Forskolin Review: Health Benefits, Dosage, and Side Effects

Forskolin

Known primarily as a weight loss supplement, Forskolin is a potent substance that has numerous benefits to users.

It can be used to maintain a healthy body composition and has also been clinically proven to help with a host of other ailments.

Forskolin has gained popularity recently as a potential treatment for cancer, high blood pressure, glaucoma symptoms, and to manage blood sugar and asthma. As a nootropic, it’s thought to work as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and improve memory.

Unlike many other supplements with similar uses, Forskolin doesn’t have any significant side effects and is safe for general use.

What is Forskolin

Forskolin exploded onto the supplement scene as a weight-loss supplement thanks to an endorsement from television personality Dr. Oz in 2014.

While Dr. Oz has since come under scrutiny for his claims that Forskolin is a miracle weight loss pill, there is some substantial scientific evidence that supports the claim that the compound can decrease the fat mass and improve body composition in overweight men and women.[1] [2]

In a third study conducted on rats, Forskolin also helped to prevent weight gain in animals fed a diet that caused obesity in rats that weren’t taking the supplement.

Also, Forskolin, when combined with tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, caffeine, carnitine, forskolin and retinol and applied topically, can also reduce the appearance of cellulite with daily use.[3]

Although Forskolin isn’t a pill that melts fat instantly, it has both nootropic and medical applications in addition to the fat loss benefits.

As a nootropic, the compound has similar memory and energy boosting effects of ephedrine and adrenaline, but without the jittery side effects.

As a treatment for cancer, it’s been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells in rats and to help manage the negative side effects of chemotherapy. [4]

Forskolin is also one of the few natural supplements proven to lower blood pressure in the majority of users, and there is also promising early research on its ability to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.[5]

The supplement is also a natural alternative to a steroid inhaler for people who have asthma.[6] Finally, Forskolin can be taken to help with symptoms of glaucoma as it helps relieve interocular pressure and is a non-surgical treatment option.[7]

Forskolin can be legally purchased in the US over the counter as a supplement both in stores and online and is available in an oral capsule form. It may also be prescribed as an inhaler to treat asthma, or as an injection to treat glaucoma by a doctor.

Overall, Forskolin is an excellent choice for people looking to lose weight or improve their body composition, as well as anyone with cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, or glaucoma as a natural alternative or supplement to other treatment options.

Other names for the product

Coleonol

Editor’s Note

As a fitness aficionado, I’ve used Forskolin as part of my daily stack for years to help manage my weight and body composition.

The supplement both helps to control my cravings and appetite and also seems to keep me at a lower body fat percentage than I was able to achieve through a healthy diet and daily exercise alone.

Anecdotally, I’ve heard that men see even better results because of the supplement’s ability to increase overall testosterone and grow muscle mass.

While I don’t notice any significant increase in cognitive function, I do feel a little additional energy and have a lot of focus in my workouts and daily tasks when I take the supplement.

If I had any of the additional health conditions that show positive results and effects, I would most definitely include Forskolin in my supplement stack to have a natural alternative medical treatment.Forskolin Reviews

User reviews about Forskolin online are a bit of a mixed bag. Overall, the majority of users are looking to weight loss benefits, which some find and some don’t. Here are a few highlights of what people are saying about Forskolin.

Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., CSCS and a regular contributor to bodybuilding.com is a big proponent of the supplement. He takes it personally and recommends it to athletes that he trains. His clients include big names like Matthew McConaughey who he worked with when he was getting ready for his role in “Magic Mike.” He says:

“When I was working with McConaughey to get him ‘water-moccasin-like shredded’ for his role… in the film Magic Mike, I had him take one of his daily doses before training.” [8]

User Kristi Robertson saw both improved energy and concentration. She says:

“I’ve used other Coleus Forskohlii products, but like this the best. Sustained energy throughout the day, no peaks and valleys. Doesn’t make me jumpy. Also greatly improves menopause symptoms. Hot flashes are almost non-existent and much better concentration. Definitely recommend.”

The most common side effect, which we will discuss below. User Jenna experienced this, and also adds:

“Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed in this product. Despite the weight loss claims, it did not aid in any weight loss for me. It does produce a diarrhea-like symptom, but that was the only noticeable symptom while taking it. Certainly not any weight loss….and I maintained a healthily eating plan while taking it, so it wasn’t like I expected it to be a miracle pill.”

Benefits and effects

Forskolin provides clinically proven benefits to users who are looking for a memory boost, losing weight, or for natural ways to manage diseases. These advantages include:

Improved Memory and Mental Energy

When taken as a supplement, Forskolin activates the enzyme adenylate cyclase, which regulates a variety of cellular functions. It also increases cAMP levels in the brain, which can result in improved memory and energy.

These two effects combine to provide the nootropic benefit of improving the formation of new memories and the retaining of those memories.

