Coleus forskohlii Extract Supplementation in Conjunction with a Hypocaloric Diet Reduces the Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome in Overweight and Obese Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nutrients. 2015 Nov 17;7(11):9508-22. doi: 10.3390/nu7115483.


Limited studies have shown that Coleus forskohlii extract may aid in weight management. This randomized, double blind placebo-controlled clinical study assessed the effects of supplementation with C. forskohlii extract on key markers of obesity and metabolic parameters in overweight and obese individuals. Thirty participants completed the trial and they were randomly assigned to receive either 250 mg of C. forskohlii extract (n = 15) or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. All participants were advised to follow a hypocaloric diet throughout the study. Body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist and hip circumference, and waist to hip ratio, were monitored fortnightly. Dietary intake was assessed at the baseline and weeks 4, 8 and 12. Appetite was assessed using visual analogue scales and blood samples were analyzed for plasma lipids, ghrelin, leptin, glucose and insulin at the baseline and end of the intervention. Significant reductions to waist and hip circumference (p = 0.02; p = 0.01, respectively) were recorded in both experimental and placebo groups after the 12 week intervention. Furthermore, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) was significantly increased (p = 0.01) in both groups. The experimental group showed a favorable improvement in insulin concentration and insulin resistance (p = 0.001; 0.01 respectively) compared to the placebo group. These findings suggest that C. forskohlii extract in conjunction with a hypocaloric diet may be useful in the management of metabolic risk factors.

Keywords: Coleus forskohlii; appetite; hip circumference; metabolic parameters; waist circumference.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plectranthus / chemistry
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference
  • Waist-Hip Ratio
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Plant Extracts