What Is Coleus Forskolin (Forskohlii)?
Forskolin is a chemical in the root of the Coleus Forskohlii plant which was developed over 3,000 years ago and traditionally used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine.
What did the ancients know that our modern scientists are just now starting to reveal in Western society?
Coleus Forskolin Boosts Testosterone
There has been a direct correlation between Coleus Forskolin and increased testosterone levels in human case studies.
A double blind, randomized, 12 week case study on 30 overweight men supplementing with 250 mg of 10% forskolin extract twice a day (25 mg actual Forskolin) showed an increase in both free testosterone (16.77%) and total testosterone levels (33.77%). (1)
It was also shown in that same study to improve lean body mass and bone mineral density.
Important Note: Forskolin has only been proven to boost testosterone in obese men. The herb did not show any positive T-Boosting effects in studies on men within normal weight ranges.
Coleus Forskolin Burns Fat
Coleus Forskolin is a potent fat burner so it’s not surprising that free testosterone levels increased in the above-mentioned study because fat actually locks up and stores your testosterone.
When you burn fat you unlock your testosterone to making it “free” to build muscle and increase strength.
The 2 primary ways Forskolin helps burn fat is by increasing cAMP and HSL.
Coleus Forskolin Increases cAMP and HSL
Forskolin activates cellular levels of a molecule called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, showed that elevated cAMP levels have been associated with increased fat loss and can also promote the effects of other fat burning compounds. (2)
Other studies have shown coleus forskolin has the ability to stimulate the production of (HSL) or hormone sensitive lipase. (3)
HSL can help the body to better use fat as energy thereby increasing your daily fat burn. (4)
Coleus Forskolin Improves HDL Levels
Coleus Forskolin has also been shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels. (5).
One of the main functions of HDL is helping your body remove excess LDL (bad cholesterol) particles.
LDL leads to formation of fatty, waxy deposits called plaque within the arteries which can cause a wide range of serious health issues including heart attacks, erectile dysfunction, and strokes.
Healthy cholesterol levels are also linked to cell membrane integrity and the processing of brain neurotransmitters which plays a role in depression and mood, two key elements in maximizing healthy testosterone levels as they are directly related to stress.
The important note here is that the better your cholesterol profile is, the better your testosterone profile will be. This herb can help you improve your cholesterol profile.
Coleus Forskolin Lowers Blood Pressure
Another great benefit to this herb is its ability to help lower blood pressure as high blood pressure can send your testosterone levels tanking.
While the results were not dramatic in the decrease, over 75% of patients tested in a human case study did see a mild improvement in their blood pressure. (2)
The ability to lower blood pressure probably comes from its ability to increase HSL which is know to catalyze the hydrolysis of cholesteryl esters (dietary lipids). (6)
If there was only one natural herb you took to help lower your blood pressure, this would not be it. But as an added benefit to an already powerful testosterone booster and fat burner, it is great to have!
How to Supplement with Coleus Forskolin
This herb, can come in many different potencies so you need to trust the company you are buying it from.
I’ve seen supplement companies selling 500 mg of forskohlii but at just a 1% potency meaning you are only getting 5 mg of actual forskolin out of that 500 mg.
Most companies offer between 10 – 20% potency.
In other words if you are taking 200 mg of at 20% potency, you would be getting 40 mg of actual forskolin. If you are taking 200 mg at 10% potency you are getting 20 mg of forskolin.
There is no perceivable difference in quality between 10% and 20%. You just have to take less of a total dose at 20% so most people prefer that.
I recommend you get between 30 – 50 mg of actual forskolin daily to maximize your testosterone however there are much better supplements for men who are not obese.
What To Know What Works Better?
Find more foods and supplements to increase your T-levels in our article Best Testosterone Boosters
- Godard, M.P., B.A. Johnson, and S.R. Richmond, Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res, 2005. 13(8): p. 1335-43. – Link
- Henderson, S., Magu, B., Rasmussen, C., Lancaster, S., Kerksick, C., Smith, P., . . . Kreider, R. B. (2005). Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2(2), 54. – Link
- Large, V., Arner, P., Reynisdottir, S., Grober, J., Van, V., Holm, C., & Langin, D. (1998, August). Hormone-sensitive lipase expression and activity in relation to lipolysis in human fat cells. – Link
- Reshef, L., Olswang, Y., Cassuto, H., Blum, B., Croniger, C. M., Kalhan, S. C., . . . Hanson, R. W. (2003). Glyceroneogenesis and the Triglyceride/Fatty Acid Cycle. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278(33), 30413-30416. – Link
- Jagtap, M., H.M. Chandola, and B. Ravishankar, Clinical efficacy of Coleus forskohlii (Willd.) Briq. (Makandi) in hypertension of geriatric population. Ayu, 2011. 32(1): p. 59-65. – Link
- Kraemer, Fredric B., and Wen-Jun Shen. “Hormone-sensitive Lipase.” Journal of Lipid Research 43, no. 10 (2002): 1585-594. – Link