Forskolin Review – Natural Weight Loss Extract



For years, Forskolin has been under the radar in terms of national notoriety and publicity for being a candid weight loss ingredient. But now the media and the supplement industry is calling it “lightning in a bottle”.

Typically you would see it referred to as treating cardiovascular/respiratory disorders or even popular amongst bodybuilding communities and forums for its muscular promoting and boosting effects. It also seems to have been popping up in skincare creams and tanning lotions. In the past 2 to 3 years the natural, non-synthetic version has also been linked to a wide array of positive fat-burning effects that can help support healthy weight management by reducing body fat in a safe and effective manner.

What is Forskolin?

Forskolin is a natural weight loss extracts that is known to have fat burning properties. Forskolin is an extract of the plant Coleus Forskholii, and has been used in ancient medicine to treat various ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and respiratory conditions such as asthma. However, it has gained wider popularity after it was featured by Dr. Oz on his show as the newest weight loss extract from a natural source. Read about another supplement Garcinia Cambogia promoted by Dr Oz here. 

What is the history and how long has this supplement existed?

Coleus is a member of the mint family native to subtropical regions of Africa and Asia, such as India, Thailand, and Uganda. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine, including Ayurveda, where it has been used to support lung, heart, and urinary health, among numerous other uses. Its tuberous roots are also commonly made into slightly sour pickles, which are served in various Indian relishes and other continental Asian cuisines.

THE GOOD – How Forskolin Can Help You Lose Weight?

Forskolin helps break down fat and release fatty acids during metabolism, which enhances the way the body burns calories. With a faster metabolism you burn fat faster and you see more results in a shorter amount of time. Faster metabolism also allows you to increase your lean body mass more quickly. Paired with regular exercise, you can easily see your muscles toning up, your abs getting tighter, and your body becoming leaner as you lose weight.

The natural way to lose weight is always a better alternative to crash dieting and taking synthetic diet pills or capsules. Forskolin enhances your body’s ability to burn calories, which means that your body is doing all the work. Paired with regular exercise and a balanced diet, you are sure to see the results you want in practically no time.

 What are the benefits claimed by Dr. Oz and supplement manufacturers?

  • It assists in speeding up of fat burning. Find our how to loose weight without exercising here. 
  • It promoted lipolysis, which refers to the process of lipids that contain fats.
  • It stimulates the benefits of cAMP in your body. It is needed to maintain the right level of glycogen, lipids, and sugars in your body. Low production of cAMP is one of the reasons of obesity.
  • It enhances the production of thyroid hormones. This leads to speeding up of the rate of metabolism. If you wish to read about Best Superfoods for your metabolism, read here.
  • It maintains the right balance of testosterone, which can improve the sexual health of men.

THE BAD – Hear the Truth from Clinical Studies?

Dr. Oz can easily impress the public, but not the medical community.
To date, there have not been more than two clinical studies examining the effectiveness of forskolin as a weight loss aid.

Study 1: Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations in Obese Men. The subjects on forskolin showed favorable changes in body composition: a significant decrease in body fat percentage and fat mass, with a trend (non-significant) toward increased bone mass and lean body mass. Serum free testosterone levels were also significantly increased.

The details of the study are not important. What is important is that the subjects consuming forskolin did not lose weight. Even without weight loss, the changes in body composition are likely beneficial, but the increase in testosterone could be dangerous. Despite the unresolved questions about benefits and risks, it is obviously misleading to cite this study as evidence that forskolin has been proven to melt belly fat or improve weight loss.

Study 2: Effects of Coleus Forskolin Supplementation in Mildly Overweight Women. It showed that forskolin had no significant effects on body composition and concluded that it “does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinical significant side effects”.

THE UGLY – What are the side effects and warnings you should be aware of?

  • Pregnancy: Forskolin is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used during pregnancy. High doses of coleus might slow or stop the growth of the fetus. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Read about “Foods that help you get pregnant” here.
  • Breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Forskolin if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
  • Bleeding disorders: There is some evidence that Forskolin might increase the risk of bleeding in some people.
  • Heart disease: Forskolin might lower blood pressure. There is some concern that coleus might interfere with treatment for heart or blood vessel diseases and could worsen these conditions. Use coleus with caution if you have a heart problem.
  • Low blood pressure: Forskolin might lower blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already low, taking coleus might make it drop too much.
  • Surgery: Forskolin might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using coleus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

But is it right for me?

  1. coleus-forskohlii-healthThere is a more-or-less plausible mechanism of action, as speculated by the study authors (see the study for details).
  2. It improved body composition in one study but not in another.
  3. It has not been demonstrated to cause weight loss, except possibly in rodents.
  4. Its clinical efficacy and safety have not been established.
  5. It raises blood levels of testosterone, which is not a good thing.

We do not have good enough evidence to know whether it does work for weight loss or not. We should not assume it’s perfectly safe. Just like any other pill, consult a doctor first. Nothing can ever compare to the lifestyle choices we make of diet, exercise, and healthy routine.

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