The market of dietary supplements offers us newer and newer weight loss supplements. Although the vast majority are not worth investing in, there are those that can actually help you reduce body fat and improve your overall well-being. One of them is forskolin contained in the Indian nettle. What are the properties and application of this plant compound and what health benefits can be derived from it?

Indian nettle

Coleus of the Labiatae family is a perennial ornamental plant whose variety differs in colour and leaf pattern, reminiscent of the appearance of nettles growing in Poland. It can be found in the warm, subtropical climate of South East Asia. Also known are: Indian Urticaria, Hawk, Indian Sage, Koleus and Coleus forskohlii.

Forskolin – properties

Coleus forskohlii is a species of nettle particularly rich in coleonol, a compound also called forskolin. The root extract of this plant has long been used in traditional Indian medicine. In diseases of cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary and insomnia. Today numerous publications confirm the multidirectional impact of forskolin on the body. The previously mentioned coleonol contained in Indian nettle, increasing the concentration of cAMP activates the enzyme (adenyl cyclase). It modifies many processes by acting (as an inhibitor and antagonist) on a specific protein and triggering a series of cascade reactions in the cell and releasing subsequent relays to other cells. Similar action, which involves the activation of adenyl cyclase, also exhibits lipolytic hormones such as epinephrine (adrenaline), but unlike them, forskolin does not negatively affect the central nervous system, bypassing unwanted side effects (nervousness, anxiety).

Forskolin – application

Forskolin is a substance that can be successfully used in:

  • Inflammatory conditions, both acute and chronic – inflammatory, exudative and painful processes are inhibited;
  • Hypothyroidism – stimulates thyroid gland function by improving thyroid blood supply. This results in a decrease in TSH and an increase in the amount of free thyroid hormone deficiency that occurs in the course of hypothyroidism;
  • Cardiovascular disease – improves blood circulation of the coronary arteries, causes better blood supply to the heart and more efficient work. It also shows the ability to lower blood pressure;
  • Weight loss – causes lipolysis, fat breakdown in adipose tissue, and inhibition of lipid synthesis in adipocytes, i.e., in fatty yellow cells. In addition, it activates hormone-dependent lipase enzyme (HSL) in fat cells to release spare fat and transport it to places requiring energy supply (mainly for working muscles). In addition, by improving thyroid function, forskolin speeds up metabolism, which also indirectly affects the easier burning of adipose tissue. All these processes are definitely conducive to slimming;
  • Insulin resistance, diabetes, disorders of the sugar economy – stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin;
  • Androgens hormone disorders – forskolin boosts testosterone synthesis, improving mood, libido and vital strength; Chronic stress, adrenal fat syndrome, adrenal insufficiency – by increasing the synthesis of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH);
  • In autoimmune diseases – it inhibits autoimmune reactions due to its anti-inflammatory action. It can be used in the treatment of these diseases (e.g. erythema, psoriasis, Hashimoto, RA);
  • Tumour prophylaxis can help to inhibit tumour transformation and metastasis;
  • Mood disorders – antidepressant;
  • Improved immunity – activation of macrophages supports the fight against pathogens;
  • Prostate surgery – although it stimulates testosterone secretion, suppresses prostate cancer growth.

Forskolin in dietary supplements

The most popular form of supplements are capsules with powdered root of Indian nettles. The dose considered by the manufacturer to be sufficient is usually 400 mcg per day. When purchasing, pay attention to the actual content of the active substance in the capsule and the amount of additives, because cheaper supplements often have a small amount of forskolin and a large proportion of fillers. Although there is little information on negative side effects and contraindications for forskolin use caution should be exercised by pregnant women and children.

Forskolin is a substance present in Indian nettle, a perennial plant of subtropical climate. By increasing cAMP concentrations, e.g. in the process of fat burning, which makes it an effective means of reducing weight. In addition, it has a beneficial effect on thyroid and heart function, anti-inflammatory effect and improved mood. Its natural plant origin and the absence of undesirable side effects make it a fairly safe supplement that can be used as a supplement to a balanced diet.

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