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Seek Medical Advice On Vitamin K

MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 2 August

Warfarin Medication Users Advised To Seek Medical Advice On Vitamin K

Fonterra Brands is today reminding medical professionals that while 99% of New Zealanders can benefit from consuming foods rich in vitamin K, the small number of people who take anticoagulant medication containing warfarin* should seek advice before significantly altering their daily intake of the vitamin.

A sudden change in the amount of vitamin K in a warfarin patient’s diet can affect how the medication works.

This advice follows a public notice from the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) which warned people who take warfarin not to consume Anlene without first consulting their doctor. About 1% of New Zealanders are currently prescribed long-term warfarin-containing anticoagulants.

Vitamin K is naturally present in a variety of foods, such as green leafy vegetables, some vegetable oils and spirulina. It is also found in some fortified food products including Fonterra’s newly launched Anlene brand dairy products, as well as, Complan™, Ensure™ and Sustagen™ meal replacement drinks, some nutrition bars and a variety of vitamin supplements. Vitamin K is an important nutrient with a range of benefits including improving bone health.

A single serve of Anlene contains about 40ζg of Vitamin K. This compares to about 110ζg in half a cup of boiled broccoli or 444ζg in half a cup of boiled spinach**.

Fonterra Brands New Zealand General Manager of Marketing, Andrew Smith says any warfarin users who have questions should consult their health professional.

“Vitamin K is a natural, safe and healthy vitamin which has great health benefits for the vast majority of us. The health and safety of all of our customers is paramount so we are working with the NZFSA to ensure that the small percentage of the population that may face risks associated with their medication interacting with vitamin K are aware which products and foods have a naturally high level or are enriched with it,” he says.

Fonterra Brands launched Anlene in New Zealand in May 2006. Anlene is a fresh, low-fat milk drink and yoghurt, enriched with a superior combination of essential nutrients for bones including Phyto K (which contains vitamin K1).

Phyto K works to activate a special protein found in bone, which helps lock in essential bone nutrients. Anlene ultimately helps achieve optimal bone nutrition when consumed as part of a healthy diet.

Fonterra Brands has conducted extensive scientific research in the area of bone health and worked closely with local and international health professionals in the development of Anlene. The scientific research shows that bones need the right balance of the following essential nutrients as part of a healthy diet every day: protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin D and K.

Fonterra Brands communicated widely with healthcare professionals about Anlene when it was launched. These communications included detailed information on Anlene’s benefits to bone health, its vitamin K content and the potential implications for their patients on warfarin.


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