Forskolin is a supplement that the internet has gone a little crazy for over the past few years. Many sites promise aggressive fat loss, huge boosts in testosterone, and potential use as a treatment for certain cancers.

But what does the science say? In this article we will discuss exactly what Forskolin is, and whether it is an effective supplement.

What is Forskolin?

Coleus Forskohlii is a herb that is used in traditional medicine in India. It is used to treat certain conditions such as “heart diseases, spasmodic pain, painful micturition and convulsions” [1]. But the evidence that it actually helps any of those conditions is non-existent.

However, Forskolin appears to have many benefits. For this reason, Forskolin is a common supplement ingredient, especially in fat loss supplements.

Benefits of Forskolin

A 2005 study in Obesity Research by Godard, Johnson & Richmond looked at the effect of Forskolin vs a placebo over a period of 12 weeks [2]. The study found that those taking Forskolin saw improved body composition, increased testosterone levels, and increased bone density.

Another study on overweight women failed to see a reduction in body fat however did see a significant reduction in fatigue [3]. A 2011 study saw a significant increase in HDL-C or “good cholesterol”. The study saw increases in HDL-C of between 8 and 11%. It also saw reductions in body mass index (BMI) and in blood pressure [4].

Overall there appears to be good evidence that Forskolin can improve body composition and testosterone levels in overweight or obese men, The evidence that it can improve body composition in women is less clear cut. The study on good cholesterol increases could be a game-changer for Forskolin if they can repeat the results using a larger study.

Should you take Forskolin?

Forskolin is pretty safe, though it does appear to raise stomach acid levels [5]. This means that people suffering from stomach ulcers should avoid taking it. Other than that, you should be absolutely safe to take it.

There are a lot of potential benefits; fat loss, increased testosterone, improved cholesterol, reduced blood pressure, and increased bone density.

If you are an overweight or obese man, then Forskolin could be particularly effective. However as with all supplements it needs to be taken in tandem with an increase in exercise and ideally an improvement in diet.

No supplement will cause significant fat loss or increased lean muscle when taken alone. To really see a difference you should be tackling it with as many fronts as possible.

Increasing testosterone will lead to more energy, better sleep, and less fatigue, so you should have no excuse for not increasing your calorie expenditure (through exercise).

Forskolin is a good supplement that is inexpensive. It has no side effects (unless you are suffering from stomach ulcers). While the effects will vary, it is certainly worth trying out.

References
[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7193263
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16129715
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18500958
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131759
[5] https://examine.com/supplements/coleus-forskohlii/

 

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