Coenzyme Q-10

Co Q-10 is vital to the function of the heart and brainWhat is coenzyme Q-10?

Coenzyme Q-10 (‘CoQ10’ or ‘ubiquinone’) is a fat soluble nutrient, abundant in all tissues in the body. It is a vital component of the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. Organs with a high demand for oxygen, including the heart, liver, kidney, pancreas and the brain have a high requirement. Coenzyme Q-10 is being studied as a treatment for heart disease and Parkinson’s disease in humans. Apart from having an important role in energy production, Coenzyme Q-10 also stabilizes cell membranes and acts as a powerful antioxidant.

Why recommend administration of coenzyme Q-10 to my pet?

Coenzyme Q-10 is useful in any organ with a high energy demand e.g. heart and brain. Research has shown a significant correlation between reduced levels of coQ-10 and the incidence of heart disease. Coenzyme Q-10 thus is a standard inclusion in many supplements designed to improve heart function. It is useful in the treatment of congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy and may be helpful to treat hypertension.

Oral supplementation of Coenzyme Q-10 has been shown to improve periodontal disease in humans, also a common condition in cats and dogs.

Co Q-10 is a useful antioxidant supplement in cancer, immune deficiency diseases, degenerative nervous system diseases and other disease states where there is long-standing inflammation and it may be useful in the management of senility in older dogs.

How much experience is there with the use of coenzyme Q-10 in pets?

Coenzyme Q-10 has been used in human and animal heart disease for several years; indeed, double-blind studies with co Q-10 show a clear improvement. In human studies on cervical cancer, improved outcomes have been reported in patients receiving both co Q-10 and chemotherapy.

What species of animal are being treated regularly with coenzyme Q-10?

Dogs and cats are most commonly prescribed coenzyme Q-10.

How much research has been conducted on this supplement?

Research suggests coenzyme Q-10 has been shown to be of value in dogs with heart disease and heart failure. Clinical experience suggests its effectiveness for pets with gum disease and as part of a cancer treatment. Coenzyme Q-10 has been shown to protect against heart damage caused by certain types of cancer chemotherapy (such as adriamycin).

How can my pet benefit from coenzyme Q-10?

Coenzyme Q-10 can help heart function. The overall effects of co Q-10 alone are likely to be only mild or moderate but research suggests there may be a complementary interaction between co Q-10 and other heart medications. Reduced heart muscle pathology with a slowing of physical signs of cardiac problems has been demonstrated in dogs with heart disease receiving this supplement.   

How successful is coenzyme Q-10?

Co Q-10 appears to be very successful in helping pets with mild cardiac disease. It can also be used as an adjunctive therapy along with conventional medications for pets with more severe heart disease. Many vets recommend using 2 mg per kilo of body weight daily, which is much higher than the typical recommended dose of 15-30 mg per pet per day.

Based on the small amount of research that has been conducted in humans, coenzyme Q-10 may be helpful for pets with elevated blood pressure due to heart disease, diabetes, immune problems and decreased energy. Coenzyme Q-10 levels decrease in people and pets as they age. Supplementation of older pets may be warranted as a general rule.

research suggests co q-10 helps pets with heart diseaseHow safe is coenzyme Q-10?

Co Q-10 appears to be extremely safe. No significant side effects have been found. Mild diarrhea, poor appetite and nausea have been rarely reported in people. Veterinary supervision is advised, however, to ensure that pets with severe heart disease are improving and that any decline in function is addressed. In people, the maximum safe dosages of Co Q-10 for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been determined; the same is true for pets in similar circumstances.

Where do I obtain coenzyme Q-10 and do I need a prescription?

Natural sources include cold water fish like salmon and tuna, meats and vegetable oils, however any anything that affects the liver or where there are deficiencies of vitamin C, E, B or selenium means an animal may not make as much Co-Q10 as it needs even with high amounts in the diet, in these cases supplementation with Co-Q10 is beneficial. We would be happy to discuss sourcing Coenzyme Q-10 for you. A prescription is not needed.

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