Forskolin is extracted from the plant Coleus forskolii. Forskolin is an interesting supplement as it is marketed for use both as a fat burner and muscle builder. It can be found in fat burners, testosterone boosters, and other muscle building supplements. One study examining the effect of forskolin supplementation on overweight and obese men demonstrated the body composition altering effects of forskolin.
30 overweight or obese men took either 250 mg of a 10% forskolin extract twice daily or a placebo supplement. After 12 weeks of supplementation, it was found that the group using forskolin had a body composition that as improved over the placebo group. In comparison to the placebo group, the group using forskolin lost more body fat and also gained more muscle at the same time! In addition, the group using forskolin had increased free testosterone levels and increased bone mass. The increase in free testosterone was not huge, but still significant enough to be a benefit of forskolin.
The researchers concluded from the results that forskolin may have use in treating obesity. The effects seen in the overweight subjects in this study are likely to occur in lean individuals as well, which means that forskolin may be an effective sports supplement both for enhancing performance by increasing muscle mass and for helping an athlete attain a low level of body fat.
Godard MP, Johnson BA, & Richmond SR. (2005). Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obesity Research. 13(8), 1335-43.
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