Forskolin for Weight Loss: A Detailed Review


Forskolin is causing quite the splash in the health and wellness community these days as everyone is talking about forskolin for weight loss. With Dr. Oz rocketing this natural herbal weight loss supplement into the media spotlight when he featured it on his popular show, it’s no wonder forskolin has everyone talking these days.

On his show, Dr. Oz called forskolin “lightning in a bottle.” He continued to say,  “It’s a miracle flower to fight fats.” Does forskolin live up to Dr. Oz’s praise or is it all overblown hype?

Anything that is a fat fighting miracle deserves a second look to see what the buzz is all about. Can forskolin be a promising weight loss tool that can help you get the body of your dreams?

What is Forskolin?

Forskolin comes from a plant in the mint family, called the coleus forskohlii or the Indian Coleus. As the name suggests, it’s native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, India, and Nepal. It has a long history of use in folk medicine in those same regions. (1)

The supplement gets its name both from the scientific name of the plant it is from and a special compound in the plant that has many beneficial effects. This compound called forskolin or “coleonol” is only found in the Indian Coleus. This compound is a labdane diterpene, or a compound that is known for its antinflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.(2)

How does Forskolin work? Does it help weight loss?

Quite simply, forskolin helps burn stored fat by creating more energy that is used to burn the fat. This can in fact help with weight loss.

How does forskolin do this?

Forskolin’s chemical properties trigger something called adenylate cyclase. This is an enzyme that regulates all cells and helps speed up the conversion of ATP into cAMP. ATP is a molecule in the body that stores energy and helps bridge the energy gap between energy-releasing reactions and energy-requiring reactions. cAMP is a secondary messenger important in many biological processes.  Essentially, this process releases more energy that the body can use to burn calories. (3)

For weight loss to happen, the body must burn more energy than it takes in. In other words there needs to be a calorie deficit. Because forskolin taps into the fat stores and burns them, it promotes extra calorie burn that make it much easier to create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss. This is great news for dieters.

Other great news for dieters: forskolin may burn fat while preserving muscle mass. Studies have shown that obese people who used forskolin saw a change in body composition that included more lean muscle mass, better bone density, and far less body fat than a control group who didn’t use forskolin. (4)

Does Forskolin actually help users lose fat?

In a trials of Forskolin, body composition of Forskolin users changed greatly. The trial followed two groups of obese men. Of the groups, one group used Forskolin and one group took a placebo pill for 12 weeks. Compared to the placebo group, the Forskolin group saw:

  • Significant decreases in body fat
  • Significant increases in lean muscle mass

The placebo group didn’t see much change.

This is important for the following 2 reasons:

  1. The change in body composition speeds up the metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat. The Mayo Clinic notes that the bodies of people “that have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.” This goes back to the calorie deficit mentioned before. If you have more muscle and are burning more calories even at rest, it is easier to create that calorie deficit that you need in order to loose weight.
  2. Changes in body composition reshape the body. Reducing fat and adding muscle helps you achieve the sexy, lean look you are working so hard to get. It’s not enough to lose the weight. If you don’t have muscle mass beneath the fat, you still won’t achieve the healthy, shapely look most of us so desire.

The results of the study indicate that “Forskolin is a possible therapeutic agent for the management and treatment of obesity.” (5)

The Benefits of Forskolin

Aside from astounding changes in body composition, forskolin has a number of other health benefits so that you will not only look great, but feel great as well. It’s no wonder forskolin has been used medicinally for years to treat a number of problems.These benefits include:

  • Better circulation
  • Widens air passages in lungs relieving asthma and bronchitis symptom
  • Relieves constipation
  • Promotes good digestion
  • Supports wound and burn healing
  • Lowers risk of osteoporosis
  • Increases bone mineral density
  • Treats some forms of heart disease
  • Reduces depression
  • Enhances immune system function
  • Stimulates testosterone production (6)

While all these benefits are interesting, the boost in testosterone production should be of interest if you are looking to lose weight and reshape your body. Studies have proven that testosterone increase muscle synthesis and growth. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. (7)

Dr. Oz and Forskolin

Dr. Oz launched forskolin into the spotlight on a 2014 episode of his famous Dr. Oz Show. He included the supplement in a segment titled rapid belly melt.

In the segment, Oz recommends forskolin to those struggling with belly fat. He likened forskolin to a furnace inside your body, burning fat from the inside. He continues to talk, demonstrating as forskolin ignites belly fat, leaving behind only lean, sexy muscle.

He recommends:

  • Starting each morning with a forskolin supplement
  • Make sure you take 125 mg of a forskolin supplement on an empty stomach
  • Be sure you are using a supplement that includes 10 percent of forskolin

You can view footage from that segment here.

