Pure forskolin is a supplement that has helped celebrities like Matthew McConaughey get ultra lean for movies. Never heard of it? Besides fat loss, there are other forskolin benefits. Learn about them here….
Thermogenic supplements ramp up your metabolism. People take them to lose weight. One fat-burning supplement that’s become more popular is forskolin (not to be confused with foreskin; that’s for circumcisions).
One reason the supplement has increased in notoriety is Dr. Oz. The popular television doctor featured forskolin extract in a segment back in 2014.
Bodybuilders can also take credit for the supplement’s fat-fighting reputation. So, too, can celebrities. Take Matthew McConaughey for instance. It’s believed he took the extract to shrink body fat for his role as a stripper in the movie, Magic Mike.
If the extract can work for him, perhaps you’re thinking it can work for you, too? Let’s take a closer look….
What is forskolin?
It’s a compound. It’s extracted from the plant, Coleus forskohlii.
All plants contain hundreds or even thousands of active compounds. In the case of the Coleus plant, forskolin is the all-star. The compound is taken from the root of the cork-like plant, which is native to India.
If you’re not that interested in botany, where a plant grows native may not matter to you. “Just give me the pill so I can pop it and lose weight,” you may think. However, as you’ll see later on, if you want a pure forskolin extract, where the plant comes from matters greatly.
Forskolin was first isolated from Coleus in 1974. Since then, it’s been mainly used in the treatment of glaucoma and heart failure.
But if you’re reading this, you’re probably most interested in its potential to fight fat. We’ll get to that shortly.
What are the forskolin benefits?
The health benefits mostly come from traditional Indian medicine (Ayurvedic medicine). Thousands of years ago, they didn’t have the technology to extract forskolin from the Coleus plant. However, the whole plant in the Ayurvedic tradition is used to treat conditions high blood pressure and heart disease.
In addition, if you’re suffering an asthma attack, you may want to take this supplement. That’s because pure forskolin can boost the levels of cAMP.
No, that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy camping more. Although, if you’re breathing better, you probably will enjoy it more. Rather, cAMP stands for cyclic adenosine monophosphate. It’s a compound that relaxes the bronchial tubes.
Due to this action on cAMP, this supplement is used for several other conditions.
Sorry ladies, forskolin seems to benefit men more than women. That’s not to say women won’t benefit from it all. However, the limited amount of research studies on the compound suggest it provides men with more advantages.
One of the biggest advantages for men is an increase in free testosterone levels. But don’t rule out this supplement if you’re female….
Remember, women need a certain amount of testosterone, too. If your estrogen is too high and testosterone is too low, you won’t be able to burn fat as effectively. You may also run the risk of estrogen dominance, which can lead to hormonal cancers such as breast or ovarian.
There was also a study involving a small number of rats that shows promise. The rats given forskolin supplementation had lower levels of fasting blood sugar. But a study on just 8 rats isn’t going to impress too many medical experts.
Does forskolin promote weight loss?
And now for the question you’ve been waiting for….
Want to know about how good this supplement is for losing weight? The scales tip in favor of men. Unfortunately, there haven’t been a lot of studies on this compound. And until there are studies involving a lot of people, we can’t know for sure how effective it is for weight loss.
That being said, there have been two small studies on humans. One was on men only. And the other on women.
For the men, the study had impressive results. Overweight or obese men taking forskolin lost body fat. Both their bone mass and free testosterone increased.
However, the study on women didn’t result in body fat reduction. But the women did experience benefits. Their weight gain slowed as did hunger levels.
Whether you’re male or female, don’t rush out to buy the supplement thinking these results are groundbreaking. The largest study involved 30 overweight men. And only 15 of them took Coleus forskohlii extract, which contained 10% forskolin. (The 15 men took it twice a day for 12 weeks.
Also, the supplement doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss. The men did lose body fat. However, their weight remained the same. The study involving the women also had few participants taking forskolin (23 women).
There might be another benefit that can be taken away from the research. For the men who took the supplement, their levels of HDL (the so-called “good cholesterol”) increased.
Forskolin and testosterone levels
There’s a good reason why this compound is an ingredient in some herbal male sexual health formulas. As mentioned, research, scant as it may be, shows forskolin increases free testosterone.
For men suffering from low sexual desire (libido), this compound may be helpful. That’s because an increase in testosterone can mean an increase in libido.
But that’s not all testosterone does. It activates the release of fat. That’s why the 15 men in the study may have experienced fat loss.
Pure forskolin extract
Just like any other supplement, quality matters. So how can you tell if you’re buying a quality Coleus product? For starters, make sure the compound is extracted from Coleus forskohlii.
Why is this important? Well, first, take a look at the second word in the botanical name. That, of course, is where the name “forskolin” comes from.
Some supplements are extracted from other Coleus species. But it’s really Coleus forskohlii that offers the most potent benefits.
The dosage for the 15 men was 250 mg. That’s twice a day of a 10 percent forskolin supplement. For the women, the effect of forskolin was from a dosage of 500 mg. Perhaps because women have less testosterone, a higher dose of the extract is required.
However, to make sure you’re taking a safe dose, consult the advice of a health professional.
And if you recall, one forskolin benefit may be curbing hunger. That was one result from the study on overweight women. In light of this, you may want to take it about half an hour before a meal along with a full glass of water.
Forskolin Side Effects
Like garcinia cambogia, another popular weight loss supplement, there are concerns about safety. Particularly, there’s concern about liver damage.
However, in one study that caused liver damage to rats, pure forskolin wasn’t to blame. Rather, it was other ingredients or compounds in the supplement that caused liver damage in the rats.
Other studies show that it can lower blood pressure, as well as cause an abnormally rapid heart beat. Another study also mentioned forearm pain, while other research listed bleeding as a possible side effect.
However, these side effects were not observed in humans. In people, the most common side effect is diarrhea. But that is relatively rare.
Pure Forskolin Reviews
Does forskolin work for the bulk of people who take it? It depends what health condition they’re using it for. But ever since Dr. Oz featured this supplement on his show, more people than ever are using it for weight loss.
Now keep in mind there are several supplements that feature Coleus. The best reviews seem to be from supplements that contain so-called pure prime forskolin. This means that there are no other ingredients in the product.
“Pure forskolin” may also imply that it’s a high-quality ingredient. But as with any other supplement, buyer beware. You really need to do your research. Even if a particular product has hundreds of 5-star reviews, as is the case with Coleus forskohlii products, research the product before buying.
In fact, ConsumerLab.com says, “we recommend that Coleus forskohlii extracts be taken only with a doctor’s supervision.”
If you want to be as lean as Matthew McConaughey, maybe taking forskolin might help. Just keep in mind, it takes more than dietary supplements to shrink belly fat. If you just take it as a weight loss supplement without modifying your diet or exercising more, you might not see the results you’re hoping for.
Have you used pure forskolin extract? Did you get good results? Leave a comment….