Coleus forskohlii is a plant with a long history of applications in various traditional forms of medicine. Uses for the herb have ranged from a mild treatment of painful urination, to heart disease, to what now looks like a promising anti-obesity and general fat loss supplement.
The active compound in the Coleus Forskohlii herb is called Forskolin, and is the main reason for many of its beneficial effects on several systems in the human body. Generally, in supplements, Forskolin is standardized as 10% of the overall dose of Coleus Forskohlii.
From a fat loss perspective, we are going to look at the different aspects of this ingredient and what it means to you as a potential or existing consumer of a Forskolin-containing supplement.
What is Coleus Forskohlii?
As mentioned in the introduction, Coleus Forskohlii is an herbal plant. The name comes from its Indian heritage. Used for many years as a form of traditional medicine, it has more recently garnered interest from a medical and scientific standpoint due its main bio-active constituent – Forskolin.
How does it make you lose fat?
Forskolin, once absorbed, can increase levels of a molecule known as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). If that sounds at all familiar then it may be because of the similar sounding adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the main molecule responsible for providing energy within the human body. As such, cAMP is a derivative of the energy cycle, synthesized by ATP.
The function of cAMP is to act as a messenger, essentially translating the effects of hormones like adrenaline and dopamine into cells. Elevating the levels of cAMP serves to up-regulate this messenger activity, therefore increasing the effect that these hormones have on body.
To put it simply, this molecule can increase energy turnover and stimulation, particularly in conjunction with hormones like dopamine, adrenaline, glucogon and so on. The effect of cAMP elevation can be easily understood using caffeine as an example, as the stimulatory effects of caffeine are due to the same process. Whenever you drink coffee, you feel more alert, energized and driven. The same, if not more stable effect, can be said for supplementing pure form caffiene. Forskolin provides the same effect.
During the process, triglycerides are transported out of fat cells to be used as fuel for the heightened energy requirements. This is fat loss activity at one of the most fundamental levels. By forcing triglycerides from the fat cell, the volume of the cell will be reduced. Over a body-wide scale, that equates to less volume of fat.
What else can it do?
Messenger molecules like cAMP do not limit themselves to communicating the activity of hormones to fat cells. In muscle cells, it is understood that they may translate increased levels of protein synthesis from the various agents which signal that behaviour.
That being the case, Forskolin is indeed a valuable supplement, giving both a reduction of fat volume and a growth of muscle tissue. Research indicates there is even an associated increase in testosterone production, and while studies must continue to verify this further, the preliminary supporting evidence is very strong.
What does it go well with?
Due to Forskolin’s versatile bioactivity, it can be found in supplements which have been formulated for fat-burning, muscle growth, or testosterone production.
Certainly, it will almost always be in a blend alongside caffeine anhydrous – the purest form of caffeine – as the two ingredients will compliment one another. The addition of p-Synephrine will boost the mental focus, energy increase and fat-burning effect, while L-theanine will smooth out the stimulatory effect of the whole blend, and maximize the cognitive function improvements.
As a base to a fat-burner, or pre-workout supplement, all of the above ingredients (and more) will work to increase energy levels, focus and drive, while cutting fat and possibly helping muscle growth.
Is Coleus Forskohlii Safe?
Short term cycles of 12 to 16 weeks have been used in the clinical trials with little to no side effects being reported. A three or four week cycle is probably a good place to start with supplementation of Coleus Forskohlii, as longer periods of use have not been studied. This doesn’t mean it is unsafe for longer-term use, just that it has not been demonstrated under trial yet.
The cycle can be repeated after one to two weeks off it. People with existing medical conditions or taking medication – specifically blood thinners or blood pressure meds – should avoid forskolin products.
Coleus forskholii supplements are usually standardized for 10% Forskolin. Therefore a dose of 250mg of Coleus will give 25mg of Forskolin. This amount could be taken twice a day for good fat-loss results.
The perfect dosage of this supplement is likely to be investigated some more but the total of 500mg Coleus forskohlii split into 2 separate doses daily (to give a total of 50mg Forskolin) has been proven effective and safe.
Any lower dosages are still likely to have an effect as part of any supplement’s whole formula.
Supplements Containing Coleus Forskohlii
The US formula of one of our favourite fat-burners – Phen375 – now contains Coleus Forskohlii. While we love every iteration of this product’s blend, no matter which one you purchase, it is good news for the USA consumers. Follow the link below to read out review of Phen375.