The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.

Letter to the Editor

The recent Letter to the Editor about warfarin and beetroot by Louise Vanpraag and the response from Philip Tideman and colleagues1 both miss the point about warfarin and beetroot. It is commonplace for those eating beetroot to have red urine (beeturia) or red faeces, or both, and such symptoms in those taking warfarin can be worrying. On many occasions, warfarin dosage has been adjusted unnecessarily and there have been many unnecessary urinary and bowel investigations. The beetroot-induced symptoms are of no importance and of course can occur in anyone eating beetroot.

John Raven
Clinical haematologist
Consultant physician
Bunbury, Qld

Authors' comments

Philip A Tideman, Rosy Tirimacco, Andrew St John and Gregory W Roberts, the authors of the article, comment:

This is an excellent point, and any counselling regarding the signs of bleeding should include alerting the patient to the possibility of red or pink urine or faeces after eating beetroot. Likewise, clinicians should enquire about beetroot consumption for any patient presenting with pink or red urine or faeces.