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Forskolin: Is Coleus Forskohlii A Miracle Drug Or Weight Loss Fat Burning Fad?



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If you keep yourself updated with the latest health and fitness information, you might have heard or read about the hype surrounding a recent weight loss supplement called forskolin. Many people claim to have benefited from the consumption of this supposed weight loss miracle drug, but is there any truth behind those claims? Well, in this article we are going to cover all the details and facts about forskolin, including how it is made, how it functions in the body, and whether it can actually help you lose a bunch of weight.

Supplementary drugs such as forskolin are in the end just “supplements” or sidekicks, you still need to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet to lose weight naturally and safely. There is no shortcut to cutting away all that extra fat sticking underneath your skin, if there were such a thing mankind would never engage in activities such as sports, exercise or dieting. Supplementary drugs are meant to help ease the process of weight loss, and their effect is usually limited to providing nutrients and enzymes that you don't normally get from your everyday diet. Remember to consume any and all supplementary drugs under the supervision of a trained physician don't just gobble up on anything that is labeled “weight loss”.

What Is Forskolin?

Since ancient times, the physicians and sages living in India have been practicing the concept of Ayurveda, a Hindu form of alternative medicine that relies on natural herbs and extracts along with a holistic and methodical lifestyle to maintain a healthy body and mind. There is a plant known as the Indian Coleus, it is a member of the mint family and its extracts have been used in Ayurvedic medicine due to the unique anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of the leaves and flowers of this plant.

However, recent scientific studies have found another major benefit to using the extract of this plant- it appears to boost metabolism and decrease fat content, while increasing lean body mass. Needless to say, any pill that you just have to pop in your mouth to get slim is going to get a lot of popularity among today's population. But there appears to be at least some sort of scientific evidence to back up the theory, because the extracts of the Indian Coleus' roots contain the compound we call forskolin or coleonol.

Forskolin is known to amplify the production of cAMP, a metabolism-boosting enzyme in the human body that results in increased conversion of stored body fats into energy. Conversion of fat deposits results in weight loss and increased lean body mass.

However, it is not just the weight loss properties of forskolin that have given it the reputation of a miracle drug, in fact there are already many such drugs and extracts that claim to have weight reduction benefits, such as Garcinia Cambogia.

What sets forskolin apart from the crowd is the fact that it allegedly has a whole bunch of medicinal properties such as:

  • Increasing bone mass
  • Reduces depression and fatigue
  • Reduces blood clotting, and improves blood circulation
  • Helps with asthma and other respiratory disorders if inhaled

While all of these properties are yet to be thoroughly researched and proved, there is no doubt that forskolin is indeed more than just a weight loss drug. Its benefits are quite far reaching and regular consumption of this drug did help some people lose weight and increase bone mass, according to a couple of scientific studies. However those studies involved a rather small number of subjects, and do not provide conclusive evidence on the nature and properties of forskolin.

The Pros And Cons Of Forskolin

Every drug, good or bad has both benefits as well as side effects, and the same rule applies to forskolin. Despite its amazing properties it too happens to have some negative effects that you need to know about before you consume the drug.


  • Increases metabolism and decreases fat deposits
  • Improves blood circulation and increases bone density
  • Helps with respiratory problems
  • Helps with glaucoma
  • Helps keep the heart healthy
  • Useful for patients with high blood pressure as it reduces blood pressure
  • Possibly reduces symptoms of depression


  • Should not be taken if you have low blood pressure, as it will decrease the pressure even further
  • Should not be consumed by patients with heart ailments, as it can interfere with any heart medicines that they are consuming
  • Should not be ingested by people with bleeding disorders
  • Has not yet been tested on pregnant women, so do not consume if pregnant
  • Certain individuals may experience throat irritation if they inhale forskolin
  • If you suffer from diabetes, don't consume forskolin as it may interfere with your regular medicine

So there you go, those are all the currently known benefits and dangers of consuming forskolin. As more studies are carried out in the future on larger numbers of subjects the effects of the drug will become clearer, however it is not harmful to anyone who is not suffering from any of the previously mentioned conditions. Always consume forskolin after taking advice from a certified physician.

How Does Forskolin Work For Weight Loss?

Well, this is the reason most people are so hyped about Forskolin, so let’s explain it out to you in detail. Forskolin is basically a catalyst for an enzyme known as cAMP (Cyclical Adenosine Monophosphate) that acts as a messenger enzyme and helps regulate many important processes inside our body. One of those processes happens to be metabolism, the process by which our body converts food into energy. When there is more energy than the body needs, it will use an enzyme to convert the excess into fat and store it. What cAMP does is, enhances the production of enzymes that transform the stored fat back into energy, thereby increasing your metabolism rate and lean body mass.

