Forskolin is an active compound extracted from Coleus forskohlii. Coleus is a member of the mint family found in subtropical regions of Asia and Africa, such as Thailand, India and Uganda. Over years, it has been used as a traditional medicine, including the Ayurveda, which has been used to help the heart, urinary and lung health, among other numerous uses. Its roots are made into sour pickles which are served in various relishes in Asia and parts of India.
Coleus contains a multitude of active ingredients. However, the compound which makes it more potent is the forskolin ingredient. It is believed to be the most vulnerable ingredient derived from the plant and has been used extremely in experimental research as the positive control to increase the level of important cellular messenger compound.
Forskolin is not just a plant extract but has been used to treat various medical problems right from ancient days. This review is completely about health benefits of forskolin. Those who are new to the word forskolin can now understand its influence in a healthy lifestyle by considering its benefits which includes;
Increase cyclic AMP in cells
Forskolin acts majorly by activating adenylate cyclase enzyme, which results to increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate in cells. Cyclic AMP is the most important cell-regulating compounds and one of its major roles is activating enzymes involved in cellular functions. Neurotransmitters and hormones can activate the adenylate cyclase, but Forskolin activates adenylate by itself. Therefore, forskolin increases cyclic AMP in the cells without the aid of neurotransmitters or hormones.
ncreased cyclic AMP results to a broad range of biochemical and physiological effects, including increased force of contraction of the heart, inhibition of platelet activation, increased thyroid function, relaxation of arteries and reduced release of histamine.
Asthma and Allergies
Most of the drugs used to treat allergies and asthma are designed to increase the cyclic AMP level. They inhibit the enzyme phosphodiesterase which breaks down cyclic AMP. Forskolin can be used alone or with phosphodiesterase in prevention and treatment of asthma and allergies conditions.
Forskolins are effective smooth muscle relaxers, resulting in decreased airway resistance, Bronchodilation and forced expiratory volume which are the most important indicators of the pulmonary functions. Forskolin also has antispasmodic action on various smooth body muscles, rendering it useful in relieving uterine cramps, angina, painful urination, hypertension and intestinal colic.
Psoriasis is characterized by decreased in cyclic AMP compared to another messenger, cyclic GMP. This results from a tremendous increase in the cell division. In this case, the forskolin helps in alleviating psoriasis by normalizing the cyclic AMP to cyclic GMP ratios. Even though it is proven that Fumaric acid can be effective in the treatment of psoriasis, forskolin and primrose oil can be highly effective as additional substances in the treatment of psoriasis.
Forskolin stimulates the lipolysis in fat cells. Studies have shown that most of the obese people have lower cyclic AMP than the normal production. Based on this studies, forskolin can be an effective weight loss ingredient, especially for people with impaired cyclic AMP production.
Glaucoma and increased intraocular pressure
Glaucoma is the loss of visual characterized by the nerve damaged. It is the major cause of blindness during an elderly age. Some conducted research have shown that application of forskolin to this eye condition have resulted in decreasing the intraocular pressure. Although the clinical experience is still limited, forskolin offers a significant potential for glaucoma sufferers and can be an advance in the non-drug treatment of this conditions.
Depression is an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Response to antidepressants depends on the neurotransmitter which has deviated from the normal. If the inhibitory neurotransmitters are the most deficient then serotonin precursors can help. If the stimulatory neurotransmitters are the most deficient then the catecholamine precursors are mostly likely to help. A study conducted by German scientist showed that forskolin can be used to inhibit phosphodiesterase.
Many people have been seen to have the deficiency with the thyroid hormone. Every human body must secrete thyroid for effective body metabolism. In most cases when the body stops secreting the hormone, forskoline is recommended.
Although some of the information about forskoline is still premature, much known about it and its benefits make it a strong supplement to include in your arsenal