From smart supplements to weight loss, this herb from the mint family is making it’s way into supplements everywhere. While I’d like to say that it’s “new,” the reality is, this herb has been used for hundreds of years in places such as India and Asia. The hype about forskolin has also hit the celebrity community and made it’s way into the diet and exercise routine of Mathew McConaughey while he prepared for an upcoming role.
What is Forskolin?
Coleus forskohlii is a member of the mint family that grows in Africa and Asia and is farmed in well known regions such as India, Thailand, and Uganda. It’s been used in traditional medicine in the form of Ayurveda which is used to support lung, heart, and urinary health, among other various uses. The tuberous root of the plant contains Forskolin which is the most potent portion of the plant. Forskolin has been used in numerous clinical studies and is sometimes given to patients in their IV, eye drop, or powder form to treat a range of conditions.
How Does Forskolin Work?
“Forskolin has long been used by bodybuilders for muscle building purposes – but it also possess lesser known cognitive benefits. Forskolin activates the enzyme adenylyl cyclase which increases intracellular levels of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) – an important messenger required for cell communication. Increased levels of cAMP have been shown to have significant nootropic effects, including increased cognition, improved long term memory, increased wakefulness, and nueroprotection. [1-5] (NaturalStacks).”
Effects of Cyclic AMPP
Increased cellular cyclic AMP results in a broad range of physiological and biochemical effects, including inhibition of platelet activation (resulting in decreased likelihood of blood clots), reduced release of histamine (resulting in decreased allergy symptoms), increased force of contraction of the heart, relaxation of the arteries and other smooth muscles, increased thyroid function, and increased lipolysis (fat burning).
A number of diseases are characterized, in part, by decreased intracellular levels of cyclic AMP. These include asthma, eczema, psoriasis, angina, obesity and hypertension. In addition to its adenylyl cyclase-stimulating actions, Forskolin also appears to have actions that are not due to this mechanism, but are due to its ability to alter a number of membrane transport proteins (source).
Forskolin For *Weight Loss?
One of the most rigorous and promising studies concerning supplemental forskolin was conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas a few years ago.3 They found that overweight and obese men lost more than 7.8 times more body fat, added 35 percent more bone mass, and increased their bioavailable free testosterone by almost 34 percent more when they added 250 mg of a 10 percent forskolin-containing coleus to their otherwise unchanged daily lives, twice per day. In other words, 50 mg of total forskolin per day—as compared to subjects who consumed a placebo—realized a significant improvement in both body composition and testosterone levels (source).
Mathew McConaughey is quoted on Bodybuilding.com as taking Forskolin before working out while getting ready for the film “Magic Mike.”
“I had McConaughey take forskolin with breakfast and before training alongside 7-ketoDHEA and D-aspartic acid, in addition to his pre-workout formula, multi, and green tea extract,” says McConaughey’s personal trainer.
Boost Your Brain Power – Forskolin for Mental Clearity, Alertness, and Memory
If you want to wipe out the daily brain fog, turn up your focus, and brighten your mood, I would recommend a product made by Natural Stacks, known as CILTEP. I’ve been taking this every morning with their dopamine formula and it has made each day 5 times more productive! The dopamine also brightens my mood (always a plus). I always make sure to use it when I know I need to be productive and focused. It was an added bonus when I found out that this supplement is used in SO MANY other ways!
Other Benefits of Forskolin
May aid in treating ….
- Lung Health
- Heart Health (decreases blood pressure and prevents blood clots)
- Body Fat Reduction*
- Eye Health
- Long Term Memory
- Increased Testosterone Production*
- Skin Conditions (such as eczema and psoriasis)
- Irritable bowl syndrome*
- Advanced stages of cancer
- Sexual problems in men*
- Thyroid Conditions
- Insomnia (WebMd)
How Much Forskolin Should You Be Taking?
The dosages range from 25 mg all the way to 250 mg. When Mathew was getting ready for “Magic Mike,” it was reported that he took up to 500 mg per day to help achieve his lean look. It’s recommended that supplements contain at least a 10% concentration of the active ingredient, “forkskolin.”
Possible Side Effects of Forskolin
Since Coleus helps to reduce blood pressure and calm smooth muscles in the body this could affect people who have low blood pressure. If taken in excess the smooth muscles of the intestinal tract may be affected resulting in diarrhea. As always, as your medical care provider before introducing new supplements into your diet.
The research surrounding weight loss and this supplement is still premature. However, many people have reported using the product with beneficial outcomes. I’ll be continuing to take my CILTEP and I may even add in a little extra forskolin on the side!