Results of research on the use of the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of dogs with degenerative valvular heart disease

Aleksandra Domanjko Petrič, 8. April, 2024

A team of researchers at the Small Animal Clinic has conducted a comprehensive study entitled Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on oxidative stress, immune and clinical status in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve degeneration. The research was carried out as part of the doctoral studies of Natalia Druzaeva, DVM, PhD, under the mentorship of Prof. Dr Aleksandra Domanjko Petrič and co-mentor Prof. Dr Alenka Nemec Svete.

Our aim was to find out whether a three-month supplementation with the water-soluble form of an antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), used as a dietary supplement, has a positive effect on inflammatory and immune parameters, markers of disease severity and myocardial damage, and disease progression in dogs with mitral valve degeneration at pre-failure (B2) and in congestive heart failure (stable and unstable) stages. We also investigated what daily dose should be administered to the dogs to achieve an effective concentration of CoQ10 in the blood. At the same time, we also investigated lymphocytes – immune cells that could play a special role in this disease.

Our research has shown that CoQ10 has an anti-inflammatory effect in dogs with advanced heart valve disease in the heart failure stage. CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to be very safe, as we have noticed no side effects that could be associated with supplementation. We have found that the dose of CoQ10 required for a biological effect is 2x 100 mg daily.

In our study, we found no effect of CoQ10 on markers of oxidative stress, lymphocyte subpopulations, echocardiographic and other clinical parameters that we measured in our study. Our study of CoQ10 supplementation was the longest to date in dogs with heart disease. However, there is a possibility that prolonged supplementation with CoQ10may reveal other beneficial effects that we were unable to detect after three months of administration.

In addition, our studies have shown that in dogs with congestive heart failure caused by mitral valve disease, changes in lymphocyte subpopulations (a decreased percentage of helper cells and increased percentage of cytotoxic cells) can be observed, which could indicate an involvement of the immune response in this disease. A better understanding of the disease can lead to the discovery of new medications and improve the lives of affected animals.

As part of the research and in collaboration with colleagues from the Veterinary Faculty and the Faculty of Medicine, three scientific articles have been published:

We would like to thank

  • The Slovenian Research and Innovation Agency for funding this research.
  • The company Valens from Slovenia for the cooperation and the production of the water-soluble composition of Coenzyme Q10.
  • Prof. Dr. Stane Srčič and his colleagues from the Faculty of Pharmacy for the production of the placebo.
  • All owners and their dogs who participated in the study and contributed to new knowledge and a better understanding of the course of this common heart disease and the possibility of using CoQ10 in addition to medical therapy.
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