Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Could Coleus Be the Cure for Diabetes-Related Weight Gain?

The Ayurvedic herb coleus, also known as Plectranthus barbatus or Coleus forskohlii, is a common natural treatment for skin issues, especially cellulite. Some recent research suggests that it may also be a useful aid to weight loss for people who have type 2 diabetes, although it seems to be the most useful for diabetics who have the most weight to lose.

In one study six obese women were given 250 mg of coleus extract (standardized for 10% forskolin content) twice a day for eight weeks. They were instructed not to exercise more or eat less. The women lost an average of 8 pounds despite the fact that they gained an average of 4 pounds of lean body mass.

In another study, sixty obese people were given the same dosage of the plant, with similar results. In this trial, the average weight loss was 4 pounds, but also with a gain of lean body mass.

In a third study, a group of "mildly overweight" men and women were given just 250 mg of forskolin extract a day. They did not lose weight, although they reported having more energy and easier appetite control.

These and other studies suggest that this herb, taken in a dosage of at least 500 mg a day, is a great way for obese people to lose weight effortlessly. Whether moderately overweight people really benefit from it is still an open question, since it is possible that doubling the dosage would have resulted in weight loss. Still, if what you are looking for is losing weight without counting calories, coleus is a prime candidate for your personal weight loss trail.

Selected Reference:

Henderson S, Magu B, Rasmussen C, Lancaster S, Kerksick C, Smith P, Melton C, Cowan P, Greenwood M, Earnest C, Almada A, Milnor P, Magrans T, Bowden R, Ounpraseuth S, Thomas A, Kreider RB. Effects of coleus forskohlii supplementation on body composition and hematological profiles in mildly overweight women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005 Dec 9;2:54-62.

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