Weight Management

Though its ability to help the body release fat stores and increase muscle mass, Forskolin can assist with improving body composition and weight loss efforts.

If you eat well and exercise regularly, the added benefit of Forksolin will help you lose fat and get lean. It’s not a silver bullet, but it can accelerate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Natural Alternative Treatment

Forskolin has been proven to be an effective alternative treatment for a variety of health conditions. If you have cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma or glaucoma, there are applications for the supplement.

Some, like in the case of the studies showing positive effects on rectal cancer tumors are very specific treatment options. Others, like the 75% effective rate on reducing blood pressure are very broad and can be widely applied.[9] More original applications are being continually discovered.

Just this year, researchers conducted a study on mice that concludes that Forskolin may also be an alternative treatment option for Alzheimer’s Disease. [10]

How It Works

Forskolin operates in the body in a variety of ways, but its primary method of action is through the activation of the enzyme adenylate cyclase.

This same enzyme is also activated by hormones like epinephrine and adrenaline, but unlike these hormones, Forskolin doesn’t have the same adverse side effects from the stimulation.

Once activated, the enzyme converts into cAMP which then allows the body to produce increased levels of the protein kinase and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL).

Additionally, Forskolin is also believed to work as a vasodilator and can increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain resulting in more brain activity and cell maintenance.

As it relates to asthma, Forskolin both stimulates the thyroid and increases cAMP levels in the body. As a compound, cAMP helps to relax the muscles around the bronchial tubes in the lungs allowing users to breathe easier.

Dosage

The recommended dosage for Forskolin varies depending on the treatment use.

The suggested dosage is between 25 and 60 mg per day of the active compound through one to three doses. Most supplements contain 10 to 20 percent potency, so base your dosage on the potency level of the product you’re using.

For nootropic benefits, users anecdotally suggest between 50-60 mg daily of the active compound for the best results.

Side Effects

Although there are no documented serious side effects in the weight loss studies on Forskolin, there are a few potential issues and interactions of note.

Forskolin naturally lowers blood pressure; therefore anyone who already has low blood pressure should avoid taking this supplement. Additionally, if you’re taking beta blockers, nitrates, or blood thinners, you shouldn’t take Forskolin.

Other reported side effects include irregular heartbeat and upset stomach. Taking Forskolin with food may help manage these effects.

Finally, there are some special considerations for women. Research to suggests that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) could experience an increase in cyst size, and therefore should not take Forskolin.[11]

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also not include Forskolin in their daily supplement stack.

Stacking

For the most potent nootropic benefits, stack Forskolin with between 500-900 mg of artichoke extracts daily. Artichoke extract has been shown to prevent the body from breaking down excess cAMP and instead having it available in the brain to enhance memory, focus, and concentration.

Alternatives

Forskolin has many applications. Possible options will depend largely on what benefit you’re looking for when you take the supplement. Here we’ll discuss three for the most common uses.

1. Garcinia Cambogia

As a weight loss supplement, Forskolin compared most commonly to Garcinia Cambogia. Both make similar claims, but there are a few differences.

Garcinia Cambogia has some scientific proof that it can both curb cravings and suppress appetite in users, which can lead to actual weight loss rather than fat loss results.

However, Garcinia Cambogia has more serious side effects than Forskolin. Users have fatigue and extreme brain fog, and so it may have little to no nootropic benefit.

2. Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is a powerful nootropic supplement that also provides benefits to the body. As a choline source, it offers memory and cognitive benefits in both healthy adults and those with degenerative memory disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease. [12]

It also supports your body by stimulating the production of human growth hormone which can shorten recovery time and improve your performance in workouts and at the gym. [13] Alpha GPC is a well-researched supplement with few side effects.

3. CoQ10

CoQ10 is another powerhouse supplement that has documented benefits that range from anti-aging to managing blood pressure.

As an alternative to Forskolin, CoQ10 can lower blood pressure over a period of 4 to 12 weeks without any significant side effects. It has also been shown to be effective at lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Like Forskolin, it can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, and it has few contraindications.

You’ll want to consider these alternatives to Forskolin and do additional research focused on the results you’re looking for and the benefits you’re most interested in achieving.

There are dozens of supplements on the market that offer similar benefits to Forskolin, so it’s important to choose wisely for the best results.

Closing Thoughts

Forskolin is a supplement that delivers positive results to users with a broad spectrum of needs. As a weight loss supplement, it can be useful in helping you lose body fat while maintaining muscle mass and is an excellent way to boost the results of your healthy lifestyle.

It has many natural benefits to medical issues as well, and if you have cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, or glaucoma you should talk with your doctor about Forskolin as an option.

As a nootropic, it creates positive reactions in the brain that may lead to increased memory and cognitive functions, but more research is needed to provide quantifiable results.

Overall, the supplement is extremely safe and has various levels of efficacy depending on its intended use.

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