Forskolin Health Benefits
Forskolin health benefits include an ability to raise testosterone levels and enhance sexual function as well as assisting in treatment of erectile dysfunction. Extracts of forskolin are derived from the roots of the plant Coleus forskohlii, which is valued in Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of various health problems.
Among the forskolin health benefits under scrutiny is its ability to help with weight loss. While investigators were exploring the use of forskolin for overweight men, they also found that the herb led to a significant increase in free testosterone levels compared with placebo. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial included overweight men, half of whom received 250 mg daily of forskolin and half of whom took a placebo. After 12 weeks, men in the forskolin group had greater fat loss and increased lean body mass and bone mass than men in the placebo group. They also experienced a significant increase in free testosterone levels. This finding has led some men to take forskolin to enhance sexual function. However, no scientific studies have been conducted for this purpose nor can establish this as one of forskolin health benefits.
A potential use for forskolin may be for glaucoma. At Tufts Medical Center, researchers found that eyedrops made from forskolin lowered intraocular pressure. (Meyer 1987) Elevated intraocular pressure is the main sign of glaucoma, an eye disease that can result in blindness. More recent research has suggested forskolin, along with the phytonutrient rutin, is helpful in treating glaucoma. (Vetrugno 2012)
How to Use Forskolin
Forskolin root extract should be standardized to contain 10% forskolin. Men who want to explore forskolin health benefits should consult their healthcare provider before starting supplementation.
Godard MP et al. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res 2005 Aug; 13(8):1335-43.
Meyer BH et al. The effects of forskolin eye drops on intraocular pressure. S Afr Med J. 1987;71:570-571.
Vetrugno M et al. Oral administration of forskolin and rutin contributes to intraocular pressure control in primary open angle glaucoma patients under maximum tolerated medical therapy. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2012 Oct;28(5):536-41