Forskolin is a chemical that is extracted from the Indian plant called Coleus forskohli, which was traditionally used to treat asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, hypertension, period pains, eczema, congestive heart failure, psoriasis and angina in Ayurvedic medicine. In recent times, the chemical has become a principal component of many weight loss supplements. Forskolin acts principally by activating enzyme adenylate cyclase and in turn boosts cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in cells. The cyclic AMP is a second messenger and regulates many enzymes that are involved in a broad range of cellular functions. Some of the core functions affected by cAMP action include lipolysis (fat burning), thyroid function, heart contraction, histamine release, platelet activation and smooth muscle relaxation.
Scientific Evidence for Forskolin Weight Loss
So, is Forskolin highly effective and safe weight loss supplement? The effect of Forskolin on weight loss has been intensely studied and all the studies have confirmed that the supplement is, indeed, effective and safe in weight loss. In 2002, an issue published on the Nutraceuticals contained a detailed report on a study conducted on the weight loss effects and safety of Forskolin in a clinic in South Carolina. During the study, six overweight women were put on bottles of Forskolin capsules, with each capsule containing 250mg Forskolin (that is standardized for 10%). Each woman was instructed to take a capsule every morning, followed by another capsule just half an hour before the evening meal. The women were also instructed never to alter their eating or exercise habits.
After eight weeks, the researchers recorded a mean weight loss of 9.17 pounds, which was accompanied by increased lean body mass. There were no reported side effects. Therefore, the researchers concluded that 250 mg bid of a 10% Forskolin extract of Coleus forskohli offers a prospect of effective weight loss and safety. Three years later, in August 2005, the Obesity Research reported a 12-week study that was conducted in the University of Kansas and which gave the same results for the extract. In the study, 30 male obese volunteers were divided into two groups of fifteen members each. One group was put on a placebo while the other group was put on 250 mg of Forskolin extract (10%) two times per day.
At the end of the study, the researchers reported several positive benefits of Forskolin supplementation, including massive decrease in body fat, increased serum-free testosterone levels, and substantially diminished fat mass percentage. The report also documented a non-significant increase in bone mass and a trend towards lean body mass. Finally, another study conducted by Penn State University College of Medicine reported that obese individuals put on Forskolin have reduced levels of cAMP production. They concluded that the supplement can be an effective weight loss agent, especially for people with impaired cAMP production.
How Does Forskolin Work?
Thousands of Forskolin reviewers have returned a positive verdict on the supplement’s safety and efficacy. Furthermore, the supplement has been recommended by Dr. Oz, who likened it to fire in a bottle. So, how does it work? Forskolin stimulates the body to release more testosterone and thyroid hormone, which in turn trigger the fat-burning process and create conducive environment for development of lean muscle. The muscle tissue also helps to burn more calories effectively. Being a metabolism booster, Forskolin is also added to many other weight loss supplements such as Garcinia Cambogia supplements to help burn more fat in a shorter duration of time.
Side Effects of Forskolin
The supplement has no adverse side effects. Nonetheless, being a strong anticoagulant, Forskolin supplements are not appropriate for individuals suffering from blood clotting disorders. Similarly, Forskolin may interact with prescription medicines and patients should consult their physicians before taking the supplement, especially when they are on certain drugs. Equally, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take the supplement, while all who experience any health problems when taking Forskolin should contact their physicians as quickly as possible. While there are still more studies to be conducted to confirm the extent of safety and efficacy of Forskolin as a weight loss supplement, all current studies and reviews confirm that it is a safe and potent fat burner.