Brussel-sprout-induced inhibition of warfarin anticoagulation

December 20, 2012, 8:13 pm

★★★½☆

The hazards of brussels sprouts consumption at Christmas. Pettit SJ et al. Med J Aust 2012 Dec 10;197(11):661-2.

No abstract available

This interesting short case report describes a man with an implanted left ventricular assist device who was on warfarin but had persistently subtherapeutic INR measurements. Dietary history revealed that during Christmas festivities he had been consuming 15-20 Brussels sprouts 4 or 5 times a week. After he was put on a NSNW (no sprouts no way) diet, his warfarin requirement stabilized.

The authors note that Brussels sprouts are a high-vitamin-K1 food, containing about 140 μg per 100 g even after they are boiled. This antagonizes the action of warfarin. In addition, Brussels sprouts increase warfarin metabolism and clearance.

Other foods rich in vitamin K1 include broccoli and dark leafy greens.

“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.” –  P.J. O’Rourke

“We kids feared many things in those days — werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School — but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts.” – Dave Barry

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