Unfortunately, just as his critics condemned Dr. Oz’s recommendations of garcinia cambogia, they are speaking out against his glowing review of forskolin.

Oz’s opposition has actually brought him to court over his unadulterated recommendation of forskolin and other diet supplements. Senator Claire McCaskill in a hearing against Oz before the Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance asked, “When you have this amazing megaphone, why would you cheapen your show?”

Oz’s response, “I would give my audience the same advice I give my family, and I have given my family these products” further solidifying his endorsement of forskolin’s potential to be a very useful weight loss tool. (8)

What do real people have to say about Forskolin?

With all the controversy surrounding Dr. Oz and forskolin, perhaps its best to take a look at real user reviews.

Review One: Real user, Kimberly- Went from a size 14 to a size 8!

For the most part, I typically don’t write reviews but I felt compelled to because of the amazing results. I took the challenge from Dr. Oz to try this . All I can say is that it works! I went from 185 to 140 lbs in 4 months! Beret the catch, with no exercise! I wanted to see if it would do as they claimed it would if I did no exercise and to my surprise it did. all I can say is Buy this! One pill a day that is all I do. I take mine in the am. I went from size 14 back to a size 8. (9)

Review Two: Consumer Survey- 89% of users recommend!

According to, 89% of forskolin users experienced positive results while only 11% experienced no results at all. After investigating forskolin with their three pronged approach, the website recommends forskolin so long as you do your research first.

Review Three: Real user, Sherri- doesn’t recommend

Sherri does not recommend forskolin. According to Sherri, “If you need a good laxative this is it!” Unfortunately Sherri couldn’t use the product without suffering from its rare side effects. (10)

Forskolin Side Effects

Though forskolin is considered potentially safe when used medicinally, no dietary aid, supplement, or drug is without potential side effects. While the side effects of forskolin itself are few, there are different formulas and extraction methods used, meaning side effects can vary somewhat. Additionally, some forskolin supplements may contain added ingredients that can change the side effects.

Before buying forskolin, read the label and check for ingredients. If you question the side effects of any ingredient, do your research, and when in doubt check with a doctor or another medical professional.

Forskolin alone has the following potential side effects:

  • Flushing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Throat irritation
  • Cough
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Increased bleeding (11)

While safe for most groups of people, certain groups of people should not take forskolin. These groups include:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Anyone with heart disease
  • Those prone to low blood pressure
  • Anyone with a bleeding disorder
  • Those with kidney disease

Additionally, if you are taking any other medications, you need to check with a doctor to make sure forskolin doesn’t interact with them. Drugs that should not be taken with forskolin include but are not limited to:

  • Blood pressure medications
  • Nitrates
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelet drugs (12)

What makes forskolin different than other weight loss supplements?

If you are on the fence about trying forskolin versus another dietary supplement or weight loss aid, consider the following two points.

Forskolin is a natural, plant based supplement.

With so many Americans turning to a supplement for weight loss, it can be too easy to find a supplement full of harmful chemicals and additives. While those chemicals and additives can help you lose weight, they can also cause some very scary side effects that you don’t have to worry about when choosing a natural, plant based supplement that has been used since ancient times to treat health problems.

Forskolin can reshape your body.

Many other diet supplements help you lose weight, but forskolin actually promotes the formation of lean muscle mass. Muscle is much more dense than fat, resulting in extra inches lost as you shed the unsightly layer of fat. It does this by metabolizing fatty acids through the conversion of ATP into cAMP. This process may release fatty acids from the body’s tissues resulting in a process called thermogenesis. This process occurs when the body generates extra heat. This extra heat helps the body melt off the stored fat through burning extra calories. (13)

Forskolin FAQs

I want to buy Forskolin. What should I look for when buying?

Make sure you do your research prior to buying. Check to make sure the product you are purchasing is 100% natural without any artificial ingredients and has 20% standardized Forskolin.

How do I take Forskolin?

When you take forskolin for weight loss, it is best to take it in capsule or pill form on an empty stomach first thing in the morning as Dr. Oz recommends, and again prior to eating dinner.

How much Forskolin should I take?

Proper dosage is very important when you take forskolin. Make sure you are taking 500 mg of forskolin twice daily to optimize weight loss.

When will I see results?

A lot of when you see results depends on you. If you take forskolin while following a sensible diet like this one and exercising, you will see results sooner than if you were to remain totally sedentary and eat nothing but junk.

Is there anyone that should not take forskolin?

As always, check with a doctor prior to adding any new dietary supplement to see if it is recommended for you. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, those suffering from bleeding disorders, low blood pressure, certain heart conditions, and kidney disease should avoid taking forskolin.

How long can I take forskolin?

