Now, don’t get discouraged. While forskolin may not be the miracle weight loss drug many are looking for, it does have several benefits that are supported by scientific evidence.
1. Helps Manage Weight in Overweight/Obese People
As I mentioned, forskolin does have promising results in its ability to prevent weight gain in already overweight or obese people. Used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, it can be used to help manage a healthy weight.
Another study supporting it for weight management was conducted on a topical slimming product in 2011. The product contained tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, caffeine, carnitine, forskolin and retinol. After 12 weeks, circumference of all treated areas (including waist, hips, buttocks and abdomen) had decreased, and the appearance of cellulite decreased significantly by week eight. While this does not directly affect fat mass, it may be worth mentioning for those who are concerned about the physical appearance of body fat. (4)
2. May Be Effective as Part of a Treatment for Cancer
Forskolin activates protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A), an enzyme that causes rapid rates of cell division. A study in 2011 at the University of Madrid found that forskolin’s activation of the PP2A enzyme had anti-tumor effects on rectal cancer tumors, stopping their growth. The results of this study indicate that, depending on the type of rectal cancer a patient has, forskolin may have positive effects on slowing or stopping tumor growth. (5)
Researchers also discovered that forskolin has the ability to cause apoptosis (cell death) in multiple myeloma cancer cells. Additionally, when taken with common (and dangerous) chemotherapy drugs, it reduced the side effects caused by the treatments. (6)
3. Reduces High Blood Pressure
One of forskolin’s most ancient uses is to treat heart conditions, such as hypertension. A study done in India found Coleus forskohlii extract to effectively reduce blood pressure in more than 75 percent of the patients tested. (7) This power against high blood pressure probably contributes to forskolin’s accepted use in improving heart health.
It’s possible to naturally reduce high blood pressure symptoms, and forskolin may be one piece of that puzzle. My recommendation to those suffering from high blood pressure is to reduce intake of foods that make blood pressure higher (such as alcohol, sugar, high-sodium foods and caffeine), start eating foods proven to lower blood pressure (the Mediterranean diet, high-potassium foods, tea, dark chocolate and more), and use other natural blood pressure-lowering methods. There are several supplements and essential oils that have a positive impact in reducing high blood pressure, and regular exercise and stress reduction also play a large part.