Forskolin cream produces spot fat reduction on the thighs

  • The natural lipolytic active forskolin was found to reduce thigh girth by 1cm in 4 weeks, in relation to the untreated thigh (placebo), in females who were placed on a 800 calorie diet.
  • This was achieved with an extremely low forskolin concentration in the cream of about 0.01% and without any synergistic ingredients, such as caffeine etc.
  • With synergistic ingredients and at higher concentrations results are even more pronounced. In  this study, the combination of forskolin, aminophylline and yohimbine (in equally low concentrations) produced a fat loss of 2cm in relation to placebo and exactly the same results as the injections, but without the pain, bruising and dangers of injections.
  • 12 multiple injections of isoproterenol over 4 weeks also produced a 2cm girth reduction. Isoproterenol is an analog of adrenaline and the strongest lipolytic chemical known (stronger even than adrenaline itself). It is only allowed to be used for research.
  • The main objective of this trial was to assess thigh girth / deep fat reduction. Cellulite, being more superficial, responds more significantly to local lipolytic actives.
  • The controversial ingredients aminophylline and yohimbine were also found to be effective. However, these ingredients have a poor safety profile so they are not used widely any more.
  • Being on a diet is essential for maximum spot fat reduction, as being on a weight loss phase always accelerates topical fat loss.
  • Source 1: Regional fat loss from the thigh in obese women after adrenergic modulation
  • Abstract 1: Eighteen women (mean weight, 197 lb) who were more than 20% above desirable body weight and wished to lose weight from the thighs were recruited and placed on a liquid formula diet of 800 kcal daily and encouraged to engage in a walking program. They were seen five days per week for four weeks. At each visit, warm wraps of 600 to 900 mosm/L of magnesium sulfate solution were applied to each thigh for 30 minutes, followed by cream application. One thigh was treated in each patient with one of the three creams in xipamide: forskolin, 25 X 10-5 mol/L (six patients); yohimbine, 5 X 10-4 mol/L (six patients); or aminophylline, 1.3 X 10-2 mol/L (six patients). The other thigh in each subject was treated with xipamide only, in a double-blind design.
  • Source 2: Topical fat reduction
  • Abstract 2: The fat on women's thighs is more difficult to mobilize due to increased alpha-2 adrenergic receptor activity induced by estrogen. Lipolysis can be initiated through adipocyte receptor stimulation (beta adrenergic) or inhibition (adenosine or alpha-2 adrenergic) or by inhibition of phosphodiesterase. Since many women desire regional thigh fat loss, a series of clinical trials were initiated using one thigh as a double-blinded control. Trial #1: Five overweight women had injections of isoproterenol at intervals around the thigh three times a week for 4 weeks with diet and walking. Trial #2: Five overweight woman had ointment containing forskolin, yohimbine and aminophylline applied to the thigh five times a week for 4 weeks after hypertonic warm soaks with a diet and walking. Trial #3: Eighteen overweight women were divided into three groups of six and trial #2 was repeated with each agent alone vs. placebo using forskolin, yohimbine or aminophylline in separate ointments. Trial #4: Thirty overweight women had 10% aminophylline ointment applied to the thigh five times a week for 6 weeks with diet and walking. Chemistry panel, theophylline level and patch testing were performed. Trial #5: Twelve women had trial #4 repeated with 2% aminophylline cream without a diet or walking. Trial #6: Trial #5 was repeated with 0.5% aminophylline cream. All trials except yohimbine ointment gave significantly more girth loss from the treated thigh (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). Chemistry panel showed no toxicity. Theophylline was undetectable and patch testing was negative. We conclude that topical fat reduction for women's thighs can be achieved without diet or exercise.

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