Monday, March 19, 2012

Forskolin: No Reliable Human Data for Weight Loss

Last week, Dr. Oz introduced Forskolin (aka Coleus forskohlii) as a supplement useful for weight loss.  My research into Forskolin reveals that supplement marketer claims related to its usefulness in controlling weight and treating obesity are derived from the study quoted below. It is the only known human study of Forskolin for this indication and as you may note below it was deemed an advertisement.

Forskolin has been used in Ayurveda medicine for many years to treat far more serious conditions and I highly caution against using it for weight loss unless further valid studies are completed.  Note that the study below was done in 2005 and no further studies were either attempted and/or deemed suitable for publication thereafter. That is a major red flag.

Obesity Research (2005) 13, 1335–1343; doi: 10.1038/oby.2005.162Body  

Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men

Michael P. Godard*, Brad A. Johnson* and Scott R. Richmond*
*Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Applied Physiology Laboratory, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Correspondence: Michael Godard, University of Kansas, Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Applied Physiology Laboratory, 1301 Sunnyside Avenue, 101DJ Robinson Center, Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail:
**The costs of publication of this article were defrayed, in part, by the payment of page charges. This article must, therefore, be hereby marked "advertisement" [bold added for emphasis] in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Received 21 September 2004; Accepted 25 May 2005. 

I think it is cruel for Dr. Oz to tell an overweight woman who bravely exposes her belly on national television because she thinks Dr. Oz will help and not exploit her, that Forskolin will solve her weight problem.

He followed that up with a second overweight women who started tearing about her exposed image also up on the screen for all to see, and then recommended Caraway seeds, which also don't have any conclusive evidence to support use for bloating as he claimed.

I find this cruel beyond words for Dr. Oz to do such things and make such recommendation to vulnerable women desperately seeking solutions to their serious problems.

Please let him know your indignation so he is less careless with his future pronouncements.

Addendum: I tried contacting author of study and the email bounced.

Upon furthre research, I found a second study actually disproving the weight loss effects of Forkskolin. See conclusion noted below (from abstract).

Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women
Shonteh Henderson,1 Bahrat Magu,1 Chris Rasmussen,1 Stacey Lancaster,1 Chad Kerksick,1 Penny Smith,1 Charlie Melton,1 Patty Cowan,1 Mike Greenwood,1 Conrad Earnest,1 Anthony Almada,1 Pervis Milnor,1 Terri Magrans,1 Rodney Bowden,1 Song Ounpraseuth,1 Ashli Thomas,1 and Richard B Kreidercorresponding author1
1Exercise & Sport Nutrition Laboratory, Baylor University, Waco, TX
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Richard B Kreider:
Received August 31, 2005; Accepted November 1, 2005.

Results suggest that CF does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinically significant side effects.


  1. Does a quick weight loss and a healthy weight loss mean one and the same thing to an individual? Or are there any differences between the two? Is there actually an either/or situation that applies here? In the real world, people are led to believe that only one of the two given options is feasible, and not both at the same time. The truth remains that when the matter is of losing weight,most of us want quick and noticeable results in a short time

    intrakid reviews

  2. Interesting post about Forskolin: No Reliable Human Data for Weight Loss
    Thanks for the info!

  3. I read a review about one of the many forskolin supplements and what i am using now. Forskolin Fuel helps me reduce weight in just a week and after a month i can really see the difference in my belly and legs parts. I can really guarantee it is effective.

  4. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Plan to Help Dieters Lose 23 Pounds within Just 21 Days!