Although traditionally forskolin has been known for its wide range of health benefits, its unique activity as a non-adrenergic stimulator of enzyme adenylate cyclase attracted the attention of researchers to explore its supportive role in managing body weight and promoting lean body mass.
The primary mode of action of forskolin is by increasing the cellular concentrations of cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cAMP-mediated functions, via activation of the enzyme adenylate cyclase.
Adenylate cyclase is an enzyme involved in the production of cAMP, referred to in literature as a “second messenger”. This cAMP facilitates the action of “primary messengers” or various hormones and bioactive substances in the body (such as insulin). By facilitating hormonal action, cAMP may contribute to the increase in the metabolic rate and thermogenesis. These events correspond to the build up of lean body mass.
Alternatively, increase in cAMP leads to subsequent activation of enzyme protein kinase. Protein kinase has been shown to activate the enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase, which is involved in the breakdown of triglycerides, known as building blocks of fatty tissue―leading to fat burn. These events correspond to the decrease in the body fat.