Forskolin Supplement Review

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  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Weight loss
0 (Effectiveness Unclear)
Heart Failure
-1 (Possibly Ineffective)
-1 (Possibly Ineffective)


  • Forskolin is a member of the mint family. It has been used since ancient times to treat heart and respiratory disorders, such as asthma and heart failure.
  • Forskolin is thought to decrease body fat and to increase bone mass along with free testosterone levels in overweight men, so it may help treat obesity. Overweight men who used it for 12 weeks saw improvements in body composition and lean mass with no reported side effects.
  • Forskolin may improve breathing in patients with asthma when inhaled straight into the lungs.
  • When given intravenously, forskolin appears to help treat heart failure due to a specific heart problem called idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy.


  • Because forskolin interacts with many medications, it must be used cautiously in those on medications for diabetes, heart disease, thyroid conditions, depression, high blood pressure, and arthritis or other painful conditions. Certain people are allergic to forskolin.
  • Forskolin has the potential to cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in patients on selected diabetes medications. An associated compound, called colenol, stimulates insulin release to further increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
  • Forskolin may increase heart rate, and may also diminish the therapeutic effect of certain medications that reduce heart rate. Therefore, patients taking medicines to regulate their heart rate should not use forskolin.
  • Although few significant risks are noted in the studies we evaluated, the safety of Coleus forskohlii and forskolin is not fully understood.

Women should not use this product. Forskolin may increase the risk of bleeding, so it should not be taken by patients on coumadin.

CONCLUSION:We do not recommend taking this product.

“Forskolin.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Forskolin.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Henderson, S. et al. Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2005) 2(2): 54-62
Godard, M. et al. Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men. Obesity Research (2008) 13(8): 1335-1343

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