Vitamins and supplements

What could cause iron deficiency anemia?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have iron deficiency anemia. What could have caused it? Also, my doctor wants me to take a daily 325 mg iron sulfate supplement. Is that dangerous? The recommended daily dose of iron is much lower.

DEAR READER: Most iron in the body is stored in red blood cells. If you don't have enough iron, it can lead to a low red blood cell count. Doctors call this iron-deficiency anemia, and it's more common in women.

Can coenzyme Q10 help with side effects from statins?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm a 61-year-old man. My doctor wants me to take a statin to lower my cholesterol, but I'm worried about muscle damage. I found a website that claimed coenzyme Q10 would help. Is that right?

DEAR READER: It might be, but coenzyme Q10 has not been well studied. It surely should be: Tens of millions of people take statins in the United States alone. They powerfully lower total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in the blood. More important, they reduce the risk of heart attacks.