Forslean / Forskolin (Coleus Forskohlii) for Weight Loss
Forslean®is a proprietary form of Coleus forskohlii manufactured by the Sabinsa corporation. Coleus forskohlii is a perennial plant of the mint family that has been used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine for ages.
Although some evidence suggests its critical constituent (called “forskolin”) may be useful in the treatment of asthma (see Eur J Pharmacol. 1985 Apr 23;111(1):1-8) and even cancer, it is most often retailed as a weight loss aid—either on its own, or as part of a larger formula.
Forskolin has been around for ages, but gained noteriety when it was featured recently on the Dr. Oz show as part of Oz’s series on weight loss supplements.
But despite being featured on Oz’s show, the evidence supporting Forskolin’s weight loss effects is pretty “shakey.”
For instance, there have been a couple human-based studies performed on the anti-obesity effects of Coleus forskohlii, and while positive, were hardly earth shattering. This study, performed on “mildly overweight women”`concluded…
“Results suggest that CF does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinically significant side effects.”
A further study—this one performed on men—had better results. It concluded…
“Oral ingestion of forskolin (250 mg of 10% forskolin extract twice a day) for a 12-week period was shown to favorably alter body composition while concurrently increasing bone mass and serum free testosterone levels in overweight and obese men. The results indicate that forskolin is a possible therapeutic agent for the management and treatment of obesity.”
Of course, the results were not miraculous by any means. The study authors themselves state…
“No significant differences were found for the actual change in body weight from pre- to post-measurements. Overall, the forskolin group lost 0.07 ± 2.39 kg of body weight compared with the placebo group, which actually gained 1.20 ± 2.33 kg.”
That equates to a maximum of slightly more than 5 lbs. lost in 3 months – well below half a pound a week, and well within the realms of what you could expect from making a couple of simple changes to your diet.
The study also noted slight increases in testosterine levels.
For that reason, it’s hard to recommend purchasing this product. There are simply better options available. However…
While Coleus forskohlii is included in many popular weight loss supplements (usually in the patented Forslean format) it is too often underdosed.
Buying it on its own from a reputable retailer is the best option if you want to experiment, as it ensures you can take the optimal dosage.
Nature’s Plus Coleus Forskohlii from iHerb.com is decent option. You will only need to take two of these daily to obtain the necessary dose, and a full bottle lasts 30 days.
But then again, I’m not sure why you’d want to.