Growing demand for herb in booming weight loss market

Related tags Weight loss Lean body mass Obesity Nutrition Mass

The US demand for forskolin, a compound that promotes increased
lean body mass has grown to such an extent that one manufacturer
has increased the amount of farmland used to grow the plant to meet
the year round demand for the herbal extract.

Sabinsa corporation, a manufacturer and supplier of herbal extracts and specialty fine chemicals has expanded its cultivation of the Coleus forskohlii​, to cover more than 18 zones throughout India. It is the only plant known to contain forskolin which is the key component of the company's branded ingredient ForsLean.

Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ)​ pins the weight loss category as one of the fastest growing segments in the nutraceuticals market. According to NBJ, the sports nutrition and weight loss (SNWL) market in the US totaled $9.9 billion in 2001, representing 15 per cent growth from the year before. Weight loss supplements accounted for 19 per cent of the market, bringing in $1.9 billion in sales. Of the categories, weight loss supplements posted the second highest growth-20 per cent-from 2000 to 2001.

Farmers across various regions in India are contracted to grow the Coleus forskohlii plants​. By utilizing additional farmland, Sabinsa is able to stagger crop cycles and cultivate the plant year round.

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, CEO of Sabinsa said: "By diversifying and expanding the area where we grow coleus forskohlii, we can meet growing customer demand for ForsLean."

"Our cultivation process ensures that customers are getting our extract that has been clinically proven safe and effective for increasing lean body mass and promoting weight loss."

Sabinsa are the only manufacturers of the coleus forskohlii​ extract and the company has secured a use patent for forskolin ensuring the cultivation process of the correct species enables 'optimal forskolin content'.

Forslean, voted Best New Product of 2001 at the Nutracon Conference and Exhibition in California, was tested in a small open-field study with six overweight women (BMI>25). 250 mg (one capsule) of ForsLean were given to the overweight, but otherwise healthy, women twice daily for eight weeks.

During the trial, the mean values for body weight and fat content decreased. Lean body mass was significantly increased as compared to the baseline. Neither the systolic/diastolic blood pressure, nor the pulse rate was adversely affected during the trial

The company said that two new studies are underway to further explore the efficacy of ForsLean, one in the US and the other in Japan.

The demand for Forslean, and weight loss supplements in general, has seen strong growth in the nutraceuticals market in recent years, providing opportunities for nutraceuticals manufacturers to provide science-backed weight management solutions.

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