When modern science and traditional medicine come together, it’s an exciting validation. In the case of forskolin (extract from a plant known as coleus forskohlii), we have a traditional Ayurvedic Indian herb that can not only increase memory formation via a process called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) , but also has fat burning and testosterone boosting capabilities .
Our ancestors may have used forskolin for weight loss, but more than likely used it to increase their general physical and cognitive health. Unlike many other modern testosterone boosters and fat burners of dubious quality, the initial research and evidence of forskolin looks promising.
Also Known As
Coleus forskohlii, Coleonol, 7beta-acetoxy-1alpha, 6beta, 9alpha-trihydroxy-8, 13-epoxy-labd-14-en-11-one
Editors’ Thoughts on Forskolin
This is one of the few smart drugs and supplements where I can say I’ve felt all the marketed effects. I’ve never taken forskolin by itself, but combined in CILTEP I felt the fat burning effects and the concentration benefits.
The forskolin fat burning results are probably confounded because CILTEP has many other ingredients like acetyl-L-carnitine, but I felt these effects nonetheless.
These days with all the fat burning “magic pills”, it is difficult to tell what is useful and what is snake oil. Examine is a well-respected medium of information and even they say forskolin’s research looks promising despite being incomplete. I trust their judgment on this.
Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor
For the brain, a forskolin supplement comes with benefits for focus, concentration, and even memory formation especially when combined with another ingredient (like artichoke extract). The forskolin increases cAMP  and the artichoke extract helps with PDE4 inhibition. Don’t worry about memorizing any of these scientific terms, but one of the main forskolin benefits is focus and attention.
Besides focus and concentration, forskolin may act as a potent memory enhancer. This happens because forskolin leaves have rosmarinic acid, which improves learning ability . Of course, these forskolin benefits are almost all secondary to increased fat burning and testosterone, which most people are interested in achieving.
Forskolin for Weight Loss
Aside from drinking plenty of water, consuming a healthful diet, sleeping properly, and exercising regularly, there are small tricks you can use to burn fat and lose weight even quicker. While performing all of the practices above will get you most of the benefits, forskolin for weight loss is useful as well.
Most of the forskolin studies revolve around obese individuals, but the evidence is pretty clear in favor of coleus forskohlii. One study on overweight women found that 250 mg of forskolin extract (10%) could help reduce weight gain . Men saw the same results using this dosage of forskolin over a 12 week period .
Even though forskolin seems to work for fat loss, it doesn’t have a direct influence on the metabolic rate . That means something else is at play. For men, the fat burning is accelerated by added testosterone advantages and muscle synthesis .
That doesn’t mean forskolin fat burning benefits aren’t useful for women, but the boost in testosterone may make it even more beneficial for males.
How Does Forskolin Work?
Forgive us for getting a bit scientific, but if you want to learn how forskolin works, it’s important to dig deeper into the literature. Forskolin is mostly useful because it increases levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in cells . In fact, it’s considered one of the most reliable ways of increasing cAMP and scientists utilize it to test other variables.
The increased cAMP concentrations in a cell has effects for both the brain and the body. As mentioned above, it helps with focus and concentration while providing fat burning and testosterone benefits as well.
Forskolin Side Effects
Even though this has been used by traditional Indian cultures for thousands of years, that doesn’t make it free from side effects. These days modern science allows us to create forskolin extract, which is even more powerful and creates the potential for side effects.
One of the most common forskolin side effects is increased stomach acidity. People who use coleus forskohlii often exhibit higher levels of stomach acid and anyone who has an ulcer should probably consult a doctor or avoid using the supplement .
There are also side effects of forskolin regarding interactions with substances like caffeine or ephedrine. They are considered to be synergistic because of the interaction with adenosine receptors . This side effect could be a useful fat burning and concentration stack.
Even though many products have various dosage recommendations, the standard dose is 250 mg forskolin that contains 10% extract for two servings per day. The total 500 mg daily dose is recommended though there is wide variation in the products you can purchase.
There are forskolin 125 mg pills that have 20% extract and a range of others. So long as you stay within a small range, you should be free from side effects.
How and Where to Buy Forskolin
Forskolin is a relatively common supplement and growing in popularity with the results that people see for fat burning and testosterone. Forskolin pills can be found at your local grocery or health food store, but make sure that you are buying pure forskolin extract.
The forskolin extract will either come from the leaves or the root, but the latter is far more common. Forskolin root extract doesn’t have the benefits for memory and learning like the rarer leaves do, but most people aren’t usually purchasing the supplement for that benefit.
Make sure that you purchase forskolin with the dosage in mind as well. This is one way that you can prevent yourself from taking too high (or low) of a dose and also finding a product that is most cost effective. As mentioned above, try to aim for 2 doses of 250 mg per day with around 10% forskolin extract.
As we suggested in our nootropics sex article, if you want to buy forskolin extract, our brand and recommendation of choice is California Products. The extract is standardized for 20% and comes in 250 mg capsules, which makes it a bit more than the recommended dosage.
Forskolin Reviews and Selected Community Experiences
There are many forskolin reviews online, but few of them have scientific evidence like we have provided. While Nootropedia focuses on brain enhancement and nootropic drugs, coleus forskohlii has overlap for the body and the brain. While we have few forskolin weight loss reviews, you may search online further to find them. Here are some of the selected community experiences related to this supplement.
“I've noticed in the last week or so that I feel noticeably calmer and more focused. I seem to wake up more easily and have been more productive on writing-related projects as of late.”  – grab_bag_2776
“...all I take from it now is forskolin. That is only because I have not had enough time to find a better way to up-regulate TrkB receptors. But CILTEP did NOTHING for me on its own”  – MisterYouAreSoDumb
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