The Use of Coenzyme Q10 in Dogs & Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, is essential for energy production at the cellular level. It helps the body produce energy both by helping to create the enzymes the cell uses to create ATP and by creating energy directly. It is also an antioxidant.

It has been shown to benefit humans with various heart and muscle diseases. In humans with congestive heart failure, the worse the symptoms, the less Coenzyme Q10 is found in the body. With supplementation of Coenzyme Q10, patients have fewer symptoms of the disease which may result in less use of potentially harmful medications. Studies of its effects in pets are underway.

Coenzyme Q10 tissue levels decrease with age, especially in the heart, kidneys, and liver. Supplementation increases the energy and exercise tolerance in older animals and may be effective in correcting the age-related decline in the immune system. Deficiency in Coenzyme Q10 results in a lack of energy, increased free radical damage, and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. According to Nutramax, a company which produces Coenzyme Q10, it is safe to use in dogs, cats, and horses.

Coenzyme Q10 has not been officially recognized as a vitamin due to arguments over the definition of a vitamin. It was first discovered in beef hearts in 1957. It was used in Japan in the 1960's to treat congestive heart failure in humans. In the 1980's, Japan was producing sufficient quantities and treating patients with it.

Coenzyme Q10 can be found in sardines, liver, and peanuts. It is also made by the body in a complex process that involves eight vitamins and several trace minerals. If all of the necessary ingredients are not available, the body will not be able to make the final product, Coenzyme Q10.

Brewer's yeast may increase the absorption of Coenzyme Q10.

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