Increasingly, people are feeding their dogs CoQ10 supplements. The CoQ10 supplementation is used provide dogs and cats the following health benefits [Gollakner 2020; Puotinen CJ 2019]:
- improved cellular energy production
- enhanced Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells and lipoproteins against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are substances that prevent the oxidation of other molecules and compounds. There are two broad categories of antioxidants: enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Non-enzymatic antioxidants are substances like Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and various carotenoids. Prominent enzymatic antioxidants include catalase, glutathione peroxidase,... Read more about this term protection against Oxidation is the chemical reaction of a substance with oxygen. Peroxidation is the extreme form of oxidation that results from free radicals’ stealing electrons from lipids, either in the cell membranes or in the lipoproteins. The final product of lipid peroxidation is highly reactive malondialdehyde, a bio-marker for oxidative stress and damage.... Read more about this term
- anti-inflammatory effects
- reduced Endothelial dysfunction may be thought of as the failure of the cells lining the inside of arteries and veins to regulate properly blood vessel relaxation and contraction, blood clotting, immune function, and platelet adhesion. Endothelial dysfunction prevents the blood vessels from dilating sufficiently and can lead to increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation is associated... Read more about this term
Typically, the CoQ10 supplement is given by mouth as a capsule or as a liquid. It is possible, of course, to squeeze the CoQ10 filling out of a capsule onto the dog food.
Pharmacokinetics Study of Repeated Oral CoQ10 Dosing of Spaniels
Now, a research team in Denmark has investigated the pharmacokinetics of oral dosing of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over a three-week period [Christiansen 2020].
The researchers enrolled 19 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with mitral valve disease in randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study.
The dogs were randomly chosen to take 100 mg of Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone, the oxidized form of Coenzyme Q10, expressed as Q10 or CoQ10, is absolutely essential for the mitochondrial ATP energy production process. Ubiquinone is the form of Coenzyme Q10 that the body synthesizes, and ubiquinone is the form of Coenzyme Q10 that has been extensively tested for safety, absorption, and efficacy in clinical trials.... Read more about this term) twice a day for three weeks and then placebo for three weeks or to do in reverse order.
Outcomes of the Three-Week CoQ10 Supplementation of Dogs
The researchers have published the following study outcomes in a peer-reviewed journal:
- The dogs’ total plasma CoQ10 concentrations increased significantly from baseline to the after-treatment period.
- Thirteen dogs reached the threshold of a total plasma CoQ10 concentration of ≥ 2.0 microg/mL.
- There were individual variations in the dogs’ uptake of the oral CoQ10 supplement just as have been noted in humans [Lopez-Lluch 2019].
- The average half-life of the CoQ10 was 2.95 days. The interquartile range was 1.75–4.02 days.
- The particular CoQ10 formulation used in the experiment was well-tolerated in the dogs.
- There were no The outcome of a clinical trial is thought to have statistical significance, or to be statistically significant, if the outcome is likely not caused by chance at a given statistical significance level, typically at the 0.05 level. Statistically significant outcomes may or may not be clinically significant. ... Read more about this term differences between the CoQ10 treatment and the placebo treatment with respect to the severity of the dogs’ mitral valve disease and in the dog owners’ perceptions of their dogs’ quality of life.
N.B. A three-week supplementation period – sufficient for studying the drug’s pharmacokinetics – is not long enough to see clinical improvement in heart disease. A long-term study similar to the Q-Symbio is the abbreviated name for the two-year multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Coenzyme Q10 supplements as an adjunct treatment of chronic heart failure patients. The name reflects the focus of the study on the SYMptoms, BIomarker status (BNP), and long-term Outcomes (hospitalizations and mortality) of the supplementation. The data from the Q-Symbio study show that long-term supplementation with... Read more about this term is needed for that purpose.
Importance of the Formulation of the CoQ10 Supplement
The formulation of the CoQ10 supplement is of supreme importance for the following reasons:
- The Coenzyme Q10 raw material is a crystalline powder.
- Cat and dog intestinal systems, like human intestinal systems, can barely if at all absorb the CoQ10 crystals.
