ForsLean® is the only forskolin extract that is patented for enhancing body composition and alleviating mood disorders.
ForsLean is an extract of Coleus forskohlii roots standardized to contain anywhere from 10% to 95% of the active ingredient forskolin. As noted in this ForsLean review, it has several advantages over basic forskolin supplements:
- Patented. ForsLean is the only forskolin extract patented to promote fat loss, enhance lean mass, and alleviate mood disorders (US Patent No. 5804596).
- Clinically Researched. ForsLean’s ability to reduce body fat and increase lean mass is backed by human studies.
- Established. ForsLean is manufactured by a company known for its branded nutrients, and has been on the market for two decades.
Forslean is a patented, branded extract of the Coleus forskohlii plant introduced 20 years ago by the supplement corporation Sabinsa. Also known as Plectranthus barbatus, Coleus forskohlii is a subtropical herb whose roots have been utilized by India’s Ayurvedic wellness system for high blood pressure, pain, constipation, and other issues.
The main active ingredient in ForsLean is forskolin, a phytonutrient that is popularly used in weight loss products and nootropics. ForsLean is standardized to contain as much as 95% of forskolin, although 10% is the most common amount.
ForsLean has been granted a patent for the purpose of using forskolin to reduce body fat and improve lean body mass and help with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, as well as the process required to produce this forskolin product.
Forslean has two major advantages over standard Coleus forskohlii root extracts:
- It is made with a patented process that creates pure, high-potency extracts standardized for up to 95% of forskolin
- It is backed by multiple clinical research studies suggesting improvements in lean body mass and reduction of body fat
Forskolin works by activating adenylate cyclase enzyme, which in turn raises cellular levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP).
A signaling molecule known as a “secondary messenger,” cAMP helps activate and orchestrate hormones, neurotransmitters and other substances (including insulin). These cAMP mediated effect enable forskolin to influence metabolism, thermogenesis and anabolism — culminating in an overall dual benefit of reducing bodyfat while increasing lean muscle mass:
ForsLean is patented (US Patent No. 5804596) for promoting lean body mass and mood support when it is administered in a sufficiently effective dose. In the patent, ForsLean is described as shifting the proportion between muscle and fat in favor of lean body mass — as measured by body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) — thereby improving overall health.
The patent includes two specific ForsLean wellness benefits, and outlines biological actions that may underlie these benefits:
Lean Body Mass
- Forskolin stimulates noradrenaline
- Noradrenaline increases AC enzyme
- AC enzyme elevates cAMP levels
- cAMP stimulates lipase to spark release of fatty acids from fat deposits and activates T3 thyroid hormone
- Fatty acid release and T3 promotes thermogenesis, metabolism and anabolic hormone production
- Forskolin increase monoamine neurotransmitters, which are known for their mood-balancing properties
- Forskolin increases cAMP levels in the brain, which work as secondary messengers in conjunction with the primary monoamine messengers
The ForsLean patent also includes a novel extraction process that offers advantages in stability and efficiency.
ForsLean’s Coleus forskohlii extraction methods yield a product supplying 15% to 40% forskolin, although the patent notes that 100% forskolin is possible using their process.
What remains is purified and standardized to 5% to 20% forskolin, with 10% forskolin being the most popular form that consumers buy on the market.
How ForsLean is Used in Supplements
Fat Loss Supplements
ForsLean is most popularly used in fat loss supplements designed to reduce body fat and increase lean body mass. Although it can be the only ingredient in a given supplement, ForsLean is frequently combined with many other herbal ingredients believed to promote weight loss, such as garcinia cambogia and green tea. ForsLean fat loss benefits are attributed to forskolin’s ability to increase levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP), a molecule that can promote the burning of fat.
Although ForsLean’s patents claim that it can be used as a mood-enhancing substance, research backing these claims is early at best. Regardless, ForsLean may appear as an ingredient in nootropic brain supplements because its supports the cAMP signaling molecule that is involved in Long-Term Potentiation (LTP), which in turn is involved in memory formation.
