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How Forskolin Reduces Fat

by Trevor Hiltbrand | Reviwed by Advisory Board

How Forskolin Reduces Fat

Forskolin supplements make very bold claims. You’ve likely already seen it: flashy labels, that same stock-image model, and overuse of the words fast, easy, and best!

At first glance, it reminds us of raspberry ketones, green coffee bean extract, Garcinia Cambogia, and all the other doctor Oz ‘breakthroughs’ that simply don’t work.

Luckily though, Forskolin is one of the good ones. If you work, it will work too. Here, we’re going to explain everything that Forskolin extract does, doesn’t do, and how you can best take it.

 This article is peer reviewed and backed up by clinical studies.

What is Forskolin, exactly?

Forskolin itself is a diterpenoid extract from the roots of Coleus forskohlii [1]. While there are many natural Coleus forskohlii supplements, it is the Forskolin (coleonol) constituent which provides therapeutic value [2].

What does it do?

Part of Forskolin’s structure resembles glucose, which allows it to activate the cellular messenger cAMP. Though, this may not be its only mode of action [3].

Activating cAMP is a big deal. Why?

Elevated levels of cAMP increase intracellular metabolism, communication, and overall activity [4] – effectively combating metabolic syndrome [5].

Typically, cAMP can only be increased by reducing its natural breakdown with the use of stimulants like caffeine. Forskolin works from the other side completely stimulant free.

Bottom Line: Ignore whole-herb Coleus forskohlii and look for standardized Forskolin Extract. Forskolin increases cAMP, which revitalizes the metabolism and intensifies cellular messaging.

Forskolin and Weight loss

The recent boom in Forskolin’s popularity is due to its possible weight loss effects.

While conducting our research, we couldn’t find any reputable trials suggesting that Forskolin doesn’t improve weight loss. This uniquely supports Forskolin’s use as a fat burner (since most herbs have at least one negative study).

So, how does Forskolin act as a weight loss solution?

Current research suggests that Forskolin may act to promote healthy weight balance in at least two ways.

  1. Forskolin increases metabolic rate.
  2. Forskolin reduces fat accumulation.

Together, this is the desired one-two combo for dieting. Increase your daily energy expenditure while reducing the body’s natural affinity to store calories! Let us explain how this happens…

Bottom Line: Forskolin increases calories burnt and decreases calories stored as fat… But it doesn’t decrease appetite.

How Forskolin Increases Metabolic Rate (calorie burning)

Forskolin increases calories burnt by upregulating cAMP as you know from above. But what does this look like?

Honestly, it’s incredibly complicated. This is because cAMP itself interacts with so many different cellular and organ processes [6, 7].

But what is clear, is that part of cAMP upregulation encourages white fat cells to act like brown fat cells, and that means burn fat via thermogenesis [8]. This is similar to the thermogenic effect produced by exercise, and forskolin appears to synergistically enhance thermogenesis alongside exercise [9].

Bottom Line: Forskolin increases the amount of calories you burn naturally. This effect is much stronger alongside exercise, and the two combined are greater than exercise alone.

How Forskolin Reduces Fat Accumulation (Fat Gain)

Many of the beneficial effects produced by Forskolin can be attributed to the increase in cAMP explained above. However, Forskolin is also able to separately activate a cascade of messengers/enzymes that reduce the ability of fat cells to metabolize glucose [10, 11].

This is important because a fat cell that cannot metabolize glucose, by definition, shouldn’t enlarge and may shrink [12].

More directly, this may reduce the estimated 15% of carbohydrates that get distributed to fat cells after each meal [13]. What happens to those carbohydrates? They likely go to your muscle cells unless you are over consuming.

Bottom Line: Forskolin may partially block fat accumulation from carbohydrates.

Forskolin Supplementation Results – Human Clinical Trials

The above information makes sense, but it doesn’t clearly quantify what weigh-able results you should expect from Forskolin supplementation. Here are some of the most valuable studies we’ve come across in our review.

The most predominant results occurred in men.

A 2012 study published in Obesity Research (View here) evaluated the effects of forskolin (250 mg 10% X2) in overweight and obese men. The markers of interest were: body composition, testosterone, metabolic rate, and blood pressure. At the end of the 12 week study, participants averaged a significant decrease in body fat percentage and total body fat mass, while an increase in testosterone and lean muscle was observed.

Results in women are present but one study is less direct.

The first study with Forskolin supplementation in women was a clear success, displaying evident fat loss and body composition improvement [14]. However a more recent study conducted in 2005 wasn’t as mind blowing (View here). In the study, researchers gave 250 mg 10% forskolin twice daily to moderately overweight women. After the 12 week study, they did not determine statistically viable differentiations between the test group and placebo group.

Forskolin Results

However, if you look at the charts in this study, you’ll notice something: week after week, the placebo group not taking Forskolin steadily gained fat mass, while, the group receiving forskolin stopped fat gain and actually began chipping away at it. We believe, that alongside proper diet and with exercise – more success would have been found within this study.

Additional Studies and Literature Reviews

Since these studies occurred, several research papers and trial re-makes have been produced evaluating the results alongside other data points known about coleus forskohlii and Forskolin [15, 16]. The trend is that Forskolin’s effectiveness and attractiveness can’t necessarily be denied [17].

Forskolin-Drug Interactions and Warnings:

If you are taking any doctor prescribed medications, then you will certainly want to discuss Forskolin supplementation with your doctor [18].

The definitive no-no list for Forskolin includes:

    • Blood pressure medications and nitrates
    • Anti-coagulant or platelet drugs

If you are taking either of these, they may interact negatively with Forskolin. Regardless, discuss with your doctor for perfect clarity.


Our Two Recommendations for burning fat with Forskolin

Physique Series Fat Burners

The clinically backed, fat burning dosage for Forskolin is 250 mg of 10% Forskolin, twice daily. Both Transparent Labs FAT BURNER and FAT BURNER STIM-FREE contain this exact clinical dosage, direct from Forslean.

Which Should You Take?

If you enjoy caffeine, our FAT BURNER is an absolute must. It combines Forskolin with 8 other potent metabolic boosters, guaranteed to work together synergistically.

FAT BURNER STIM-FREE on the other hand, is formulated exclusively for those who do not wish to take caffeine-containing products. It contains Forskolin along with its own unique blend of non-stimulant fat burners that work in synchrony.

We took our time when we made these products, because we wanted them to be the best for our friends, family, professional athletes and physique competitors. When taken alongside a reasonable diet and exercise program, we have the utmost confidence that our two fat burners have what it takes to improve your results.

View Fat Burner Testimonials here and/or Fat Burner Stim-Free Testimonials Here




Trevor Hiltbrand
Trevor Hiltbrand

Author

Trevor Hiltbrand is one of the owners/co-founders of Transparent Labs and head of content creation. He got his start with supplement research back in 2013 when he began researching cognitive enhancement. With the help of the Transparent Labs Expert Panel and Advisory Board, we aim to bring our evidence based nutrition and exercise research to the world.



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