What is CoQ10?
Ubiquinone, CoenzymeQ10, CoQ10 or just Q1O, is a natural substance found in our bodies, both animals and humans. Research shows that as we age, or in those with heart disease, the level of Q10 in our body is reduced.
Q10 helps in the process of oxygen transportation in cells. The organs with the highest requirement for energy (i.e. oxygen) have the highest Q10 concentration. Most of all Q10 is known as an excellent antioxidant.
Q10 does not absorb very well into the body. Therefore its reduced form, called Ubiquinol, is becoming more popular as it has shown a much higher ability to absorb into the body and thereby increasing the effect of the intake. The function they have is the same and the body itself transforms Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol and vise versa.
What is it good for?
There is evidence that Q10 may help treat heart failure when combined with medicine. I have been told (but I have not confirmed) that several coutries, for example Japan, use Q10 in the treatment of heart patients (humans). Studies on humans show that it can reduce blood pressure, swelling and increase exercise capacity. But more research is needed to make any definite conclusions.
In animals, Q10 has been found to improve the health of pets with cardiomyopathy, valvular disease, heart murmur and hyperthyroidism, as well as improve the condition of gum tissue in cats with dental disease. The research has mostly been performed on dogs. Research also shows a reduction of sideeffects of cancer medicine in both humans and animals undergoing cancer treatment.
In humans I have fund very confusing and extremely varying accounts of potential sideeffects. The more serious of them being chest pain, constipation, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, heartburn and even heartattack. However it seems to be generally considered that the chance of side effects are small. Q10 is fat soluble, so any “overdose” may simply come out the other end.
In animals I could not find any side effects listed. However, I did find a warning. As Q10 may lower the blood sugar level, caution should be taken in giving this supplement to pets with diabetes.
As with any treatment you want to try for your pet, please discuss with your vet before you administer Q10. It may not be the right thing for your pets need, or may not go well with the medicine already being administered.
How much should I give?
Recommended human dose in case of heart disease is ranging from 20 to 100mg per day. The most common rule for animals is 10mg per 10 pounds (4.5kg) up to 30mg. If your pet is smaller than 10 pounds, count 1mg per pound weight. If your pet is more than 30 pounds (13.5 kg) you may consider keeping the dose at 30mg, or dividing over two doses. My Oliver is 4-4.5kg, so I give him 10mg per day.
How to administer?
Q10 and Ubiquinol comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes from tablets to pills to spray to drops. I first bought capsules with powdered Q10. The smell and taste seemed agreeable to Oliver so I put it in his food. However, it was impossible to ensure he ate his food (it´s usually more fun to eat Mios food). Since the capsules contained a human dose, it could not give him as a pill. At the time I did not have empty capsules to divide into, so I mixed the powder with a tiny amount of sliced cheese which, after 10 minutes in the refrigerator, went down like a pill. I later switched to Ubiquinol in liquid form, which I first put on his food, but later found it was easier to put on his “good boy for eating your pill today”-snack. He likes the flavor so no problems there.
Where and what to buy?
Q10 is not a regulated substance, so there are a billion versions out there. Depending on the type you want you may need to do some research. Using Q10 for humans is no problem as long as you divide the dose. Whichever product you buy, human or animal grade, please make sure it does not contain citrus extract or magnesium strearate. These substances are very bad for your pet.
Two products I have researched which are safe to use and easy to dose is vetri-science Q10 10mg capsules. I have seen them for sale in many online stores such as amazon.com and assorted pet stores. I do not know the size of the capsules. Price is about 21 US dollars for 120 capsules.
The second product is Mercola Ubiquinol for pets. You can also buy this in many online stores, such as Iherb.com or from mercola web shop, the price is about the same 27 US dollars for approx. 260 doses at 10mg each. This product is the one I use and I find it very practical. It is a liquid in pumpdriven bottle, selfdosing at 10mg per pump. My cat loves the flavor and licks it up. If he is being difficult one day is just smear it on his paw and he will lick it off later. As you get more than double the amount for only 6 dollars more, it think it is really worth the price. If I remember correctly, I believe mercola lets you subscribe to the substance, so you can get automatic refill.
This article is based on my research. If you have any information you think may be important to add to this article, or if I have made some mistakes, please let me know so that I can continuously improve the article to the benefit of our pets. Thank you!
References for this article