The use of CoQ10 for dogs with heart problems has been based on extrapolating from human studies for the most part. Many veterinary cardiologists have been in favor of using it. MMVD is a manifestation of a process that can affect all heart valves but usually, it is detected in the mitral valve. This study looked at some small breed dogs in particular and found that "CoQ10 improves cardiac function in small dogs with MMVD...Supplementation dose of CoQ10 should be based on the body weight."
Pilot studies often lead to other studies, and facts begin to present themselves, but it can be a slow process. Based on what this study shows, a 13 pound dog with MMVD may see improvement in cardiac function when fed 100 mg CoQ10 twice daily. There are many things to consider here and a cardiologist would be your best advisor if your dog has any sort of heart problem, but this is an exciting first step in helping dogs with a nutraceutical.
WHAT IS COQ10?
CoQ10 is a compound that the body makes naturally and uses for cell growth. It's a potent antioxidant that protects cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Genes, which are pieces of DNA, tell the cells how to work in the body and when to grow and divide. Damage to DNA has been linked to some kinds of cancer. By protecting cells against free radicals, antioxidants help protect the body against cancer. The amount of coenzyme Q10 in body tissues decreases with the aging process.
Animal studies show that CoQ10 helps the immune system to work better and helps the body to resist certain infections and types of cancer. Also, CoQ10 helped to protect the hearts of study animals given the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin.
Many diabetic people and rodents have been found to have less CoQ10 in their bodies than the healthy populations. CoQ10 has been shown to help insulin regulation in these cases, but as of this writing, studies in diabetic dogs are non-existent, or I haven't found them.
Toxicity: Under the conditions of a Japanese study in 8 Beagle dogs, there lies the suggestion that Co10 toxicity was estimated to be more than 600 mg/kg/day. Obviously, pet owners would not feed such a great amount, if for no other reason than cost!
WHICH TYPE OF COQ1O?
One of the controversies about this supplement is whether or not it needs to be encapsulated in oil. Because it's a fat-soluble substance, several studies have focused on this. Ubiquinol (product name) is an example and confuses many people, so here's the skinny:
CoQ10 is also called ubiquinone (you can see the similar name starts to confuse already!) The body converts this to uniqinol, so in fact the dry coq10 is simply not a converted product.
Unless a home-prepared diet for a dog needs to be low in fat due to pancreatitis, the diet itself provides plenty of fat. We add this supplement to food, so it makes sense to me that this is all it takes and we don't need to spend the big bucks on other forms of CoQ10. But I really question how necessary it is for people (even though we swallow capsules with water rather than ingesting them with fatty foods), too. My husband takes 2 of our CoQ10 (30 mg each) capsules am and pm and his blood pressure has come down. It wouldn't have if his body wasn't absorbing it.
I get migraines and my doctor suggested taking 100 mg of CoQ10 daily, but if I take the one encapsulated in oil, or too much of our own product, my migraines are worse and arrive more frequently. If I take 30 mg (1 capsule) both am and pm, migraines are under much better control. I'm not alone in this. Friends with migraines have told me the same thing. That wouldn't be possible if the dry CoQ10 wasn't being absorbed and interestingly, two naturopathic doctors I deal with have experienced this through their patients as well. What I know is what I've seen and experienced, and for my money, the dry version is certainly great.
DOES COQ10 HELP WITH ANYTHING ELSE?
Studies show that supplemental CoQ10 is helpful to the heart, brain function, athletic performance (muscle contraction, energy) and for those suffering from periodontal disease. Many older dogs that are supplemented with CoQ10 have shown improved cognition.
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The love of a dog is a pure thing. He gives you a trust which is total. You must not betray it. ~Michel Houellebecq