Forskolin has also been reported to act like an appetite suppressor which makes it even better for those trying to lose weight. It is yet to be confirmed how much of an effect forskolin has on metabolic rate, although a scientific study claimed that regular consumption of forskolin resulted in improved body composition for 30 obese adult males, without any of them exercising.

That study is not a very solid one, because:

  • There were only 30 subjects.
  • No way that all of them were constantly observed to see if they were exercising or not.
  • There is no focus on exactly how much weight each man lost.

Commonly Asked Questions About Forskolin

Who Should Consume Forskolin?

Anyone looking to reduce his/her weight can consume this drug as a supplement in combination with their daily diet and exercise routines. Remember that this is still a supplementary drug, and in order for you to reap its benefits you must eat healthy and exercise. Besides, anyone looking to live a healthy and ailment free life can try out forskolin due to its several health benefits apart from weight loss.

Always remember to consult your physician before consuming forskolin, and do not take the drug if you suffer from heart problems, diabetes, low blood pressure, bleeding problems, or if you are pregnant.

What Will It NOT Do?

Forskolin is not a miracle drug that will instantly melt away the excess flab and make you slim automatically, while you don't shed a single drop of sweat. It is effective only in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Just because you consumed your daily pills of forskolin does not mean you can relax and chow down on some burgers and fries, or skip gym day.

How Much Should You Consume Daily?

Although this may vary for people of different age and sex, the recommended daily forskolin consumption is about 50mg. This means you need to consume 50mg of ACTIVE, or pure forskolin a day. Unfortunately, many drug companies sell forskolin tablets that contain fillers and substitutes in order to reduce prices, you should refrain from those. Look for tablets with 20% forskolin content, each tablet should be around 250mg. Meaning there is 25mg forskolin in one 250mg, 20% forsklin tablet. Consume two of these a day, in well-spaced out intervals to take advantage of the forskolins appetite suppression nature.

Is It Bad If Consumed For Extended Duration?

No, there are no such side effects of forskolin known to date. You may stop consuming it after you have reached your weight loss goal, or may continue using it for its plethora of benefits such as better circulation, improved bone mass, etc. In short, it’s up to you if you wish to continue, any side effects that are associated with forskolin usually occur due to the drug being consumed by people with certain medical conditions. As long as you are not one of them, you will be fine. Still, contact your physician before consuming the drug and no matter what, do not intake more forskolin than prescribed, stay within the 50mg per day limit.

Scientific Studies Conducted On Forskolin

There are quite a few scientific studies out there that have tested forskolin in order to determine its effects on the human body. Some of those studies concluded that forskolin does indeed have a positive effect on obese or overweight persons, if consumed regularly.

A few of them are:

Study Published By The Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition

This study was conducted in the University of Memphis, and it involved 23 moderately overweight women aged between 18 and 40 years. Each one of them was given two forskolin tablets per day, for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks it was observed that although there was no significant change in the metabolic rate, the body composition of the women involved had improved, establishing that forskolin does help in weight management and fat loss.

Study Published In The International Journal Of Pharmacy And Pharmaceutical Sciences

Conducted in India by a number of well recognized medical institutes, this experiment used forskolin ophthalmic inserts on the subjects that were test rabbits. There was a significant reduction observed in intra-ocular pressure, a very desirable result for any anti-glaucoma therapy. This proves the fact that forskolin does have some amazing properties apart from aiding in weight loss.

A Review Conducted By is a very reputable source of information when it comes to medicines and their effects on the human body. They take all their data from actual scientific studies, instead of the words that come out of people’s mouths. Although they said that studies on forskolin seem to have limited data to work with, it has also been observed that the few studies which were conducted, showed forskolin does help with obesity and improves the condition of people with respiratory issues.

Study Conducted By The NYU Langone Medical Center

This study conducted by NYU Langone criticizes the use of forskolin, and says that there is no substantial evidence to prove the fact that forskolin is indeed involved with increased metabolic rates or improved bone mass. It also states that any studies that found forskolin to be helpful in reducing obesity, were not conducted on a large enough test population to provide concrete evidence regarding forskolins properties.

Forskolin Conclusion

Now that you have seen for yourself the scientific prove and evidence behind how forskolin works, it is up to you to decide if it's worth a try or not.

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