The company has already built up a significant international market for ForsLean, which is patented in both the United States and Europe. ForsLean is an extract derived from Coleus forskohlii roots, a plant native to warm temperate habitats including India. Coleus forskohlii is the only known plant source of forskolin, a natural compound that has been shown to increase lean body mass and help optimize body composition. The Canadian patent, number 2281562, covers Sabinsa's ForsLean brand Coleus forskohlii extract as a dietary supplement to promote lean body mass. Science Sabinsa first identified the link between increased lean body mass and overall health and fitness in the early 1990's. Since then, the company has commissioned eight clinical studies and several pre-clinical and safety evaluations on its ForsLean ingredient. "All research has shown that ForsLean can promote whole-body increases in lean body mass without harmful side effects," said Vladimir Badmaev, vice president of scientific and medical affairs at Sabinsa. Research suggests 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. ForsLean, which is standardized to 10 percent forskolin, also has uses for enhancing metabolic processes. Sabinsa manufactures various extract strengths, and markets the product for promoting fat loss and promoting weight loss. Patent disputes Sabinsa also holds US patent number 5,804,596 and European patent number 0977564 for the use of forskolin as a weight management ingredient. The firm said that "other international patents are pending". The company has in the past been involved in patent disputes for the ingredient. Last year, a battle between Sabinsa and California-based DNP International came to an end after the latter said it will cease marketing the ingredient. Sabinsa had taken legal action against DNP - accusing the company of unlawfully marketing and distributing coleus forskohlii and another ingredient - piperine. The issue of intellectual property is possibly the most contentious one in the dietary supplement industry, because it represents a sizeable investment in research and development that in turn is supposed to translate into exclusive sales. "We invest significant amounts of money each year into research to develop products that can be safely and confidently used by the nutritional supplement industry," Dr Muhammed Majeed, founder and CEO of Sabinsa had said at the time. "Intellectual property allows us to bring the fruits of this research to the marketplace."