Shown in a scientific case study to directly increase testosterone, lean body mass and bone mineral density, Coleus Forskolin is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine brought back to life in the 21st century.
Forskolin, is a chemical produced by the Indian Coleus plant, scientifically known as “Plectranthus barbatus”. It’s popularity has been increasing in the West the last few years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, including cancer treatment.
Does Coleus Forskolin Increase Testosterone?
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study performed on 30 overweight subjects for 12 weeks, produced great results for improved testosterone levels.
A “significant” increase in lean body mass was noted with a great 16.77% increase in free testosterone levels and an incredible 33.77% total T increase! (1)
Coleus Forskolin and Fat Loss
Coleus Forskolin has been shown to increase fat loss which really isn’t a surprise given the increase in testosterone and lean body mass, but it’s important to note because losing excess fat is another key to unlocking more free testosterone.
It doesn’t just appear the increase in testosterone and lean body mass are the reasons for the additional fat loss either. Coleus Forskolin has been noted to specifically increase fat loss by two different mechanisms in human case studies.
- Increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate
- Increase in hormone sensitive lipase
Coleus Forskolin and Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP)
It appears to be particularly adept at increasing cellular levels of a molecule known as “cyclic adenosine monophosphate” or cAMP.
cAMP appears to promote the breakdown of lipids (stored fats) in humans through a process called “lipolysis” and it may actually release fatty acids from adipose tissue (body fat), thus increasing thermogenesis (metabolism). (2)
This would of course result in a leaner, healthier body in addition to helping to free up any testosterone locked up in your fat tissue and unable to properly circulate.
Coleus Forskolin and Hormone Sensitive Lipase
In yet another human study showing the incredible power of Coleus Forskolin to promote fat loss, the herb was shown to stimulate the production of hormone sensitive lipase (HSL). (3)
Triglycerides stored in adipose tissue is hydrolyzed by HSL to produce free fatty acids (FFA) to be used as energy. In other words, HSL helps you burn more fat (4, 5)
Coleus Forskolin Increases HDL
HDL levels (good cholesterol) have also seen an improvement with supplementation. This is important as it not only has several positive benefits to your overall health but may directly impact testosterone levels. (6)
A crucial function of HDL is removal of excess LDL (bad cholesterol) from the body.
LDL forms plague which is fatty waxy deposits in your arteries and is a main culprit in ED (erectile dysfunction), heart attack and stroke. So you want to keep your HDL high and your LDL low.
Good cholesterol numbers have a direct impact your mood and depression. Two major impacts on testosterone levels. This is because cholesterol affects cell membrane integrity and brain neurotransmitter processing.
Coleus Forskolin Lowers Blood Pressure
Another benefit of supplementing with Coleus Forskolin is it may help to lower blood pressure. A study done in India showed a mild improvement in over 75% of the patients tested. (2)
This is at least in part, likely do to the herbs ability to cholesteryl esters. (5)
While there are probably better herbs available to specifically tackle high blood pressure, it’s a nice addition to have if you are going to take it anyway because high blood pressure can decrease testosterone.
Conclusion on Coleus Forskolin
Used for over 3,000 years in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Coleus Forskolin has been shown in human case studies to increase testosterone.
Whether it directly increases testosterone or the increase is due to it improving HDL levels, lean body mass, fat loss and cholesterol, which are all crucial factors in improving testosterone levels, is unknown.
More than likely, it’s some combination of the two but pinpointing the exact mechanisms a singular nutrient impacts the body is difficult, to say the least, and often times science gets it wrong before they get it right.
Either way, our ancient ancestors were onto something, because it works.
- Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Godard MP, Johnson BA, Richmond SR. – Link
- Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women: Shonteh Henderson, Bahrat Magu, Chris Rasmussen, Stacey Lancaster, Chad Kerksick, Penny Smith, Charlie Melton, Patty Cowan, Mike Greenwood, Conrad Earnest, Anthony Almada, Pervis Milnor, Terri Magrans, Rodney Bowden, Song Ounpraseuth, Ashli Thomas, and Richard B Kreider – Link
- Hormone-sensitive lipase expression and activity in relation to lipolysis in human fat cells. Large V, Arner P, Reynisdottir S, Grober J, Van Harmelen V, Holm C, Langin D. – Link
- Glyceroneogenesis and the Triglyceride/Fatty Acid Cycle. Lea Reshef, Yael Olswang, Hanoch Cassuto, Barak Blum, Colleen M. Croniger, Satish C. Kalhan, Shirley M. Tilghman and Richard W. Hanson – Link
- Hormone-sensitive lipase control of intracellular tri-(di-)acylglycerol and cholesteryl ester hydrolysis. Fredric B. Kraemer and Wen-Jun Shen – Link
- Clinical efficacy of Coleus forskohlii (Willd.) Briq. (Makandi) in hypertension of geriatric population. Jagtap M, Chandola HM, Ravishankar B. – Link