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Forskolin Weight Loss Supplement Might Not Benefit Women

Tim Boyer's picture
forskolin weight loss supplement for women

A recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show focused on how that you can make your “belfie” more photogenic by following his belly fat melting diet recommendations that include a controversial supplement containing the herbal extract forskolin. Dr. Oz’s recommendation of the supplement is supported by a 2005 study that is now available free online for the public to read and consider. However, a different study indicates that women may actually gain weight while on a forskolin supplement.


Forskolin Weight Loss Supplement and Women

Forskolin is an extract from the roots of the Coleus forskohlii plant and is a relative of the mint family of plants. It grows wild in nature in warm subtropical temperate regions such as India, Burma, and Thailand. While investigated initially for its beneficial cardiac properties, researchers in the aforementioned paper turned to look at its potential weight loss properties due to 4 preliminary studies that demonstrated forskolin being suspected of encouraging significant weight loss without loss of lean muscle.

Chemically identified as a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) compound, forskolin was found to cause the production of an active form of a hormone-sensitive lipase in the body. The significance of this is that hormone-sensitive lipase is believed to cause the release of fat stores in the body that can then be burned off for energy through a person’s natural metabolism.

One of the problems of losing weight by burning off fat through any number of means and diets, is that sometimes the total weight loss is also due to an unfavorable and undesired loss of lean muscle mass. According to the author of the 2005 study, the presence of testosterone is an important factor in maintaining lean muscle.

What makes this significant is that Dr. Oz briefly mentioned that weight loss with forskolin does not result in loss of lean muscle and actually increases bone mass—a potential boon for women in particular who suffer from osteoporosis and weight gain following menopause.

In fact, the results of the 2005 study indicate that lean muscle is at least maintained, while bone mass significantly increases during weight loss attributed to taking a 250 milligram forskolin supplement twice a day. The results were tabulated from a study population consisting of 30 overweight/obese men, 15 of which were randomly assigned to receive forskolin supplementation for the 12-weeks while the remaining 15 men were given a placebo.

The final results of the study state that:

1. The forskolin group showed a significant decrease in body fat percent from baseline, whereas the placebo group did not.

2. Fat mass decreased significantly in the forskolin group, whereas in the placebo group it did not.

3. Lean body mass increased in both groups.

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4. There were no significant differences in the actual change in body weight from pre- to post-measurements between the groups, but the forskolin group lost some weight overall while the placebo group gained weight overall.

5. A significant increase in total testosterone was found within the forskolin group that was not observed in the placebo group.

6. Bone mass increased significantly in the forskolin group, but not in the placebo group.

The conclusion reached by the authors in a free online paper states, “The results of this study show that forskolin promotes favorable changes in body composition by significantly decreasing percentage body fat and fat mass and increasing bone mass.”

One problem, however, is that there are some warnings about the health risks of taking forskolin that cautions that forskolin may promote cyst enlargement in patients with polycystic kidney disease.

Furthermore, at least one source points out that while the results may be favorable for obese and overweight men, it might not work for women. In a separate study also published in 2005 and available free online that investigated the effects of forskolin on 23 female subjects, the researchers found that their results suggest that forskolin does not appear to promote weight loss― but in fact, actually promotes weight gain in overweight females.

While the medical jury is still in deliberation over whether forskolin really does have any true weight loss properties for helping with weight loss and removing belly fat for a better “Belfie,” Dr. Oz does provide a number of other fat burning tips that can slim your belly down for the summer.

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket


Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese MenObesity Research Vol. 13, Issue 8, pages 1335–1343, August 2005

Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight WomenJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Dec. 2005; 2(2): 54–62.