- In all three cases, the body temperature is below the melting point of the CoQ10 crystals; body temperature is too low to dissolve the Coq10 crystals to single CoQ10 molecules, which can be absorbed.
- There are numerous diverse CoQ10 formulations available on the market; there is considerable variation in the absorption and bioavailability of these different formulations. Some will give hardly any absorption at all.
- In this study, the researchers chose to use a formulation with documented good bioavailability [Lopez-Lluch 2019]. In fact, they used the same preparation that was used in the two-year Q-Symbio study of the effect of Coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in The Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term in humans [Mortensen 2014].
The Coenzyme Q10 and placebo gelatin capsules used in the study were produced by Pharma Nord in Denmark. However, the Pharma Nord company had no role in the study design; no role in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the study data; no role in the writing of the journal article; and no role in the decision to publish the study results. The researchers declared no conflict of interest [Christiansen 2020].
Dosage of the CoQ10 Supplement in the Dog Study
The researchers chose to use a relatively high daily dose – two times 100 mg – because they wanted to raise the dogs’ plasma CoQ10 concentrations above the 2.0 microg/mL level thought to be necessary for the realization of heart health benefits [Christiansen 2020].
The observed half-life of almost three days seems to indicate that 100 mg/day or 2 x 100 mg/every other day in divided doses may be sufficient [Christiansen 2020]. However, correct dosage will vary according to the size and body weight of the dogs.
Thai Study of CoQ10 Supplementation of Dogs with Symptoms of Heart Failure
In a 2018 study reported in the Thai Veterinary Medical Journal, CoQ10 supplementation (2 x 100 mg daily) of 13 dogs diagnosed with mitral valve disease and with the symptoms of heart failure for 28 days was associated with significant improvement of systolic function (the pressure exerted when the heart muscle contracts).
The researchers suggested that the increased systolic function could result from the effect of the CoQ10 supplementation on ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules are the high-energy molecules with easily broken phosphate bonds that release energy to the energy-requiring processes in the cells. Coenzyme Q10 is essential to the process of ATP production.... Read more about this term production in the heart muscle The mitochondria are the bean-shaped organelles in the cells. They are the key organelles with responsibility for the production of ATP energy molecules.... Read more about this term. The CoQ10 supplementation may improve the availability of ATP for heart muscle contraction [Tachampa 2018].
Bottom Line – CoQ10 Supplementation
Coenzyme Q10 supplement formulations vary widely in their composition, and, consequently, CoQ10 supplements vary significantly in the CoQ10 bioavailability that they provide [Lopez-Lluch].
Given a documented formulation – why take a chance on an undocumented product? – and a correct dosage, Coenzyme Q10 supplementation may well improve the survival and quality of life of dogs and cats at risk of heart disease [Mortensen 2014].
Christiansen LB, Morsing MK, Reimann MJ, et al. Pharmacokinetics of Repeated Oral Dosing with Coenzyme Q10 in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(9):E827. Published 2020 Sep 4.
Gollakner R. Coenzyme Q-10. VCA Hospitals. 2020. Retrieved from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/coenzyme-q-10
López-Lluch G, Del Pozo-Cruz J, Sánchez-Cuesta A, Cortés-Rodríguez AB, Navas P. Bioavailability of coenzyme Q10 supplements depends on carrier lipids and solubilization. Nutrition. 2019;57:133-140.
Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized A double-blind study is a study in which neither the investigators nor the study participants know which participants are receiving the active treatment and which participants are receiving the control treatment until the study has been completed and the seal on the code has been broken.... Read more about this term trial. JACC Heart Fail. 2014;2(6):641-649.
Puotinen CJ. CoQ10 for Heart Health in Dogs. Whole Dog Journal. 2019. Retrieved from https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/health/heart-disease/coq10-for-heart-health-in-dogs/
Tachampa K et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on cardiac troponin I level, heart rate variability, and echocardiographic profiles in canine with myxomatous degenerative mitral valve disease: a pilot study. Thai J Vet Med. 2018;48(3):443-452.
The information provided in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such.
14 November 2020Please click here for additional information about CoQ10 supplementation.