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The all-in-one fix for all of your needs. That’s what forskolin tries to be. It has been used for hundreds of years to treat and cure anything from seasonal allergies to eczema to irritable bowel syndrome and even urinary tract infections. But can it help you lose that extra unwanted weight? And is there any evidence for its other uses?
First, forskolin is used as a medicine by doctors. It may be given through IVs for patients in heart failure or it can even be inhaled by patients with asthma. More recently, it is being studied in the form of eye drops to treat glaucoma.
Because it is prescribed, you shouldn’t use forskolin in any of these manners without the supervision of your doctor. But it is exciting to think that there may be a more natural solution for these ailments.
However, it is also important to remember that forskolin acts as a blood thinner. This means, if you are already taking a blood thinner, you shouldn’t take forskolin. Also, if you are at risk for needing emergency surgical procedures (have a history of heart attack or stroke) you shouldn’t take forskolin unless prescribed by your doctor.
In general, it is only recommended that healthy individuals without any diagnoses (diabetes, coronary heart disease, etc.) consider taking forskolin as a weight loss supplement.
So if you don’t have any health contraindications and you just want to lose a few extra stubborn pounds, will it work? The answer: maybe. It actually appears to work better for men than it does for women. One study found that men who took 250mg of 10% extract twice a day for 12 weeks had dramatic weight loss, increased bone mass, and improved testosterone levels. Who could ask for more?
However, a similar study with women didn’t have equally phenomenal results. The forskolin supplements didn’t help them lose weight, but it did help them to stay at their current weight. This is still exciting news because you always need an exit strategy for your supplements and diet plans- the lifestyle you’ll actually have once you’re done losing weight and just need to maintain.
Forskolin can be a great option for women to help them keep their gains. It’s not too demanding of your schedule and it can be relatively inexpensive, too!
So how does it work? Studies have shown a lot of complicated cellular science. The most important thing is that researchers found that forskolin actually helps to breakdown fat in fat cells. This process often occurs when you’re dieting and exercising. Your body needs to mobilize the energy it has stored in your fat cells. Essentially, forskolin can give your regimen an extra boost!
But how much should you take? Most studies conducted recommend 250mg per day. However, if your doctor is prescribing forskolin for purposes like blood pressure management you should expect a much lower dosage. For instance, most doctors recommend 50 mg of an 18% extract three times a day to manage blood pressure.
Now this doesn’t mean that if your doctor prescribes forskolin in a lower dosage that you won’t see results. However, it is important to stick with your doctor’s recommendations if you’re being prescribed it medicinally. Conversely, if you are someone who does not have contraindications and are not taking it as a prescription, 250mg should be fine to start. You may need to lower the dosage, though, if you begin to experience side effects such as headaches and upset stomach.
Which brings us to the potential side effects. While taking forskolin, you may experience hypotesion, which is low blood pressure. You may feel dizzy when you stand up or generally feel weak and tired throughout the day. You may also experience tachycardia, which is a rapid heart rate. If you are healthy, this isn’t much of a heath concern as it should subside; however, it can be frightening at first.
Forskolin has also been known to increase stomach acid, which can leave you feeling sick. If you have any of these symptoms, you should cut back on your dosage. Again, I have to reiterate that you shouldn’t take this supplement if you already have trouble with your blood pressure, heart rate, or if you have stomach ulcers. Forskolin can also have a bad interaction with the medicines you are already taking. A hospital stay doesn’t help anyone’s health so find a different weight loss avenue. If you do not have these conditions, though, just listen to your body to find what amount works for you.
Yes, we’ve all wanted miracle patches that can help us lose weight, but often wraps leave us wanting for a truly effective option. Well there is finally some good news on that front! A study found that women who used an ointment with forskolin, yohimbine, and aminophylline actually lost fat on their thighs (as was the objective).
We’ve all had stubborn spots on our bodies that we wish could magically go away. And this is pretty close. However, the regimen might be hard to maintain. They did it for 4 weeks, 5 days per week. They had to soak in a warm hypertonic bath first (essentially salt water to slightly dehydrate the skin) before putting on the ointment, which the skin then readily absorbed.
The best part is, the participants weren’t asked to change their current workout management or diet. Part of the problem with most weight loss studies is that the participants change their lifestyles, so it’s hard to tell what caused the results. With this study it was very clear, and very exciting. Although more studies need to be done to confirm these results.
Sadly, due to its newness, the forskolin ointment really isn’t commercially available yet. Although, we suppose you can make your own. However, for user reviews we had to stick with the supplement pills. But it had some pretty good news to share, too.
There are many different brands and companies out there offering forskolin. However, on average, users give forskolin a 3.4 out of 5 stars. For one average product, 49% of users gave the supplement 5 out of 5 stars, 20% gave 4, 7% gave 3, 5% gave 2, and 19% gave 1 star. One of the main complaints of the users was that the supplement put them in the hospital.
You may be wondering why we are even talking about a product if it is dangerous. Well, it isn’t dangerous as long as you are not trying to take it as self-prescribed medication. Many of these users had high blood pressure and wanted to lower it, only the product made their blood pressure too low. Again, your doctor will probably prescribe lower dosages to be taken throughout the day, so it’s no surprise that they experienced these results when taking a large dose all at once.
Forskolin, and really any weight loss supplement, should only be used by healthy individuals without cardiac diagnoses that want to lose a few extra pounds. If you have a diagnosis, talk to your doctor first to avoid all of this trouble.
Now there are some more highly rated forskolin products out there. Look for ones who have at least 20 reviews because some only have 1 or 2 and that really doesn’t tell you much. For instance, we found one with 22 responses that received a 4.8 out of 5 rating. 73% of users gave the product a 5 out of 5 stars and 27% gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. Not bad at all. Even the ones who gave the product a score of 4 said that it worked for them, just not as well as they had hoped. In general, not every forskolin supplement is made equal. Find a company with good reviews before you invest.
We give forskolin a 4 out of 5 stars. The product is readily available. Even the higher rated products tend to be cost effective. It fits easily into your lifestyle and routine because you should only take it once or twice per day (depending on the dosage amount you choose). It has some great health benefits for men because it allows them to lose weight and it is good for women who want to maintain their weight (potentially after they just worked really hard to drop those few extra pounds).
It is also the first product that could actually help spot reduce through topical use. The only downside is that a lot of research is still being conducted. Everything out right now is positive, but more studies still need to be done to confirm that all of these results are real. Once they hopefully do, this product will bump up to a 4.5 out of 5 stars. We reserve the last .5 because it does have limitations as to who can use it. Also, we would like for a reputable company to step forward and guarantee consistency of the product.
A lot of smaller supplement companies change their products all the time. We want to be able to recommend one specifically to you. For now, look for one with a high user rating. If you are someone who does not have contraindications to the supplement, this can really be a good choice for you.
John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry! You can contact him via the "About Us" page.