Review of Herb Forskolin Side Effects and Potential Benefits
Forskolin is a weight loss and bodybuilding herb supplement, which has gained some attention in the market. It is alternatively marketed as Colforsin and Coleonol as well. It is an organic compound derived from the tuberous roots of Indian Coleus plant. It seems to have gained some visibility after it was featured by Dr Oz in one of his shows.
Indian Coleus plant has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. As part of Ayurvedic medicine (Ancient Indian medicine) tradition it was used for treating various heart conditions including high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), painful urination, convulsions and respiratory disorders such as asthma.
Unfortunately very little science has gone behind the modern day claims about medicinal benefits of this herb. It looks like today's opportunistic marketers do not care about thorough research but start drumming up their campaigns at slightest hints of what may be remotely effective.
To get back to the point, there was only one peer reviewed scientific study done about Forskolin which was published in scientific journal. This study shown significant effects on overweight and obese men. It reduced body fat percentage and body fat mass. It also increased lean bone mass and serum testosterone levels in overweight and obese men. One should take notice that study was conducted only on men! Just one scientific study is definitely not sufficient enough to establish credibility of a supplement product.
Forskolin activates enzyme adenylyl cyclase. This enzyme is involved in transmitting chemicals signals from outside of a cell, through cell membrane to the inside of a cell. Subsequent effect is increased level of chemical messenger called cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate) or cAMP in short. cAMP is an important messenger in many biological processes. It is responsible for transfering effects of hormones like adrenaline, which can not pass through the cell membranes, to inside of the cell. Subsequently it plays role in regulation of glycogen, sugar and lipid metabolism. It is believed, because of this activation mechanism, it may be playing role in decreasing body fat and increasing lean bone mass.
Although fat reduction and lean bone mass increasing effects have not been studied that extensively, one of the well observed effects of Forskolin is that as a vasodilator and bronchodilator. It has been consistently observed to reduce blood pressure. It has been observed to be effective at reducing asthma attacks. Given this, one has to be careful, when using it as a weight loss supplement, because of you are taking blood pressure reducing medicines like calcium channel blockers or beta blockers, Forskolin will work in conjunction with those medicine and there will be an additive effect of reduction in blood pressure and it could turn out to be a serious issues. Just as high blood pressure is not good, a significant low blood pressure is not good either.
In lab studies in test-tubes an on animals it has been observed that Forskolin interactions with melanin under skin and resulting effect is that of tanning! Do not be surprised if it is claimed that the same miracle drug will loose weight, help build body and will do tanning at the same time without going to the sun !!