The company said its ForsLean product, sourced from the root of a plant, has been registered with the Korean FDA as a Functional Health Food Ingredient.
The approval, which involved a two-year process, means that products made with the ingredient can make the claim “reduces body fat”. According to Sabinsa, this health claim registration is a big step for the promotion of weight loss products in a high-potential market.
Cracking the market
“Korea enjoys a higher level of disposable income than many of its neighbors, and is a very desirable market, although entry into the market does not happen easily. Health claim regulations were tightened under Korea's Functional Health Foods law, which took effect in 2004,” says the company.
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 Korean approval process included an examination of safety and toxicological data on the ingredient. The approved health claim can be used with a recommended dosage of 500mg.
Sabinsa says it will now work together with its partner, CheilJedang Corporation (CJ), to create a marketing program for the promotion of ForsLean in the Korean market. It added that the process of trade mark registration for ForsLean in Korea is”already well underway”.
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.