Forskolin comes from the roots of a family of coleus plants that are cultivated in India. It has long been used for treating high blood pressure. This medical plant causes vasodialiation (widening) of blood vessels and it induces more forceful contractions of the heart muscles. Doctors have treated high blood pressure or heart failure by injecting forskolin intravenously. It has also been used as an inhalant to treat asthma and as eye drops for glaucoma. What about the pill form of forskolin that you’ve seen at the local vitamin shop, touting it as a weight loss supplement… hype, hoax, or hope? Well, based on two clinical studies, this one has hope.
With the limited research on forskolin for weight loss, or even the effectiveness of forskolin taken orally, period, it’s too soon to say, but the claims may hold merit. Only one of the studies referenced above was subject to peer review and published in a medical journal. One was conducted on six individuals with 50mg per day. It did show significant fat loss in all of the six subjects, but caution is suggested because this study was partially funded by a company that holds a patent on a forskolin product. Until more clinical studies have been published in medical journals with similar findings, we won’t know whether this supplement should be among our “101 Legit Ways to Lose Weight.” The hypothesis is that forskolin may increase activation of lipase (an enzyme that the body uses to break down fat) and thus improve fat oxidation. Exactly what the optimal dosage is or would be is yet to be determined. Critics argue that even if this root could improve fat metabolism, there is insufficient evidence that it is effective in pill form.
We wouldn’t suggest snagging a bottle of this off of the shelf at your nearest GNC just yet. There are possibly unsafe side effects, due to the vasodilator properties. It carries a warning by cancer researchers that it may have a role in causing cyst enlargement in women with polycystic kidney disease. Forskolin for fat loss will be under investigation in the months and years ahead. Keep this one on your radar, as it may be among the weight loss supplements of the future. Maybe.