It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
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Find out the exact amount of Vitamin K (in micrograms) of almost a thousand common foods! Listed both alphabetically and then in order of the amount of Vitamin K in the food, this list will help you know exactly how much Vitamin K you're eating. Just $4.95 for the eBook (PDF) or $12.95 for the paperback. Get your copy now!
My father has been on Coumadin for 4 weeks and his doctor told him he could not eat home-grown garden tomatoes - just hot-house tomatoes! From viewing your website, the tomato is low in vitamin K, so what is the deal?
I must admit that I very much enjoyed your question. My first reaction was that tomatoes are tomatoes, but when answering Ask Dr. Gourmet questions I always want to make sure that the reply is correct. As I wasn't 100% certain that a tomato is a tomato when it comes to Vitamin K content, I consulted some experts at the USDA.
I was referred to Dr. Sarah L. Booth who is the Director of the Vitamin K Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. She very graciously replied to your question. Here is her answer:
From the standpoint of vitamin K, I cannot point to any data that would support the recommendation to avoid home grown tomatoes. Tomatoes have very little variation in terms of vitamin K, so I would recommend eating tomatoes regardless of their source.
A four ounce tomato has about 9 micrograms of Vitamin K which is considered a low amount. As Dr. Booth says, there's no reason that your father's homegrown tomatoes would be higher in Vitamin K.
Thanks for your very interesting question.
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP