But…what is the proof behind Forskolin's claims ???
In the last 10 years, sale of Forskolin as a diet and weight loss supplement has sky-rocketed. As with any diet supplement, the pros and cons have been vigorously debated. Detractors have criticized it for the absence of strong scientific data to support its claims to aid weight loss. But closer examination shows the data in support of its claims to aid weight loss actually to be quite strong. Let's take a closer look:
WHAT IS IT? Forskolin is a substance found in the herb Coleus forskohlii. Coleus is a type of mint that grows wild in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Nepal. In Ayurevedic medicine, Coleus had been used for centuries to treat skin conditions, breathing disorders like asthma and bronchitis, insomnia, epilepsy, and angina. In the 1970's, the drug company Hoechst Pharmaceuticals worked with the Indian Central Drug Research Institute to examine the properties of this herb. They discovered that its medical benefits were due to the substance Forskolin.
WHAT DOES IT DO? Basically, Forskolin increases the activity of an enzyme in our bodies (adenylate cyclase) that, in turn, increases levels of intracellular cAMP . cAMP is a “messenger” molecule that our cells release when they come into contact with factors like hormones or neurotransmitters (such as epinephrine, growth hormone, and serotonin) that cannot by themselves cross the cell layer and enter the cell. The messenger cAMP helps them cross into the cell and thus helps the cells perform basic biological functions. When it activates cAMP, Forskolin helps stimulate lipodysis, or the breakdown of stored fat. From this comes its reputation as an aid to weight loss, particularly helpful to obese individuals who often have lower than normal levels of cAMP. Studies routinely show that higher cAMP levels promote fat burning.
WEIGHT LOSS/FAT-BURNING STUDIES: Since 1990, there have been many studies analyzing the impact of Forskolin on fat-burning and weight loss. Every single one showed that Forskolin had a positive effect.
- Martin LF, et al., Alterations in adipocyte adenylate cyclase activity in morbidly obese and formerly morbidly obese humans, Surgery 1990; 108:228-234. In a study involving 34 women, researchers discovered morbidly obese women have decreased adenylate cyclase (and therefore less Forskolin), compared to from normal weight women.
- Badmaev V, et al., Diterpene forskolin: a possible new compound for reduction of body weight by increasing lean body mass. Townsend Letter 2001; June: 115. Here, six overweight women were given 250 mg Coleus forskohlii at 10% forskolin, twice daily for eight weeks. Average weight loss at the end of the trial was 10 pounds, with an eight-percent reduction in body fat. Blood pressure tended to be lower in all women during the trial. No adverse effects were reported.
- FL, Bray GA. Regional fat loss from the thigh in obese women after adrenergic modulation. Clin Ther. 1987; 9(6):663-9. Twenty-eight obese women were placed on a calorie-restricted diet, and treatments containing forskolin were applied to one thigh three to five times per week for four weeks, with the opposite thigh treated with placebo. The treated thighs lost significantly more girth after treatment, both by injection and by cream. No adverse reactions were attributable to either the cream or the injections. The researchers concluded that localized fat reduction could safely be accomplished.
- Roure, R., et al., International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2011, 22, 519-26, April 2011. To evaluate the effectiveness of topical products containing forskolin, three double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies showed, after 4 weeks of twice-daily applications, significant reductions in size of abdomen, hips, waist and buttocks.
- Bhagwat AM, et al., Randomized Clinical Trial to Investigate ForsLean in Increased Lean Body Mass, Mumbai, India, the Patel Research Center for Chemistry and Biological Sciences, 2004. Sixty obese men and women were studied; half received forskolin before meals, the other half placebo. The forskolin group lost 4% of their total body weight and .46% body fat, which was replaced by lean body mass.
- Shonteh Henderson, et al., Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women, Jour. Int'l Soc. Sports Nutrition, 2(2): 54-62, 2005. This study was conducted at the Exercise & Sport Nutrition Laboratory at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Twenty-three females supplemented their diet with Forskolin (250 mg of 10% CF extract) or a placebo two times a day for 12 weeks. The researchers concluded that Forskolin helped control weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinically significant side effects.
- Godard MP, et al. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005; 13:1335-1343. In perhaps the strongest study to date, thirty obese men were studied for 12 weeks. Results showed a dramatic decrease in body and fat mass, and an increase in lean body mass and bone mass, among those taking Forskolin. These results were attributed to the free fatty acid release caused by increased cAMP produced by the Forskolin.
Any way you cut it, that is a significant body of scientific research to support the claim that Forskolin helps reduce weight and body fat. When combined with the low side effect profile of Forskolin (it can lower blood pressure), Forskolin is clearly among the safer of supplements now available on the weight loss market. And, the availability of free trials of Forskolin only adds to its desirability. Definitely worth a try! Check out tinyurl.com/fastloss-off.html