Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Herb spotlight: Coleus forskohlii in the News for Its Potential Effect on Reducing Body Fat

Coleus forskohlii is an herb with a long tradition of use in the Ayurvedic tradition. In fact, Coleus is the Ayurvedic name of the herb. Some of the common Western names for this herb are blue spur flower and false boldo. The Latin name is Plectranthus barbatus.

In the Western herbal tradition its claim to fame is in supporting healthy blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. Recently there has been some interest in this herb’s effect on reducing body fat. A study in rats showed Coleus forskohlii extracts reduced body weight, food intake, and fat accumulation[1]. A small double-blind and randomized 12-week-long study concluded that Coleus forskolii mitigates weight gain but without causing any significant changes in fat mass or blood lipids. The Coleus group did report a decrease in fatigue and in hunger[2].

The active constituent in Coleus is forskolin, which increases the levels of the secondary messenger cAMP. The wide ranging effects of this include: bronchodilation, vasodilation, decreased platelet aggregation, lipolysis, a decrease in histamine release, and increased thyroid hormone secretion[3].

Coleus may be a helpful botanical addition to a diet and lifestyle plan to support health weight. However, it should be used in caution in those taking blood pressure or blood thinning medications, or with high stomach acid. Coleus should not be used in those that are pregnant or nursing.

[1] Han LK, Morimoto C, Yu RH, Okuda H. (2005). Effects of Coleus forskohlii on fat storage in ovariectomized rats. Yakugaku Zasshi. May;125(5):449-53.
[2] Henderson S, Magu B, Rasmussen C, Lancaster S, Kerksick C, Smith P, et al. (2005). Effects of coleus forskohlii supplementation on body composition and hematological profiles in mildly overweight women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. Dec 9;2:54-62.
[3] Coleus forskohlii. Monograph. [No authors listed] Altern Med Rev. 2006 Mar;11(1):47-51.

Image (c)

1 comment:

flavourtrove said...

COleus Forskolin extracts are the right medicines to reduce the extra weight of human body. You can use these medicine as a supplement when you are in diet.

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