Can Forskolin Boost Testosterone?

Can Forskolin Boost Testosterone?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Many supplements claim to increase testosterone, muscle mass, and virility. It is best to proceed with caution until enough evidence is available to support the claims. 

This article looks at Coleus Forskohlii, and why not enough research has been done to prove that it is a reliable T booster. 

What we will cover:

  • What is Forskolin?
  • Can it increase your T levels?
  • What are the side effects of Viagra?
  • Other more efficient options?

What is Forskolin?

Coleus Forskohli, a tropical flowering plant that is native to mountainous areas of Sri Lanka and India as well as Nepal. The plant is known for its thick, green leaves and vibrant blue spires. 

'Forskolin,' as it's commonly known, is a mixture of bioactive substances that stimulate cyclic adenosine monphosphate (cAMP), an important chemical which can enhance the absorption of fatty acid in the body. 

Since ancient times, it has been used as a traditional Eastern remedy to treat respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. The neuroprotective properties of this plant have also been noted [1]. 

Coleus extracts gained initial popularity as potential fat-burners in the supplements industry. Despite the popularity, research contradicted itself and it was found that coleus extracts were not effective. There are also reports that it could be used as a T-booster. 

Does science support these claims? We'll take a closer look at the research...

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Can Forskolin Boost Testosterone?

This supplement's potential can be seen in the physiology of how T increases. The research suggests that testosterone can be increased by cAMP [2]. Forskolin triggers cAMP, so it makes sense that T could be indirectly increased by the forskolin. 

Forskolin is surprisingly under-researched, especially when you search for testosterone studies. There are currently only a few studies, and the majority of them are animal-based. 

Obesity Research published a human study in 2005. The researchers measured T levels of volunteers as well, even though the main goal was to focus on obesity. 

This study involved 30 volunteers who were given either 250mg Coleus extract twice daily for 12 weeks or placebos in place of the Coleus. 

Researchers reported that the group that took the supplements showed a "trend" of changes in body composition, suggesting it may be helpful for treating obesity. 

The researchers also found that while T levels increased by 34% there was high variability between volunteers, and the actual change in serum testosterone concentration did not differ significantly among groups. 

You'll find it difficult to locate any human studies other than this one. This doesn't necessarily mean the supplement will not work, but that there are very few studies on it. When something is unstudied it's always best to proceed with caution. 

Forskolin side-effects

Forskolin has not been studied enough to be able to confidently say that it increases testosterone. 

The supplement is not known to cause any serious side effects, but it has been shown that this product can increase heart rate, reduce blood pressure and even cause skin flushing [4]. Increased cAMP may cause diarrhea. 

Also mild are upper respiratory infection, headache and cough. 

There is always the possibility that supplements like this may have long-term effects which are not yet known. Consider a T-booster that is natural, safe and effective. 


Forskolin comes from the Coleus Forskohlii, which is a perennial tropical plant with tuberous roots and leaves in deep green. 

Forskolin has been widely used for centuries in traditional medicine, especially to treat respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. More recently it has been proposed as a possible T booster. 

There are very few studies available to date, and even fewer if we are talking about human studies. There is not enough research to prove that the supplement actually works. 

Many more T-boosting products are available that use well-researched nutrients and have shown to be effective time and again. At this time, we recommend avoiding Coleus until further research is conducted. 

What Supplement Increases Testosterone Levels?

Military Muscle testosterone booster supplement contains specific nutrients that have been proven to boost testosterone levels in the body. The body will experience more muscle growth and energy. 

  • Train harder and longer with more energy
  • Give your muscles an extra boost for fast growth
  • Increase productivity with fast recovery

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  1. Agarwal KC, Parks RE: Forskolin: a potential antimetastic agent. Int J Cancer. 1983, 32: 801-804
  2. Lu, SS et al. Lactate and the effects of exercise on testosterone secretion: evidence for the involvement of a cAMP-mediated mechanism. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 
  3. Godard, MP et al. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005; 13(8): 1335-43
  4. Schlepper, M et al. Cardiovascular effects of forskolin and phosphodiesterase-III inhibitors.From Inotropic Stimulation and Myocardial Energetics. 1989; 197-212
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