You may have heard of forskolin in the media recently, as it has been featured in a wide range of publications for its slimming properties. Dr. Oz has even included it in his list of "best stomach reduction supplements" for its thermogenic properties.
In our report, you will find out how this new substance works, whether its consumption is safe and, most importantly, we will review its effectiveness as an aid to weight loss.
Coleus forskohlii is of particular interest to us because its potential help as a slimming and antioxidant.
Forskolin, also known as coleonol, is a naturally occurring compound in Coleus forskohlii and has been used in the study of cell physiology to activate the enzyme adenylate cyclase, as well as the increase of cyclic intracellular levels AMP or cAMP.
The cAMP plays an important role in cell signaling, as well as having a direct impact on the way cells respond to various hormonal stimuli, affecting hypothalamic and pituitary functions.
What this basically means is that forskolin helps cells communicate with each other, broadly increasing hormonal function and essentially telling the body to make more of an enzyme called sensitive hormone lipase.
If you've ever heard the term "lipid," then you've probably guessed that the sensitive hormone lipase has something to do with the fat in our bodies, and you're absolutely right!
It also appears that if the increased production of cAMP has a side effect, resulting in increased production of thyroid hormone, it will again help stimulate metabolism and cause heavy fat wasting.
All of this may sound a little complicated, but we all need to know at this time if forskolin causes the body to produce lipolytic enzymes or fat-burning enzymes, as well as more hormones with the same function.
While all this sounds like great news for those of us who are trying to lose weight, let's dig deeper to see if this really does translate into an increase in weight loss in the real world.
The first study we will analyze was published by the Journal of Obesity Research in 2005, and was written to determine body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in obese or overweight men.
This arbitrary, double-blind, placebo-controlled study took place over a 12-week period and included 30 subjects, with a dose of 250 mg of 10% forskolin extract twice daily.
The data resulting from this study looked very promising, with subjects showing the following:
A "significant decrease" in the percentage of body fat and overall body mass
A "significant increase" in the body's muscle mass; plus
A change in bone mass, suggesting an increase in bone density.
A "significant increase" in free testosterone levels
All of these points referred not only to forskolin as a fat loss supplement but also as a natural way for men to boost their testosterone levels, which in turn would result in less body fat and greater growth of muscle mass.
The research group concluded with the following statement:"The results indicate that forskolin is a possible therapeutic agent for the management and treatment of obesity.
Research into the effects of forskolin on women became even more interesting, starting with a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2005.
Although no "significant differences" were seen in the fat mass of the subjects, it was very interesting to note that forskolin actually seemed to "mitigate body mass gain," suggesting that adherence to a sensitive diet and exercise plan might be sufficient to steer the scale in a more favorable direction, so to speak.
Some women also reported a reduction in fatigue and hunger, so it could have significant implications for people on low-calorie diets.
What's more, the researchers stated that "No clinical interactions were detected in metabolic markers, blood lipids, muscle and liver enzymes, electrolytes, red cells, white cells, hormones (insulin, TSH, T3 and T4), heart rate, blood pressure or side effects.
The demonstration that forskolin appears to have no side effects, makes it a safe aid to lose weight and treat weight loss for the general population.
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