The role of dietary vitamin K in the management of oral vitamin K antagonists

Blood Rev. 2012 Jan;26(1):1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2011.07.002. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) have been the mainstay of oral anticoagulant therapy for over 60years. In this review we critically assess the evidence for the importance of vitamin K nutrition during VKA therapy; the methodologies for measuring dietary intakes; the vitamin K intake data in patients on VKA and healthy people; and the experimental evidence for the influence of vitamin K intakes and biochemical measures of vitamin K status on VKA response. Several studies show that dietary intakes of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) are associated to the sensitivity and stability of anticoagulation during initiation and maintenance dosing with low habitual intakes associated with greater instability of the INR and risk of sub-therapeutic anticoagulation. Preliminary evidence suggests that the stability of anticoagulation therapy may be improved by daily vitamin K supplementation, but further studies are needed to find out whether this, or other dietary interventions, can improve anticoagulant control in routine clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vitamin K / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin K / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Vitamin K