No studies have been done on the long term use of forskolin. However, some people choose to stay on forskolin even after they reach their weight loss goals to take advantage of the other health perks that come with taking it.

Do I need to diet and exercise to lose weight with forskolin?

Technically no. The studies conducted didn’t make the participants diet or exercise. However, a good diet and getting the recommended amount of exercise can only help you not only reach your goals faster but be healthier overall.

Must Know Tips You Need to Purchase Good Forskolin Products

Though the price of forskolin may partially drive your buying decision, you need to consider other things before your purchase. As with many products, the more labor intensive and better quality the ingredients, the better the overall quality of forskolin. Because forskolin generally isn’t expensive, you can focus your attention on what is in the product you are buying.

There are many companies that create supplements, and many of these companies are more than happy to cash in on the hype that surrounds forskolin. Many companies that claim that their products are the best use non-proven methods that are often second rate. This results in them not extracting the proper dosage, backed by research, to help with your weight loss goals. Without quality standards and proper dosing, you will not get the most benefit for your money.

Recent research has shown that forskolin has a positive effect on the breakdown of stored fats. This is without having to change your diet or exercise plan. The study used 100% Coleus Forskohlii extract for their results, found in 500 mg of Forskolin. This study helped to show that Forskolin is not only affective in weight loss, but that not using a product with the proper dosage can reduce the effectiveness of your results.

Maximizing your potential for weight loss can be easy when your Forskolin meets all the following recommendations. Make sure you can check off the following list when purchasing your Forskolin product:

  • Supply: Each bottle should supply 30 days worth of Forskolin.
  • Capsules: Each capsule should be made with 100% pure vegetarian ingredients.
  • No Fillers: Forskolin supplements should contain absolutely no fillers, additives, or binders that degrade the quality of the product.
  • Standardized Forskolin: For maximum weight loss, 20% is needed. This will help you get rid of stubborn fat.
  • Daily Dose: Forskolin products should offer a daily dose of 500mg in two 250mg capsules taken twice a day.

Though the above recommendations should be followed pretty closely, there are some other factors to consider. The following are some additional things to consider when searching for Forskolin supplements:

  • The supplement should only be manufactured in a cGMP certified facility.
  • Be wary of false “facts” that lack evidence-based research and that are meant to be deceptive.
  • Look for supplements made in approved, registered laboratories.
  • The supplement should comply with the US Pharmacopeia’s standards for purity and quality. Anything less will not necessarily be what you are looking for.

The best place to find this information out is on the label where it should be listed. If it doesn’t list all the criteria mentioned here, don’t buy it!

Where to Buy Forskolin For Weight Loss

Forskolin is readily available both online and at a number of stores including big box stores like Walmart, many drugstores, and specialty shops including The Vitamin Shoppe and GNC. Products and price will vary based on where you buy it, but you can expect to pay between 20 and 60 dollars.

With so many supplements on the market, it’s hard to wade through them all to pick the one that is the safest and most effective. Prior to buying a Forskolin product or any other diet supplement, do your due diligence. Research the manufacturer and be sure to check the label to make sure it meets the quality guidelines. Doing so will help you avoid an inferior product from a less than reputable manufacturer.

Here’s our top recommended brand:

Forskolin UltraTrim 350

Forskolin UltraTrim 350 tops our list of recommendations because it fits all our criteria. Forskolin UltraTrim 350 has the following benefits that set it above other brands:

  • made exclusively in the USA 
  • 100% all-natural ingredients
  • produced in GMP-certified laboratories

Unlike inferior brands, Forskolin UltraTrim 350 contains 20% Coleus forskohlii root extract. This is twice the fat burning power of the minimum that Dr. Oz recommended. Coleus forskohlii is the plant that was subject to the famous study that illustrated forskolin’s weight loss potential and attracted Dr. Oz’s attention.

Forskolin UltraTrim 350’s all natural formula capitalizes on the weight loss properties of forskolin by:

  • Increases hormone level– boosting thyroid hormones and testosterone boosts the metabolism
  • Promoting lean muscle mass– extra testosterone promotes muscle growth
  • Activates Protein Kinase – lowering the levels of triglycerides in the blood works with the metabolism promoting fat burn

Because Forskolin UltraTrim 350 is all natural, it avoids many of the synthetic additives that can cause dangerous or uncomfortable side effects. Brands laced with additives like caffeine or other stimulants can’t say this.

You can purchase it here.

Bottom Line: Can Forskolin help You?

Indeed, forskolin may be a powerful tool that can help you reshape your body, lose weight, and benefit your overall health. While Dr. Oz’s enthusiasm for forskolin causes skeptics to raise eyebrows, the science backs up that this supplement has the potential to help you reach your health and fitness goals.