Forskolin: A Review of the New Weight Loss Supplement
There is a new weight loss supplement on the rise and it has been used for thousands of years for many health conditions. It may have a funny name, but don’t disregard it too quickly, forskolin.
What is Forskolin?
Forskolin is a supplement that is rising in popularity as the use of weight loss aids continue to increase in American culture. This supplement is obtained through the root of the Indian coleus plant which is a native plant of South Asian countries of Nepal, Thailand, and parts of India. It is part of the mint family and has been used for many years for a wide variety of health conditions.
Forskolin Ayurvedic Roots
One of the oldest medical systems in the world, Ayurvedic medicine originated in India nearly 3000 years ago. Its use of a wide variety of products and practices in patients treatment has been foundational in bringing this form of medicine to western culture. Forskolin is a product that is often used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurvedic medicine is also known by the name Ayurveda. In the Sanskrit language, Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge or science. In its early usage within Ayurvedic medicine, forskolin was primarily used for general health and wellness. As time progressed early civilizations saw the potential benefits of this product in the treatment of asthma and breathing conditions.
Early on, however, it was not possible to provide this root-based supplement through capsule form. Therefore, the root of the coleus plant was boiled and would be consumed as a tea. Now forskolin can be used through pill, IV, drops, or inhaled form.
How Forskolin Works To Promote Weight Loss
There are a few ways in which forskolin promotes weight loss. It uses the body’s natural chemical process to lead to weight loss among users. Enzymes are a primary way in which weight loss is amped up with the use of this product.
The human body functions through many chemical processes. Enzymes are proteins that are used to speed up these chemical reactions. Lipase and adenosine are two of several enzymes and these, in particular, play a key role in weight loss.
Forskolin May Help The Release Of Stored Fat From Fat Cells
Lipase and adenosine are important enzymes for releasing fatty acids from cells. This release allows fatty acid to be used as fuel to burn which will generally result in weight loss. This process happens without the use of forskolin, but the use of this supplement increases this chemical process.
A Forskolin Diet Combination May Promote Weight Loss Without Muscle Loss
Often muscle loss will occur during weight loss as a result of the body using muscle for fuel. This is an undesired outcome for anyone attempting to lose weight. By adding forskolin to a weight loss regimen fatty acids will be used as fuel at a more efficient rate. This increased rate of fatty acid release will reduce the potential for the muscle to be used as fuel.
For this process to be most effective a diet should be used I combination forskolin. While forskolin increases the rate fatty acid as fuel to provide weight loss, there must also be a calorie deficit present, as is necessary with most weight loss regimens. When calories are reduced, however, the body may turn to muscle for fuel along with fat, but if there are enough free fatty acids to be used as fuel muscle wasting will be reduced.
Is The Forskolin Weight Loss Connection Real?
With the influx of weight loss supplements on the market, it is necessary to determine the efficacy of a product prior to implementing it into a weight loss regimen. Whether forskolin has a connection to weight loss or not depends what resource is used when researching. While there have been limited studies conducted on the effect of forskolin on weight loss one study is promising.
There Have Only Been Limited Human Forskolin Studies
While there is merit to animal studies, human studies determine the effectiveness of a product more accurately. There have only been two human studies in the search to determine forskolin’s ability to aid in weight loss.
With only two human studies being done it can sound as though not scientific work has been done in this pursuit. However, the study design of both were randomized control trials. This type of study design is the gold-standard when it comes to scientific research on human subjects.
One study looked at 30 men and the other looked at 23 women. The study looking at men showed positive results for fat loss, while the women’s study did not have the same positive fat loss results. However, while the women did not lose body fat it did seem to keep them from gaining additional weight during the time period.
One Study Found That Forskolin Helped With Weight Loss And Boosted Testosterone
Of the two human studies, the study following 30 men had an unexpected result. Free testosterone significantly increased among this group. This is an important finding because testosterone also releases fat from cells to be metabolized.
The 30 men were divided into groups of 15, a forskolin group and a placebo group. The forskolin group took 250mg of Coleus forskohlii, which is 10 percent forskolin extract. They took this amount twice a day for 12 weeks. This study resulted in the forskolin group losing more weight than the placebo group by a wide margin.
Other Uses For Forskolin Extract
Forskolin is a herb by classification but is used in extract form, generally at 10 percent. While the current primary focus of forskolin use is weight loss it has been long used in the treatment of many other ailments.
While asthma, weight loss, and glaucoma are the most common health conditions treated with this supplement there are a few other ailments that may see positive outcomes with the use of forskolin. Dry eye, erectile dysfunction, allergies, chest pains, skin irritations, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and seizures are among the many varied health conditions that may see improvement when forskolin is implemented in treatment.
