Forskolin has been touted as “lightning in a bottle” and a “miracle flower” for weight loss.
But does it really live up to the hype?
This is a sales-free review of forskolin and whether it could help you lose weight.
What is Forskolin?
Forskolin is a compound found in Coleus forskohlii, a tropical plant in the mint family.
The plant is native to India, and grows wild in many countries in Southeast Asia (1).
It’s been used since ancient times to treat asthma, bronchitis, constipation, heart problems and other conditions (2, 3).
However, it became much more well-known in 2014 after Dr. Oz praised it as a “miracle” weight loss pill.
Forskolin is sold as an over-the-counter supplement usually containing 10-20% forskolin extract (often called pure forskolin). Manufacturers claim that it suppresses appetite and helps with weight loss.
Summary: Forskolin is a compound found in the tropical plant Coleus forskohlii, a member of the mint family. It’s been used since ancient times to treat various ailments, and is now marketed and sold as a weight loss pill.
How Is Forskolin Supposed to Work?
Forskolin has been studied as a potential weight loss supplement because of the way it affects fat cells.
In laboratory studies, forskolin causes fat cells to produce more cAMP (cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate), a chemical messenger that results in the breakdown of fat tissue (4).
Since forskolin causes the breakdown of fat cells in a lab, it’s believed to do the same in humans. That still remains unproven, however.
Summary: Lab studies show that forskolin causes breakdown of fat tissue. It’s still unknown whether it has the same effect in the human body.
Does Forskolin Cause Weight Loss?
Even if forskolin does cause fat tissue to breakdown, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will result in weight loss.
Only two small studies have looked at whether forskolin causes weight loss in humans.
In a clinical trial of 15 obese men, one group was given 500 mg of 10% forskolin…