Forskolin: Reviews And Side Effects

Is forskolin useful for weight loss? How does it affect our health? All you need to know about forskolin

Forskolin is a supplement that has become popular for its possible effectiveness in losing weight. In theory, this food supplement helps weight loss because it helps create enzymes called lipase and adenylate cyclase.

This asset is created in the root of a plant that belongs to the peppermint family. This plant grows in Nepal, India, and Thailand and has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

In this article, we discover what this supplement is, how it promotes weight loss, and what the side effects of consuming it.

What is forskolin?

Forskolin comes from a plant called Coleus. It is a plant supplement derived from the root of a plant in the mint family, which grows in Thailand, Nepal, and parts of India.

While  forskolin has long been used as an asthma treatment, among others, nowadays it is marketed as a weight-loss supplement.

The tropical Coleus plant has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, an Indian therapy that has been incorporated into Western wellness practices for years.

Forskolin for weight loss

Forskolin is said to help lose weight by creating enzymes called lipase and adenylate cyclase. These two enzymes release fatty acids from the body's cells. When these fatty acids are freed, they can be burned as energy. When the body burns the fatty acids, it is when fat can be reduced without affecting muscle mass.

Unfortunately, this hypothesis does not consider that for weight loss to occur, there must also be a calorie deficit. In other words, a person should burn more calories than he or she takes in through food and drink. If this does not happen, a person will not lose weight.

For this reason, while it may increase the ability to burn fat, this is irrelevant if not accompanied by a nutritious and healthy diet and exercise to support calorie deficit.

Studies on the forskolin benefits for weight loss have produced mixed results. Although a study of a small group of overweight people, obese men showed that forskolin reduced their body fat, it had little effect on their weight. It also increased their testosterone. A high level of testosterone is associated with lower weight and weight loss.

Other studies had variable results. In one study, 23 overweight women were given 250 milligrams of forskolin twice a day for 12 weeks. The studies showed that this supplement could not help the women lose weight. However, the supplement appeared to decrease any additional weight gain while they were taking it.

Therefore,  we cannot say that this supplement is the solution for losing weight. While studies suggest that it may decrease weight gain or raise testosterone levels in men, forskolin is not a definitive solution to weight loss.

In the following Forskolin review, we will see how there is no scientific evidence for its effects. 


Forskolin review

Many people take forskolin supplements for many reasons, but there is very little substantial scientific evidence to support its use for any health condition. However, it is not only taken to help weight loss, but also because it is associated with some improvements in health.

Forskolin has a long history as a popular remedy for asthma. Some scientific research has supported this theory. The reason is that it appears to work in a similar way to certain types of conventional asthma medications by increasing the levels of a compound called cyclic AMP. This helps relax the muscles around the bronchial tubes and makes breathing easier.

This product has also been used to treat glaucoma. One small study suggests that forskolin may help relieve pressure in the eyes, which is often seen in glaucoma. It has also been found to be a safe alternative to beta-blockers in patients with glaucoma who have concomitant asthma.

Another potential use of this product is in people with idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy, which can cause heart failure. In a study, patients who took forskolin intravenously showed better cardiac function.

Optimal doses of forskolin have not been established for any condition. Also, as with supplements in general, and Forskolin active, the quality of the active ingredients and the level of concentration in products containing this active ingredient vary depending on the manufacturer. Some experts recommend that it be taken only under the supervision of a doctor.

Although forskolin comes from an herb, it has only been studied as an extract. There is no evidence available regarding the potential benefits of this product. For that reason, it is only marketed as a supplement, as in the case of Forskolin active.

For Forskolin to help lose weight it has to be combined with a healthy diet and exercise.


Forskolin side effects

It is not known whether taking it is safe, as it has not been studied in depth. However, there have been some forskolin side effects:

  • Tachycardia and low blood pressure when taken intravenously.
  • Upper respiratory tract irritation, cough, tremor, and restlessness when inhaled.
  • Burning eyes and enlarged blood vessels in the eyes.
  • Headache.

People who take blood thinners or antiplatelet medicines should not take forskolin. Moreover, some high blood pressure medications may interact with it, so it is recommended that you do not take forskolin if you are taking any of these medications.

Finally, it should also be avoided if we have polycystic kidney disease. The safety of forskolin in pregnant and nursing women is not known, so it is best to avoid it.



Alasbahi, R. H. & Melzig, M. F. (2012). "Forskolin and derivatives as tools for studying the role of cAMP". Die Pharmazie. 67(1): 5–13.

Dewick, P. M. (2009). Medicinal Natural Products (3rd ed.). Wiley. p. 232.