Forskolin side effects and health benefit

Coleus forskohli is an important traditional Ayurvedic herb that has been a part of Indian medicine for centuries. In the 1970s, researchers isolated a chemically active ingredient in the herb and called it forskolin. Now available in supplement form, this extract has been tested in a number of conditions.

Purchase Forskolin extract supplement - Coleus Forskohlii extract, 60 Capsules


Forskolin extract is produced from the root of coleus forskohlii, an ancient Ayurvedic plant. Coleus is the source of a unique substance known as forskolin. Modern extraction and analytical techniques are used to produce the highest quality forskolin extract available. Each batch of coleus forskohlii extract is analyzed and guaranteed to contain a minimum of 18% forskolin.

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Mechanism of action
Forskolin is a diterpene from the roots of the Indian plant Coleus forskohli which directly activates the adenylate cyclase and raises cyclic AMP levels in a variety of tissues.
Cyclic AMP is an important cell regulating compound. Once formed it activates many other enzymes involved in diverse cellular functions. Under normal situations cAMP is formed when a stimulatory hormone (e.g., epinephrine) binds to a receptor site on the cell membrane and stimulates the activation of adenylate cyclase. This enzyme is incorporated into all cellular membranes and only the specificity of the receptor determines which hormone will activate it in a particular cell. Forskolin appears to bypass this need for direct hormonal activation of adenylate cyclase. As a result of this direct activation of adenylate cyclase, intracellular cAMP levels rise. The physiological and biochemical effects of a raised intracellular cAMP level include: inhibition of platelet activation; inhibition of mast cell degranulation and histamine release; increased force of contraction of heart muscle; relaxation of the arteries and other smooth muscles; increased insulin secretion; and increased thyroid function.

Forskolin side effects
Not enough human research is available to determine forskolin side effects. Since it is relatively new over the counter, it is a good idea to limit to one capsule or tablet a day and to take 2 days off each week in order to minimize potential adverse reactions.

Forskolin benefits
Over the years studies have shown that forskolin is a platelet aggregation inhibitor, relaxes vascular smooth muscle, decrease intraocular pressure due to glaucoma, and has anti-allergy potential since it inhibits IgE-mediated release of histamine and peptide leukotriene from human basophils and mast cells. Forskolin has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of cancer metastasis in mice injected with malignant cells.
   In a study of forskolin in psychiatry, researchers gave intravenous forskolin to four depressed and five schizophrenic patients. All four depressed patients showed a transient mood elevation or stimulation, as did two of the five schizophrenic patients.

Forskolin ocular drops have been used to decrease intraocular pressure due to glaucoma
Forskolin may be beneficial as a bronchodilator and anti-allergy agent.
May reduce blood pressure.
Forskolin is a United States Food and Drug Administration nonapproved vasoactive agent that acts in synergism with prostaglandin E1 to induce smooth muscle relaxation. In combination with other vasoactive agents, forskolin has demonstrated preliminary safety and efficacy in patients with vascular impotence.

Forskolin and urinary tract infections
Duke University microbiologist Dr. Soman N. Abraham found that many E. coli bacteria (the ones responsible for a large number of bladder infections) hide in cells lining the bladder, out of reach of antibiotics. However, when the researchers injected forskolin ( an extract from the herb coleus forskohlii) directly into the bladder or intravenously, it appeared to expel the majority of "hiding" E. coli, thus exposing them to the antibiotics. This is important in order to prevent recurrent cystitis when the bacteria come out of hiding and cause another infection shortly after the first one is treated.
   Comments: Whether forskolin supplements taken orally help individuals with bladder infections is not clear at this time. Even if forskolin works in humans, we still need research to find out the ideal dosage, when to take it (before, during, or after antibiotic treatment) and how long to take it for.

Enzymatic Therapy - Coleus Forskohlii Extract, 60 Capsules
Coleus Forskohlii Extract is produced from the root of Coleus forskohlii, an ancient Ayurvedic plant. Coleus is the source of a unique substance known as forskolin.  Modern extraction and analytical techniques are used to produce the highest quality extract available. Each batch of Coleus Forskohlii Extract is analyzed and guaranteed to contain a minimum of 18% forskolin.

Dosage
Forskolin is available over the counter in pills and liquid in a variety of dosages—most commonly 50 mg herbal extract providing 9 mg forskolin--however research is limited on the appropriate dosages for different conditions. The forskolin content of Coleus root is typically 0.2% to 0.3%, therefore the forskolin content of crude coleus products may not be sufficient to produce a pharmacological effect. It is best to use standardized extracts which have concentrated it.

Aphrodisiac properties
One study evaluated the role of forskolin as an injection into the corpus cavernosum of the penis. In many cases there was improvement in rigidity and/or erection. It is not clear whether this extract is useful for male or Female Impotence.
Mulhall JP, et al. Intracavernosal forskolin: role in management of vasculogenic impotence resistant to standard 3-agent pharmacotherapy. J Urol 1997.

Effect on skin
Forskolin protects keratinocytes from UVB-induced apoptosis and increases DNA repair independent of its effects on melanogenesis.
J Invest Dermatol. 2009. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892,
Melanin pigments provide efficient protection against ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation but DNA repair also plays a key role in eliminating UV-induced damage and preventing the development of skin cancers. In this study, we demonstrate that forskolin, an agent that increases intracellular levels of cAMP, protects keratinocytes from UVB-induced apoptosis independently from the amount of melanin in the skin. FSK enhances the removal of the two major types of UVB-induced DNA damage, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 6,4-photoproducts, by facilitating DNA repair. These findings suggest new preventive approaches with topical formulations of FSK or other bioactive agents that could be applied to the skin before sun exposure to increase its ability to repair DNA damage.

I have very fair skin and I have been trying to get a safe, protective tan since I was a teenager.  I read about Dr David Fisher's study with forksolin, which lead me to your webpage and your forksolin capsules. Is there currently a known way to take forksolin orally or apply forksolin topically to get tan? I would like to try it. I am assuming your forksolin capsules are not for tanning and don't produce a tan, but is there a way to get forksolin in the form needed to tan?
    We have not studied the topical application of this substance and are not aware of nutritional substances that used orally help with tanning. But we will keep this in mind when we review future research on this topic.

Q. Do you know of coleus forskohlii or forskolin having an effect on the color of the skin, either darkening it or lightening it.
   A. We are not aware of coleus forskohlii or forskolin having an effect in skin pigment.

Brain Study
Bersudsky Y. A preliminary study of possible psychoactive effects of intravenous forskolin in depressed and schizophrenic patients. Short communication. J Neural Transm 1996.

Forskolin dietary pill interactions
Q. Are there any known reactions to the use of forskolin when a person is on prescription drugs? I saw Duke university report on  forskolin and am interested in the product.
   A. There have hardly been any human studies with forskolin from coleus forskohlii, therefore we don't know what kind of interactions there could be when this herb or it's extract is combined with prescription medicines.

Does tribulus extract interact with forskolin supplements in a negative way?
    Not if used in small dosages.