Historically People Have Used Forskolin To Treat Asthma
Asthma, a chronic lung disorder resulting in inflamed and narrowing airways, has been treated with the use of forskolin. Cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate) is a compound within the body that helps to relax the muscles surrounding the airway. Most conventional asthma medication works by increasing this compound in the body thereby reducing the amount of inflammation in the bronchial tube. Forskolin is thought to work in a similar manner and increase cyclic AMP.
It Has Also Been Used To Treat Glaucoma And Blood Pressure Issues
Glaucoma is a condition of the eye that is generally caused by fluid buildup in the eye. This leads to increased pressure and ultimately damage to the optic nerve. Forskolin has been observed in a small study to decrease the pressure seen in patients with glaucoma.
Beta blockers are commonly used to treat this condition, but individuals with asthma of often recommended to avoid the use of beta blockers. Therefore, forskolin can be an effective alternative for an individual with glaucoma and asthma. Forskolin is generally administered in drop form for the treatment of glaucoma. Forskolin increases blood flow to the heart which may lead to a decrease in blood pressure.
Forskolin Side Effects And Risks
As previously mentioned, forskolin has a blood pressure lowering side effect. Therefore, anyone taking blood pressure medication should avoid the use of this supplement. Nitrates, the medication that increases blood flow to the heart, should also not be taken in conjunction with forskolin.
Because some evidence shows that forskolin may increase the risk of bleeding it should not be taken prior to surgery or by individuals at risk for bleeding. Anyone taking blood thinning medications should also avoid forskolin.
Any women pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid forskolin as proper research has not been conducted to determine its side effects. However, it is known that the unborn child may be negatively affected by slowing its growth or stopping it completely.
If administered through IV flushing or low blood pressure may result. Throat irritation, tremors, and restlessness may result if inhaled.
Pure Forskolin Supplements Have No Known Side Effects
Because forskolin has not been studied in depth it is hard to determine potential side effects.
The FDA Has Not Evaluated Forskolin For Safety
Like all supplements, the FDA is not required to review and approve forskolin supplements for safety. The individual manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe prior to releasing them to the public for sale.
The FDA will follow up with any supplement that has caused harm or problems to the general public. If this happens the FDA is able to ban a product from being sold. This is why it is important to research forskolin products before purchasing them. Ensure that the manufacturer is reputable and has it’s own health and safety standards that are followed.
Forskolin Reviews For Popular Brands
Before making a decision on what product to purchase it is good practice to review several brands. With the rise in popularity of forskolin, there are several manufacturers developing their version of the product. Not every brand is equal in quality, strength, or bioavailability.
Vitamin Bounty’s Max Strength Forskolin
Many forskolin products contain only 10 percent of the active ingredient. Vitamin Bounty’s forskolin contains 20 percent pure forskolin. Vitamin Bounty claims their forskolin is able to suppress appetite, increase serotonin, and boost metabolism. These claims make this product one to consider.
At 500 milligrams per serving this particular product provides the max potency of any other forskolin on the market. Being non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free make Vitamin Bounty’s forskolin for available for a larger demographic.
Macht Labs Pure Forskolin Fuel
Macht takes purity a step further making their product free of all common allergens and free of binders. This forskolin is third-party tested for purity and is NSF certified.
Macht’s claims are much like other forskolin products. Appetite suppressing and decreasing metabolism. However, Macht makes additional health claims including improving mood, immune function, digestive health, and regulating glucose.
Schwartz Forskolin Belly Busting Formula
Schwartz brand of forskolin makes promising claims to reduce appetite, burn fat, and block carbs. This manufacturer also provides 20 percent active ingredient making it a maximum strength forskolin option.
The manufacturer recommends using this product in conjunction with garcinia cambogia for optimal results. If you don’t lose the weight you want Schwartz promises to give the consumer their money back.
Where To Buy Forskolin
Because it is not a prescription medication or medical grade supplement forskolin can be purchased through many avenues. Amazon, eBay, local drug stores, and health food stores generally will all offer forskolin products.
Considering that forskolin can be purchased from just about any supermarket and online and that it is not regulated by the FDA it is important to consider product quality.
Determining Forskolin Dosage
Forskolin is usually dosed at 100mg to 250mg of 10 percent forskolin, two times per day. The dose used in the two human studies conducted was 250mg twice a day. However, additional scientific information and studies are needed to make a proper determination of safe dosing levels.
Maximum strength forskolin comes at 20 percent of the active ingredient, forskolin extract. When taking a maximum strength forskolin product it is generally offered in 250mg to 500mg.
To Try Or Not To Try
The amount of weight loss products on the market can be overwhelming. When considering what product to take it is important to determine your individual needs. Forskolin can be effective for the person wanting to lose just a few pounds to someone who needs to drop a massive amount of weight for health concerns. It is also important to know the ingredients in a product and whether or not you are susceptible to negative reactions from them.
Forskolin can be combined with your current weight loss program or used alone. After speaking with your healthcare provider giving forskolin a chance can be just the breakthrough you needed in your weight loss journey.