The company is already supplying a significant amount of the extract to the European market but the new patent will protect its use in weight loss products.
The patent, number 98 907 537 9, covers the use of Sabinsa's ForsLean brand Coleus forskohlii extract as a dietary supplement to promote lean body mass, shifting the proportion of mass in favour of lean body mass, reducing fat tissue and encouraging weight loss.
It applies to all European countries.
Sabinsa is seeing growth rates of between 50-100 per cent for its ForsLean in different markets, special projects manager Sendhil Pani told NutraIngredients.com.
He added: "The innovative work done on this ingredient has given us an edge in this market."
Research suggestst that forskolin works by activating the enzyme adenylate cyclase. Normally this enzyme is formed when a stimulatory hormone, such as epinephrine, binds to a receptor site on the cell membrane and triggers the activation of adenylate cyclase. But forskolin appears to bypass the hormone-receptor interactions.
The enzyme has a positive effect on lean body mass. Sabinsa claims that in order to adjust body weight, lean body mass - which includes tissues, bone mass, muscles, and organs - needs to be increased.
Sabinsa has carried out three clinical trials to date that support the weight loss effects of the plant extract, although none of these have yet been published.
It has also filed an IND (initial new drug) application with the US Food and Drug Administration.
European suppliers include Italy's Sochim International, Gee Lawson Nutritional based in London, Germany's Mivalied, Silvaco based in Hillerod, Denmark and Brenntag-Nordic.