Manufacturer’s dog supplement description: “A Coenzyme Q10 formula for cats and dogs to support cardiovascular and periodontal health. CoQ10 can support the cellular energy necessary for heart health (ailing hearts are often deficient in CoQ10) and helps carbohydrate metabolism support blood sugar balance, and gum health (deficiencies of CoQ10 have been linked to poor gum health).”[tabs][tab title =”Overview”]Vetri-Science Coenzyme Q10 is advertised as supporting the formation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), boosting the immune system and acting as an antioxidant. According to the manufacturer, it “supports periodontal health, circulation, physical energy, stamina, oxygen utilization, carbohydrate metabolism and normal detoxification processes.”
The coenzyme Q10 substance in this supplement is manufactured through the process of fermenting beets and sugar cane with yeast.[/tab] [tab title =”How It Works”]For dogs (and mammals in general), coenzyme Q10 is a cofactor needed for other enzymes to function normally in a number of enzyme reactions that take place during the oxidative phosphorylation pathway – the process involving the synthesis and breakdown of ATP which is responsible for moving and using energy within the cell in particular reactions.[/tab] [tab title=”Uses”]Specific reasons to use this supplement, and list of factual information of what this supplement is effective for, possibly effective for and/or ineffective for (or there’s a lack of evidence).[/tab] [tab title =”Side Effects”]Side effects from taking this supplement are rare and generally mild. They are usually gastrointestinal in nature including stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.[/tab] [tab title =”Dosage”]The Vetri-Science supplement comes in capsule form, with 10mg of active product per capsule. Dogs are supposed to be given one tablet per 10kg of body weight (and there’s also a 30mg version available for larger dogs according to manufacturer’s datasheet).[/tab][/tabs]
Vetri Science Coenzyme Q10 for Dogs
Vetri-Science Coenzyme Q10 supplement for dogs are tablets containing the vitamin-like (in structure) substance coenzyme Q10, also sometimes known as ubiquinone or ubidecarenone. It can be synthesized in the liver, and is also absorbed from a variety of foods.
What is Coenzyme Q10 for dogs
As a result of being heavily involved in these energy-related reactions, coenzyme Q10 is found in highest concentrations in cell mitochondria (a particular structure within the cell devoted to converting energy for the rest of the cell into a form it can use). In animal and human bodies, Q10 is found in the highest concentrations in the organs with the highest activity: heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Levels of coenzyme Q10 decrease naturally throughout the dog’s life, but in most healthy pets, required levels can be absorbed from dietary sources such as meat.
In serious diseases characterized by a lack of coenzyme Q10 (e.g. genetic mutations), supplementing with coenzyme Q10 is an accepted treatment modality. Some chronic conditions are thought to decrease the synthesis of Q10, thus using a supplement with coenzyme Q10 to raise its levels appears to make sense, given its requirement in so many reactions.
Scientific data on Coenzyme Q10 supplements
There is no compelling evidence as of yet that boosting Q10 levels through supplementation makes a definite difference in any of the conditions mentioned above. However, small scale experiments and studies tend to indicate that more research is needed before a beneficial effect (or lack of thereof) is fully determined.
It should be noted that coenzyme Q10 is a relatively large molecule, and is not well absorbed by the body . Studies with dogs show that solubilised formulations of Q10 tend to be absorbed more effectively than powder formulations . In addition, Coenzyme Q10 production is not regulated as a drug, so the quantities of active ingredient in the product could differ from the label, as manufacturing and labeling are not being so tightly controlled.
A 1995 review study of multiple prior trials on periodontal disease in humans showed that additional dietary coenzyme Q10 had no effect on the incidence or progression of periodontal disease . This was in opposition to earlier small clinical studies showing a beneficial effect of coenzyme Q10. The review study indicated that many of these earlier studies had design flaws, making their conclusions unreliable, some of which have been taken down from libraries due to multiple inaccuracies . However, a similarly small study of 10 people using topical coenzyme Q10 product (i.e. applied directly to the gums) did show a positive response .
There is also conflicting study data on whether supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 is actually beneficial in circulatory diseases such as heart failure, and a meta review in humans did not find any evidence to either support or refute the hypothesis . In addition, coenzyme Q10 was found to have no effects whatsoever on the performance of human endurance athletes as well .
On the basis of current scientific data, European food regulator EFSA has rejected  the following claims in regard to coenzyme Q10 supplements (which are regulated as food group, since they don’t fall into the category of drugs):
- Helps with heart health, blood pressure and cholesterol
- Is necessary for the transformation of food into energy
- Helps with energy, physical activity, sports performance, intellectual effort and a healthy brain
After reviewing pet owners’ response who used Vetri-Science Coenzyme Q10, they seem to find the product generally beneficial, although this is based off 10-15 US reviews, which isn’t a large data set. The supplement is used primarily in cases of heart disease in dogs, and is more commonly used in the US but isn’t too popular in the UK.
Vetri-Science Laboratories Coenzyme Q10 ingredients
Vetri-Science capsules contain coenzyme Q10 as the sole active ingredient.
The capsules also contain: cellulose, gelatin, maltodextrin, silicon dioxide and vegetarian leucine. Cellulose is a fibre normally found in plants that binds the capsule together. Gelatin is the “shell” of the capsule, which is derived from collagen from animal byproducts. Maltodextrin is a filler which stabilises the active ingredient, and silicon dioxide is an effective anti-caking agent because it can absorb moisture (this helps to maintain a more even distribution of the active ingredient). Leucine is a flavour enhancer (E641), and its source is emphasized as vegetarian to distinguish it from leucine which in the past has been derived from duck feathers or, more rarely, from human hair.
- Bhagavan HN, Chopra RK. Coenzyme Q10: absorption, tissue uptake, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Free Radic Res. 2006 May;40(5):445-53. [study]
- Zaghloul AA, Gurley B, Khan M, Bhagavan H, Chopra R, Reddy I. Bioavailability assessment of oral coenzyme Q10 formulations in dogs. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2002 Nov;28(10):1195-200. [study]
- Watts TL. Coenzyme Q10 and periodontal treatment: is there any beneficial effect? Br Dent J. 1995 Mar 25;178(6):209-13. [study]
- Liu J, Wang LN, Zhan SY, Xia Y. Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson’s disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD008150. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008150.pub3
- Hanioka T, Tanaka M, Ojima M, Shizukuishi S, Folkers K. Effect of topical application of coenzyme Q10 on adult periodontitis. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:s241-8. [study]
- Madmani ME, Yusuf Solaiman A, Tamr Agha K, Madmani Y, Shahrour Y, Essali A, Kadro W. Coenzyme Q10 for heart failure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD008684. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008684.pub2
- Weston SB, Zhou S, Weatherby RP, Robson SJ. Does exogenous coenzyme Q10 affect aerobic capacity in endurance athletes? Int J Sport Nutr. 1997 Sep;7(3):197-206. [study]
- Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to coenzyme Q10 and contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism, maintenance of normal blood pressure, protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage, contribution to normal cognitive function, maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentrations and increase in endurance capacity and/or endurance performance. [pdf]
Disclaimer: The purported effects of the supplements or ingredients discussed in this article may, or may not, have been subject to rigorous scientific investigation. This article is an introductory document for educational purposes only which is not intended to be a scientific review either endorsing or refuting the claimed effects of the supplements or ingredients. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet. The supplement has not been tested or tried by the author(s) of the content/review, and are not endorsed or recommended in any way.