is not unlike mango. Vegemite is very similar to marmite, a veg version of marmite. I am surprised you haven’t heard of some of these. Oh by the way meat paste comes in jars and is a more processed version of pate.
    Hugs and love
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you for enlightening me on foreign foods. You guys talk funny 😀

      I thought of you and your dislike of vegetables as I read through, and printed off the lists.

      Screwball part of all this knowledge I’ve crammed my brain with….vegetables and fruits are harmful to the human body. Donuts, sugar coated cereals, lard, and meats are good for the human body.

      I give up! And I give in 😀

      Love you my friend – Leslie

  • Maureen Mathis

    Sounds like you are still enjoying tasty meals, despite the investment of time to find the recipes. After a few months of this, though, you’ll develop new “standard dishes” to prepare, and it will seem like second nature to you. Hang in there, it sounds like you are really stepping up to this challenge and conquering it in a BIG way! I’m so proud of how you’re handling this tough situation, and I know that your family must be, too.

    Look at it THIS way, at least THIS challenge doesn’t end up with GLITTER all up in YO BIZ-NESS!

    • Message In A Fold

      OMGoodness Gracious! You are the best! You just made me laugh like crazy 😀 Glitter all up in my biz-ness 😀 That is awesome, thank you for the good laugh.

      Yes, things are beginning to settle down and I am getting more comfortable with the food thing. Not quite as frightening as it had been. Joe is requesting foods and that is a real help for me, instead of me always asking which he would like….chicken or fish.

      Thanks for your support and encouragement my dear friend.

      Love you – Leslie

  • Coumadin (Warfarin) and INR readings that spike. « Foolishness and Mayhem

    […] If you need a reference for the Vitamin K in foods I have linked to a valuable source in one of my blog posts….Vitamin K and Potassium daily intake for Coumadin (Warfarin) users. […]

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