As specialists in the biopharmaceutical company analysis arena, we also look for and research medical literature on the effects of individual extracts and food ingredients.
Today, it happens to be coleus forskohlii root extract or commonly called forskolin.
Losing weight is extremely difficult – so difficult that roughly only 15% of dieters succeed using traditional weight loss methods. It’s no wonder people seek solutions like herbal medicines and supplements to burn fat and boost the same exercising and dieting efforts.
One of the most popular weight loss supplements right now is called forskolin. This natural plant compound is claimed to be the key to unlocking safe, steady weight loss with little to no side effects.
Let’s explore coleus forskohlii weight loss effects and the clinical science behind how it does or does not help with all of the claimed and alleged abilities to improve your health and appearance.
What is Forskolin?
Forskolin comes from the roots of the Indian coleus plant, which grows in tropical areas and is in the mint family.
For centuries, forskolin weight effects have been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat various conditions and diseases. There is a large amount of evidence that it may help asthma and help regulate blood pressure, although modern research is still limited.
However, some scientific research still suggests that some of the reported benefits of forskolin may be true, or at least potentially true.
Forskolin became a popular weight loss supplement only after it appeared on an episode of The Dr. Oz Show in January 2014. According to Dr. Oz, forskolin is the bees knees of weight loss and one of the best natural metabolism boosters to help you fight fat.
Dr. Oz has since slightly retracted on his statements, although his brand partners still are heavily engaged in the sale of forskolin, leading us to believe he still supports the use of forskolin in some manner.
How Does Forskolin Aid in Weight Loss?
Numerous studies have looked into the fat fighting effects of forskolin. Unfortunately, most of these studies are test-tube experiments or animal studies, so there is some doubt as to whether the benefits transfer to humans.
To keep it simple, coleus forskohlii root extract stimulates the release of fatty acids from fat cells. This is the same process whenever the body needs to use body fat for energy.
Own its’ own, the release of stored fat is not enough to cause weight loss – there needs to be a caloric deficit as well. In other words, energy expenditure must exceed caloric intake.
This can be achieved by suppressing appetite, reducing the efficiency of digestion, and by increasing metabolic rate. As far as we can tell, pure forskolin supplementation does not cause any of these things to happen.
In some clinical trials involving humans, the results have been someone promising. It appears like forskolin may be able to promote fat loss while still preserving muscle mass.
Can Forskolin Actually Cause Weight Loss?
To this date, only two small studies have investigated the weight loss abilities of forskolin. Both of these studies were randomized controlled studies, which are the gold standard of research for humans.
In the largest study, 30 overweight and obese men were randomly assigned to one of two groups – a forskolin group given 250mg of forskolin extract twice a day, or a placebo group given sugar pills.
After the twelve weeks were completed, researchers found that men given forskolin lost significantly more fat – but there was no change in total body weight.
In addition, there was a slight increase in free testosterone in the forskolin group. Testosterone is known to improve the body’s ability to release fatty acids from fat cells, which may explain the fat loss.
A rise in testosterone levels can also improve muscle mass levels as well, which would also explain the slight increase in lean muscle mass in the forskolin group – albeit not a statistically significant increase.
In the second study, 23 women were given 500mg of forskolin for 12 weeks. Unlike study #1, forskolin did not have any significant effects on fat loss, but researchers did indicate that the results suggested forskolin might protect against weight gain.
The 12-week study found that forskolin did not cause weight loss, but that it likely could improve body composition in men and likely prevent any weight gain in women.
Other Benefits of Forskolin
While weight loss is certainly the main reason forskolin is sought after nowadays, it has been apart of herbal medicine for centuries. In the past, forskolin has been used to treat conditions like heart disease, bronchitis, and constipation.
There are even human studies that support many of these other benefits of forskolin. Some of the other benefits to taking forskolin include:
- To relieve asthma by widening the air passages in the lungs
- To lower the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density
- Increasing muscle mass by stimulating free testosterone production
There are several studies currently in progress, which should help us understand more about forskolin and all of its’ potential benefits. However, until these studies are available, these are the only benefits we are sure of.
Side Effects of Forskolin
Most experts, including the famed TV doctor Dr. Oz, recommend taking 100-250mg of forskolin twice per day. Any forskolin supplement you take should be standardized to 10% forskolin, which means a 250mg supplement contains 25mg of the active ingredient.
Based on the studies we mentioned above, as well as the anecdotal evidence provided by forskolin users, we haven’t found any common adverse effects. Many people would argue that the full effects have not been fully evaluated and that’s fair, but for the most part it appears forskolin is entirely safe.
How to Pick the Right Forskolin Supplement
In the event you do decide you want to try forskolin, you need to know a few things. Not all forskolin products are the same, and failing to adhere to these guidelines below could lead you to a forskolin scam.
When buying forskolin, make sure to remember the following things:
- Avoid risky free trial offers: If you search for forskolin online, then you’re bound to find a free trial offer. It’s better to avoid these free trial offers because of shady terms and a lack of transparency with how much you’ll actually be billed.
- Look for 100% pure forskolin: When searching for a product, make sure that the product only uses 100% pure forskolin. If a bunch of sketchy or unknown ingredients are included, it’s safe to avoid that product. Keep in mind, the concentration of forskolin should still be 10%. However, the only ingredient should be pure forskolin (with the exception of the gelatin or vegetarian capsule).
- Find a product manufactured in the USA: The US has some of the strictest manufacturing requirements in the world, so finding a product made in the USA will ensure you buy a product that followed good manufacturing processes.
- Avoid the cheap stuff: Believe it or not, cheap in the supplement world is not always better. In fact, cheap supplements are often just that – cheap. Cheap supplements use inferior ingredients, are less effective, and may not be safe for you. A quality forskolin product will cost between $25-40 a bottle. Anything much cheaper than that is likely a rip off.
Conclusion: Should You Buy Forskolin?
We wish we could say that forskolin was a clear slam-dunk based on studies, but the research available is still inconclusive. User testimonials have reported much more successful results, which does give us a lot of hope that forskolin is a legitimate weight loss product.
The good news is that forskolin is very safe for healthy adults, which means you really have nothing to lose. Most users go in expecting very little in the way of results, only to find themselves pleasantly surprised after a few weeks of taking forskolin.
We don’t think you should expect a miracle if you decide to buy forskolin, but we are certainly convinced that you will see some positive results from taking forskolin, which means forskolin is well worth shelling out a few bucks to lose weight faster and safely.