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5 Reasons to Use Forskolin


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5 Reasons to Use Forskolin

by: Robbie Durand

Forskolin is an herbal extract from Coleus forskohlii, a plant belonging to the mint family. Coleus Forskohlii, is used in alternative medicine as an effective treatment for asthma, thyroid treatment, and cardiovascular disease. Research into the medicinal value of extracted forskolin began in the early- to mid-1980s and was primarily used as an agent to help a number of cardiovascular disease conditions, mainly through a vasodilatory effect. Forskolin has potent vasodilation effects in skeletal muscle resulting in lower blood pressure. The most notable physiological effect of forskolin is that it increases adenylate cyclase activity. Adenylate cyclase is an enzyme with key regulatory roles in essentially all cells. All classes of adenylate cyclase catalyze the conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) cyclic AMP (cAMP). Increasing cAMP levels creates an effect similar to that of exercise in terms of the action of mitochondrial enzymes in the body. Decreased intracellular levels of cAMP (cellular cyclic AMP) can include asthma, eczema, psoriasis, angina, obesity, hypertension and the negative side effects associated with these conditions.

Previous studies have also proven that forskolin has a tremendous positive impact on weight loss and fat burning.

Previous studies have also proven that it also has tremendous positive impact on weight loss and fat burning, although not all studies have shown Forskolin to reduce weight loss. As a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) stimulator, forskolin leads to the production of the active form of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). HSL is directly involved in the mobilization of triglyceride stores that release free fatty acids to be used for fuel within the body. Forskolin increases the production of cyclic AMP, which increases the contractility of muscle, especially of the heart. On of the more common side effects of increased Forskolin use is increased heart rate. Some of the known physiological effects of increasing cAMP are:

– Lower blood pressure,
– Inhibit platelet aggregations (clotting),
– Promote vasodilation (opening up of blood vessels),
– Increase bronchodilation (improved breathing),
– Increase thyroid hormone secretion

How Forskolin Works

One of the other interesting reports of Forskolin use is increased testosterone. Forskolin may have a favorable effect on enhancing serum testosterone levels through the theorized potential influence on cAMP. Because LH exerts its effects on Leydig cells of the testicles (stimulating production of testosterone) through cAMP, one may expect an increased level of endogenous testosterone with the use of this forskolin as well. One study examined the effect of forskolin on body composition, testosterone, metabolic rate, and blood pressure in overweight and obese men. Thirty subjects were studied in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study for 12 weeks.

Forskolin was shown to elicit favorable changes in body composition by significantly decreasing body fat percentage and fat mass as determined by DEXA scans compared with the placebo group.

Forskolin was shown to elicit favorable changes in body composition by significantly decreasing body fat percentage and fat mass as determined by DEXA scans compared with the placebo group. Additionally, forskolin administration resulted in a change in bone mass for the 12-week trial compared with the placebo group. There was a trend toward a significant increase for lean body mass in the forskolin group compared with the placebo group. Serum free testosterone levels were significantly increased in the forskolin group compared with the placebo group. The actual change in serum total testosterone concentration was not significantly different among groups, but it increased 16.77% in the forskolin group compared with a decrease of 1.08% in the placebo group. Oral ingestion of forskolin (250 mg of 10% forskolin extract twice a day) for a 12-week period was shown to favorably alter body composition while concurrently increasing bone mass and serum free testosterone levels in overweight and obese men. The results indicate that forskolin is a possible therapeutic agent for the management and treatment of obesity.

Using forskolin may promote vasodilation (opening up of blood vessels), increase bronchodilation (improved breathing), increase thyroid hormone secretion, increase weight loss, and may enhance testosterone.

Alasbahi RH, Melzig MF. Forskolin and derivatives as tools for studying the role of cAMP. Pharmazie. 2012 Jan;67(1):5-13. Review.
Godard MP, Johnson BA, Richmond SR. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.
Kamath, “Efficacy and Safety of Forslean in Increasing Lean Body Mass,” Department of Ayurvedic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India, 2005.
Bristow, M. R., Ginsberg, R., Strosberg, A., Montgomery, W., Minobe, W. (1984) Phamacology and inotropic potential of forskolin in the human heart. J Clin Invest. 74: 212–223.
Lindner, E., Dohadwalla, A. N., Bhattacharya, BK. (1978) Positive inotropic and blood pressure lowering activity of a diterpene derivative isolated from Coleus forskohli: forskolin. Arzneimittelforschung 28: 284–289.
Valenti, S., Guido, R., Giusti, M., Giordano, G. (1995) In vitro acute and prolonged effects of melatonin on purified rat Leydig cell steroidogenesis and adenosine 3′, 5′-monophosphate production. Endocrinology 136: 5357–5362.


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