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Forskolin Extract

Does Forskolin Extract Actually Work? An Evidence-Based Review

Forskolin is an extract from the root of of Plectranthus barbatus, also known as Coleus Forskohlii, which is a medium sized plant native to India.  In ancient human history, Ayurvedic healers made great use of this herb for the treatment of many health issues. Forskolin is a compound that is found in great concentration within the Coleus Forskohlii root. The roots of this plant have been ground up, eaten, and used in teas by Ayurvedic healers for centuries, but now isolated Forskolin supplements are readily available on the consumer market as standardized extracts. Forskolin has shown the ability to help manage many health conditions such as obesity, hormonal issues, heart health, and even help with allergies. As with all plants, there are many more compounds found within the Coleus Forskohlii than just Forskolin. For those adhering to more traditional herbal practices, teas made from the tuberous roots of this plant offer a more symbiotic blend of compounds. Modern research has shown that the active alkaloid Forskolin is by far the most beneficial compound for health purposes.

How Does Forskolin Work

Forskolin has been touted as a miracle weight loss supplement by such personalities as Dr. Oz. Much of it’s popularity has been founded on the misunderstanding that it is some form of ‘magic’ pill that can be taken to lose weight no matter what. This, is categorically false—as are most claims by national personalities. That being said, Forskolin has shown marked ability to affect muscle/fat ratios in the body, regulate lipid levels, promote healthy hormonal levels, as well as affecting many other positive shifts in the body.

At it’s most fundamental level, forskolin is known to cause spikes in a chemical called cyclic adenosine monophosphate, or cAMP for short. This compound is involved in helping regulate many vital functions in your body, and has been known to offer benefits in the treatment and prevention of many major diseases. For a better understanding of how forskolin works, as well as why you should be mindful of your cAMP levels, let’s take a look at some of the functions that research has shown Forskolin to be effective in.

Benefits of Forskolin

Forskolin is known to have many powerful benefits as a naturally-derived treatment for many health conditions. The stark association with weight loss is merely a recent side track that forskolin has taken, and offers many benefits towards your health. Clinical research on forskolin still somewhat sparse, and much of the conclusions found are indirect in nature. For example, cAMP levels as known to regulate many vital functions in the body, and forskolin is known to increase levels of available cAMP. So, these dots can be connected to suggest that forskolin may very well be able to impact the regulation of those many vital functions—through it’s regulation of cAMP.

Forskolin is regarded as being able treat high blood pressure, chest pain, allergies, eczema, obesity, IBS, urinary tract infections, ‘advanced’ cancer, and even erectile dysfunction in men

With a lack of more research to draw conclusions from, it’s a bit tough to say anything conclusively about forskolin—although many forskolin benefits are regarded. Forskolin is reported by many ‘authority’ sites such as WebMD as being useful in treating high blood pressure, chest pain, allergies, eczema, obesity, IBS, urinary tract infections, ‘advanced’ cancer, and even erectile dysfunction in men— with little citation. While you’ll find below that Forskolin does in fact address many of those issues , it’s always important to understand what grounds such claims are being made on. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of some of the more researched forskolin benefits

Weight Loss

Forskolin has shown some hit or miss ability to affect weight loss, showing mixed results in clinical trials. One study found that women that were slightly overweight found forskolin to help avoid additional weight gains, but not lose existing weight. Additionally, researchers noted that those given the Forskolin supplement saw noted decreases in fatigue and appetite.  It’s also very noteworthy that this study was conducted among fewer than 100 participants, so conclusions based upon it’s results shouldn’t be taken to heavily.

Another study conducted among middle-aged men that were reported as being ‘obese’ found much more exciting results. This study found that men given forskolin were able to see a shift in body mass composition, having less fat and more muscle. Additionally, forskolin was shown to increase testosterone levels by as much as 30% . This study offers insight into the exciting potential of forskolin being effectively used to boost testosterone levels, and build lean muscle mass. The only real certainty of forskolin’s role in weight loss is that it shows potential, and further investigation should definitely be conducted.

Allergies

Another common use of forskolin is in the treatment of allergies, as well as acute allergic reactions. Researchers have found that compounds such as forskolin are able to decrease the amount of allergens able to cross into the bloodstream during periods of anaphylaxis. Specifically, forskolin demonstrates the ability to reduce overall vascular permeability . Forskolin has shown the ability to increase the diameter of airways in the lungs, which is highly favorable in the treatment of asthma and asthma-like reactions. In one study conducted over an 8 month period of time, researchers found that those patients given 10mg of forskolin each day suffered from 45% fewer asthma attacks.

