We all dream of losing weight with as little effort as possible.
Research indicates that more than 75% of us give up before obtaining any significant weight loss using traditional methods like exercise and diets (a).
So, we tend to look for magic solutions in weight loss pills and herbal remedies.
Forskolin is one such product that has gained praise for its weight loss effects. It is a natural plant compound with numerous claims that it could help you lose weight.
But does it actually work and how does it work? Find all the answers in our comprehensive forskolin review.
Forskolin is a substance derived from the roots of a plant called the “Indian Coleus.”
Traditional healers have used the plant therapeutically for many centuries (b).
While science can’t prove all the health claims of forskolin, some studies have found that there is evidence to support some of these claims.
Forskolin became a popular weight loss supplement after being endorsed by Dr. Oz on his U.S. TV show.
Conclusion: Forskolin is a chemical compound derived from a plant known as the “Indian Coleus.” It is processed and sold as a potent weight loss pill (insert).
With such bold claims about weight loss, it’s not surprising to see so much interest in forskolin from the scientific community. Most of their research focuses on how it affects the metabolism of fat in the body.
Most studies on this compound involve animal studies and lab samples so the results may not be replicated in living human subjects.
This is exactly what the body does whenever we expend excess energy through exercise.
However, you won’t lose weight simply because fat has been released from your fat cells. Your body still needs to use up this fat through some activity that requires the burning of calories.
Most weight loss pills that work often create a calorie deficit in three main ways:
- They suppress appetite and, therefore, cause you to eat fewer calories than usual.
- They may prevent your body from absorbing certain nutrients (especially fat) from the foods you eat, causing you to eat fewer calories than usual.
- Finally, they can boost the rate of metabolism, causing the body to burn more calories than it normally would.
However, we’ve not come across any evidence that suggests that forskolin produces any of the above effects.
On the other hand, the results from human trials have shown some promise. The results suggest that forskolin may boost fat loss without causing muscle loss (f).
We explain how this may happen in the section below.
Conclusion: Forskolin works by tricking the body into releasing fat from its fat reserves, a process which does not necessarily make you lose weight.
These studies are RCTs (randomized control trials), which eliminates any bias and ensures accurate outcomes from testing new treatments. It is basically the best way to measure the effectiveness of a new treatment method.
One of the studies involved a small group of obese and overweight men. The participants were put into two groups:
- The first group was given a supplement that contained 250 milligrams of an extract containing 10% forskolin. They took this supplement two times per day for 3 months.
- The second group was put on a placebo pill.
The result of the trial showed that the group that was on forskolin experienced a decrease in total body fat, but no meaningful weight loss (i).
In addition, the free testosterone levels of participants in the group that took forskolin increased. Research shows that testosterone can boost the amount of fat released from our fat reserves, which may be the reason why the forskolin group experienced fat loss (j).
Also, increased testosterone levels can also help you gain muscle mass (k). The result from the trial showed a small but insignificant rise in the lean body mass of participants in the group that took forskolin.
The second study involves a group of obese women who were given an equal dose (500 milligrams a day) of the forskolin extract, Coleus forskolii over a 3-month period.
The result of this study indicated that supplementing with forskolin did not produce a meaningful fat loss. However, it may have helped prevent weight gain (l).
What we learned from these two studies is that taking forskolin weight loss pills may not an effective weight loss strategy. However, it may help reduce body fat and prevent weight gain.
Having said this, there isn’t enough research to draw any strong conclusions.
There are a lot of forskolin reviews from users that swear by the effectiveness of the pill and some that claim it doesn’t work. Some reviews even claim it made them gain weight even though this is not possible (the weight gain is from other factors). However, these types of testimonies are very common with most user reviews of weight loss supplements.
Conclusion: The results from two trials indicate that forskolin may not cause weight loss but it may reduce body fat and prevent future weight gains.
Traditional healers have used the Indian coleus plant (which produces the forskolin extract) as a treatment for several ailments for hundreds of years.
Some records indicate its use in the treatment of asthma, constipation, heart disease, and bronchitis (m).
Forskolin pills may also provide the following potential health benefits:
- It may help dilate the lungs, which can help relieve symptoms for people suffering from asthma (n).
- It may help boost the mineral density of bones, which helps reduce the risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis (o).
- Finally, it may cause an increase in testosterone levels, which may help prevent muscle mass loss (p).
Conclusion: Traditional medicine has used the Indian coleus plant to treat several health conditions for hundreds of years, which indicates that the forskolin pill may provide other health benefits besides weight loss.
Most manufacturers recommend taking about 100 to 250 milligrams of Coleus forskolii (containing about 10% pure forskolin) two times a day.
We couldn’t find any scientific research on the side effects of forskolin for humans, but the user reviews show that it does not cause any adverse effects.
There’s no scientific evidence to back claims that forskolin causes weight loss. However, you’ll come across many user reviews that swear that the pill helped them lose weight.
Equally, you’ll come across reviews that claim that it does not work. We haven’t tested forskolin pills ourselves, so we can’t say for certain if it works or not.
In general, we recommend that you take claims from most weight loss pills with a grain of salt. However, given that there doesn’t seem to be any adverse effects, there may be no harm in taking the pills.
The worst that could happen is that it may work for you or it may not. Check out our weight loss supplement reviews for pills that may work and those that do not work.
However, the supplement is also widely available in most health shops, pharmacies, and some supermarkets.