Because ForsLean may help to promote lean muscle mass while helping to reduce bodyfat, it may be included in pre-workout formulas and related sports nutrition supplements designed for improving strength and body composition.
ForsLean Brand Advantages
When reviewing ForsLean, it’s important to note its two key advantages over basic forskolin formulations:
- Higher potency: ForsLean can be used to make extracts containing as much as 95% forskolin, whereas most standard forskolin extracts contain 10% or 20%
- Research backed: ForsLean is supported by human research as a way to reduce body fat and enhance lean body mass, and has also been demonstrated to be safe
In 2015, Sabinsa published ForsLean safety data in the International Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Research. According to this safety data:
- Supplementing with ForsLean (10% forskolin) for 28 days or 180 days was not associated with any signs of toxicity
- Up to 1,000 mg of ForsLean per kilogram of bodyweight daily does not produce any toxic effects
- ForsLean was found to have a nonmutagenic response; it did not have any adverse effects on DNA
Sabinsa’s human research studies on ForsLean further validate its strong safety and tolerability profile.
Forslean has been examined in several clinical studies, suggesting that it can help reduce body fat and weight gain in overweight and obese individuals.
- In one early pilot study, participants taking 2 capsules of 250 mg ForsLean (10% forskolin) for 8 weeks, researchers reported a significant reduction in bodyweight and fat content along with a significant increase in lean body mass.
- Another early pilot study conducted in Japan found that 125 mg of 10% forskolin taken twice daily for 12 weeks was associated with a significant decrease in total body weight and body fat, and appeared to improve BMI and lean body mass.
Additional better-designed ForsLean clinical trials include:
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at the effects of forskolin on body composition in 30 overweight and obese men. The men were given ForsLean (250 mg standardized to 10% forskolin) twice daily for 12 weeks. Unlike placebo, the ForsLean group experienced notable decreases in body fat, an increase in bone mass, and a trend towards increased lean body mass.
- The researchers concluded that “…forskolin is a possible therapeutic agent for the management and treatment of obesity.” 1
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 23 overweight women were given ForsLean (250 mg standardized to 10% forskolin) twice daily for 12 weeks. The Coleus forskohlii (CF) group tended to gain less body mass (average of – 0.7 kg vs. +1 kg for placebo) by the end of the study and reported less fatigue and hunger, but no significant effect on body fat was found.
- The researchers concluded that “CF does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females…” 2
In this randomized, double-blind study, 60 overweight individuals were given ForsLean (250 mg twice daily) for 3 months. Compared to placebo, subjects in the ForsLean group experienced significant reductions in body weight and body fat, as well as small improvements in lean body mass.
- It was concluded that “ForsLean® may be said to have a weight and fat reduction property, and could preserve lean body mass as well.”3
In this study, 24 obese women were given ForsLean (250 mg twice daily) for 3 months. The women experienced a significant improvement in body composition, including both a reduction in body fat and an increase in lean body mass.
- It was concluded that “…good tolerability of ForsLean® along with its weight loss efficacy makes it an attractive option in the treatment of obesity.”
- In standalone products, ForsLean typically comes in 250 mg doses standardized to 10% forskolin, although it can go as high as 95% forskolin at 50 mg doses
- In multi-ingredient formulas, ForsLean typically comes in 115 – 125 mg doses standardized to 10% forskolin
- Most successful human studies have used 250 mg doses (10% forskolin) twice daily
Supplements in Review Recommendation
- ForsLean®, 250 mg (10% forskolin) twice daily.
ForsLean is the only research-backed forskolin formulation for improving body composition. Unlike normal forskolin, ForsLean is backed by human studies highlighting its ability to reduce body fat and improve lean mass.
The 250 mg dose is the most common one used in successful research. Almost all clinical trials of ForsLean utilized 250 mg (10% forskolin) doses taken twice daily, suggesting that this is the best dosage.
- Godard MP et al. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43. ↩
- Henderson S et al. Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005; 2(2): 54–62. ↩
- www.forslean.com/index.php/research/clinical-studies/india#india-tab ↩