Heart Health

Forskolin has shown the ability to revitalize failing heart tissues in animal trials,   and is known to be a powerful activator of the myocardial adenylate cyclase. This enzyme is found within heart tissues, and is known to be deeply involved in many cellular processes responsible for maintaining a healthy heart. Forskolin has the ability to affect the tissues of the heart, which in turn produce a stronger heart beat, and wider blood vessels. For this reason, some heath professionals administer an IV dosage of for patients suffering from congestive cardiomyopathy.

Increases Testosterone

Mentioned earlier was forskolin’s ability to provide dramatic increases in overall testosterone levels in men, up to 30% boosts.  These increases seen only in the test groups receiving forskolin treatments were noted in levels of free serum testosterone.  Much of the available testosterone in your body is bound to another hormone, referred to as sex hormone binding globulin. ‘Free’ testosterone is measurable by blood sampling, and is relatively quick an effective. This measures the amount of testosterone that you have available for use at any given time, and can be an effective means of diagnosing male infertility, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and even some symptoms of fatigue. Overall, forskolin has shown very promising ability in it’s ability to boost testosterone naturally in men.

Forskolin Side Effects

Forskolin has very little side effects of note, and those that have been reported are generally mild. There have been some observations in laboratory settings that are of note, although the small amount of data suggests greater possibility of circumstantial findings. Simply put, dietary supplements receive such little clinical attention that findings from any single study shouldn’t be taken as gospel, so-to-speak. On example of this can be seen in a 2015 study that investigated the potential of Coleus Forskohlii compounds to affect genetic materials in a negative way. That research found that in some of their tests DNA was actually damaged in such as way that would possibly promote cancerous growths to become more likely.

The most common issues are those where the thinning of blood or lowering of blood pressure is unwanted, such as in people preparing for surgery

Some other mild side effects that have been reported from those using Forskolin are rapid or irregular heart beats, drops in blood pressure (usually in those with already low bp), and irritation of the throat in those using inhaled Forskolin for asthma treatment. Given what we’ve learned about Forskolin’s ability to treat heart attacks by vascular dilation, the issues with blood pressure are pretty expected. If you already have issues with low blood pressure or faintness, you should exercise extreme caution when taking Forskolin for the first time, and consult your doctor for an experience medical opinion on it’s appropriateness for your needs. Overall the side effects of Forskolin are very mild, and rarely-reported. The most common issues are those where the thinning of blood or lowering of blood pressure is unwanted, such as in people preparing for surgery.

Forskolin Reviews

If you feel that forskolin has the potential to help you in reaching your personal health goals, you’re likely considering which products to buy. Pure forskolin is a popular supplement, that is an isolated form sold in powder form. Many herbal forskolin supplements are either tinctures or dried Coleus root, processed into a near-powder form and encapsulated. Forskolin is also available from many supplement brands as Coleus Forskohlii, which offers access to all the associated compounds found in the entire plant. Regardless of your preference, there are many considerations to be made before you make your purchase. Vitamins and supplements can vary in quality from brand to brand, and you should only ever buy supplements from brands you know well and trust. These brands are trusted among health professionals to deliver powerful and consistent results. These brands also ensure you’re getting what your buying, which is especially important when gauging your reaction to a new supplement.

Vitamins and supplements can vary in quality from brand to brand, and you should only ever buy supplements from brands you know well and trust

Many store brand supplements have been found to contain little or none of the active ingredient, as well as a plethora of other harmful ingredients. Taking this into account, below you’ll find some of the best forskolin supplements currently available—all sold by the best supplement brands on the market. These products are sold under a few different names including ‘Forskolin,’ ‘Coleus,’ and ‘Coleus Forskohlii.’ The important thing to note is the amount of actual forskolin listed on the label, which is typically in the 10% range. So in effect, a 100mg Coleus capsule standardized to a 10% reduction, would effectively provide a 10mg dose of forskolin. Another type of forskolin supplement available is a blended supplement, where forskolin is offered as one of many ingredients. Typically speaking, forskolin is usually found in Thyroid Support supplements, which offer several other herbals and compounds known to help promote healthy thyroid function.

Where to Buy Forskolin

Forskolin has become a very popular supplement in recent years, with much thanks to such public figures as Dr. Oz—which have greatly exaggerated it’s ability to promote weight loss. Nonetheless, the supplement market has been flooded by Forkskolin products from brands that aren’t well known, and often use inferior ingredients. Many manufacturers believe that by purchasing bulk Forskolin from overseas suppliers, then cramming it into a bottle with a catchy label, that they’ve produced a quality product. This is not the truth, and there are plenty of these products out there floating around. The Forskolin products that have already been mentioned in this article represent supplements that are of the highest possible purity, thus offering the highest possible potential benefit.

Forskolin is a powerful herbal compound offered to us by the Earth—capable of helping to restore and maintain our natural balance.

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