I just bought forskolin. Now I'm having doughts about using it. I read that it does not help women. But then i read it does. I dont know what to do . Send it back or try it?????
Well you have already bought it might as well try it. I'm going to try it myself
Have you continued using it? Do you notice any changes? I just bought mine so I'd really like some good news on this. I'm 5'4" and 132lbs, 29 year old female. I've been trying to lose 10 lbs for quite a while now. I hope this works.
I bought the product have been using it for about 2 months now, and have not really been working out our anything. I have to say I really notice a change in my belly area. My jeans are not snug like they use to be. I lost about 15#s. But mostly my clothes are alot looser then what they were. Feeling pretty good.
Doughts?? This must be the sad result of the US school system. I DOUBT you were paying attention in English class.
Seriously??? Have you NEVER had a typo??? Dang some people need a life...
Does not work in women! After 4mo, didn't see any change at all. I Do not recommend product for women. Save your money!
I tried Forskolin to help lose 20 pounds and after only 3 weeks taking as recommended I had gained 10 pounds mostly in my belly! I did not change anything about my diet but almost overnight I became very 'thick' around the middle and my belly has always been flat. My problem areas have been thighs and buttocks. I will definitely never use this product again.
I'm concerned about this prouduct, I have taken 4 days now and have gained three pounds , and eating less think going to stop today I don't want to gain weight
Well this product is to reduce fat on stomach, not around thighs or buttocks. I read up on it. I am now trying it and I believe it works for the right reason.
The product added weight and girth to my belly not to my thighs or buttocks and it certainly did not burn fat or reduce belly size at all only increased belly fat. Since stopping the use of Forskolin a month ago I have lost the belly fat that was gained while taking Forskolin. Might work on male belly fat but it definitely did not reduce this woman's belly fat.
I really want to try forskolin I can not get in my country to purchase. did it work and can someone help me to source it?
I have some in stock. What country do you live in?
I started it 4 days ago. My pulse went from 70 or 75 to 94 upon waking up. Not sure this is good for the heart. I haven't weighed myself yet Quote from WebMd: "Forskolin works on muscles in the heart and in the walls of the blood vessels. It produces a more powerful heartbeat and widening of the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure."
What if you are taking blood pressure and other medications, is it safe to take forskolin?
I started this a week ago and have gained 3.5 pounds ... Yet I've actually cut back my eating (in a proper, healthy way, quite significantly. I wanted to lose 15 pounds - now I'm closer to needing 20! Aaaaahhhhh!!!!!
Exactly happened to me. I'd like to know if you continued taking it and started to lose weight ?
Only looking to shed 5 lbs and I feel bigger in the mid section than ever after a month of taking Forskolin...not happy. I will discontinue use of this product after today.
Does forskolin target breast tissue? I do not want to take it if it will decrease my breast size.
Ok, i try to use this Forskolin for 2 weeks now and I gain 2 lbs for 2 weeks. Now, i need to stop it. So, disappointed.
I've taken the product for three days now, and have gained five pounds. For the money I spent on it, this is a HUGE disappointment. I was starting a new job and wanted to shed ten pounds. Well. So much for that. Now I have fifteen to shed.
I was so excited to start using this product to shed 30 lbs. I've taken as directed for one week and have had my appetite suppressed and def eating less but have gained 7 lbs. Now I need to lose 40 lbs. Going the wrong way with this. I can't afford to gain weight and will discontinue. Very disappointed!
I have been taking Forskolin for about 3 weeks, I also started attending the gym 2-3 times a week and have lost 10lbs. I am very pleased with the results and very excited to see what is to come.
My husband and I started at the same time 2 weeks ago and we have both gained 5 pound. As of last night we decided no more, gaining weight fast.
First lets take a look at this article and what it states. 1. Increase in testosterone. This right here should give women a question mark on if they want to use it or not. 2. Increase in lean muscle mass and bone mass. For all the comments that are connecting weight gain with fat really have no clue what they are talking about, An increase is bone and muscle mass will make you gain weight. As muscle weight gains and you living healthy fat will eventually shrink, lowering your weight. However, gaining more muscle than the fat you loose will make you gain weight even if you drop body fat percentage. You need to step off the scale and focus on your BF%, not the weight.
Can I give forskloin to my 13 year old daughter