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8 Benefits of French Maritime Pine Bark

8 Benefits of French Maritime Pine Bark

french maritime pine bark

What is French Maritime Pine Bark?

This natural extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France contains a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenolic acids, all of which offer extensive natural health support. Pine bark extract was patented by a French researcher under the name Pycnogenol, but its history dates back some 450 years and involves a legend that continues to pique interest to this day.  

A written account of an event that occurred in 1532 tells of a French ship led by explorer Jacques Cartier which became stranded in ice near Quebec, Canada. Though Cartier’s crew succumbed to a nasty outbreak of scurvy – a fatal disease caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet – they were eventually saved when a Quebec Indian instructed them to drink a brew made from pine bark and needles; some four centuries later, a French researcher named Jacques Masquelier discovered the reason for the effectiveness of this remedy: A substance found in pine bark acts as an antioxidant in the body, greatly increasing the effectiveness of the vitamin C found in the pine needles. 

It was Masquelier who coined this pine bark extract Pycnogenol, and he continued his research on pine bark extract and bioflavonoids for decades. In 1987, the United States awarded him a patent – to this day, only Masquelier’s pine bark extract can legally claim to boast antioxidant properties. 

French Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Pine bark extract has been used for a variety of chronic conditions that involve inflammation, though, according to our research, additional studies are needed. Preliminary studies suggest it may improve inflammatory conditions and skin disorders because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but conflicting studies are mixed with regard to whether it is of benefit to cardiovascular health.  

Purported uses for French maritime pine bark extract include: 

  • Inflammation 
  • Erectile Dysfunction – Limited studies have been conducted and more trials are needed to establish this use. 
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – One study we looked at found Pycnogenol is not effective in treating ADHD in adults. 
  • Cardiovascular Disease – As we touched on above, a few trials suggest pine bark extract may improve chronic venous insufficiency and endothelial function, but meta-analyses found no benefit with Pycnogenol on blood pressure, which suggests effects are small for cardiometabolic health. More studies are needed. (x)   

French Maritime Pine Bark Benefits

Today, we know that pine bark is a good source of vitamin C as well as numerous phytochemicals, which are natural plant compounds that support better health. The superstars of this group are proanthocyanidins, powerful antioxidant compounds – more potent than vitamin C and E – that provide a wealth of added health benefits. 

The major ones include: 

  • Balance of Blood Sugars – Pine bark extract may provide some added benefits for you if you struggle with high blood sugar, pre-diabetes or diabetes
  • Fighting Off Common Colds – A study of 146 people suffering from a common cold found supplementing with Pycnogenol was able to reduce the duration and severity of the colds. 
  • Boosting Brain Function – New research shows that adults over the age of 55, supplementing with Pycnogenol over the course of one year, exhibited superior results in brain-related tasks compared to other placebo groups; the researchers believe the benefits stem from pine bark extract’s antioxidant effects and ability to reduce oxidative stress (associated with poor diet, high levels of stress, lack of exercise, etc.). 
  • Protecting Skin From Sun Damage – The addition of supplemental Pycnogenol has been shown to offer protection from harmful UVB rays and may reduce hyperpigmentation while improving skin barrier function. [This research comes from Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CISSN, CSCS] 

French Maritime Pine Bark Extract vs Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is a trademarked name for pine bark extract, and there is little to no difference between the two in terms of composition or effects; one might use pine bark extract or Pycnogenol to help treat a variety of medical conditions, as we touched on already, such as chronic venous insufficiency, retinopathy or erectile dysfunction.  

We must make it clear, however, that there has been no conclusive scientific research that supports the use of Pycnogenol or pine bark extract to prevent or treat any medical condition.  

French Maritime Pine Bark Extract Dosage

You can take 150 to 300 milligrams of pine bark extract or Pycnogenol per day, with pine bark extract typically coming in the forms of liquid, tablet or capsules containing 85 to 90-percent OPCs or proanthocyanidins, or in the form of creams, lotions or ointments containing 0.5 to two-percent pine bark extract.  

To help treat chronic venous insufficiency, the typical dosage of pine bark extract is 45 to 360 milligrams daily, taken in three separate doses. We recommend following the dosage instructions on the label for Pycnogenol, and asking your doctor about the dosage that’s best for you prior to taking either pine bark extract or Pycnogenol

Where to Buy French Maritime Pine Bark

You can purchase pine bark extract at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices. 

See Also
Hyaluronic Acid

See our pine bark extract offering

Bottom Line

French maritime pine bark extract originates from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France contains a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenolic acids, all of which offer extensive natural health support. Pine bark extract was patented by a French researcher under the name Pycnogenol, but its history dates back some 450 years and involves a legend that continues to pique interest to this day.  

A written account of an event that occurred in 1532 tells of a French ship led by explorer Jacques Cartier which became stranded in ice near Quebec, Canada. Though Cartier’s crew succumbed to a nasty outbreak of scurvy – a fatal disease caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet – they were eventually saved when a Quebec Indian instructed them to drink a brew made from pine bark and needles; some four centuries later, a French researcher named Jacques Masquelier discovered the reason for the effectiveness of this remedy: A substance found in pine bark acts as an antioxidant in the body, greatly increasing the effectiveness of the vitamin C found in the pine needles. 

It was Masquelier who coined this pine bark extract Pycnogenol, and he continued his research on pine bark extract and bioflavonoids for decades. In 1987, the United States awarded him a patent – to this day, only Masquelier’s pine bark extract can legally claim to boast antioxidant properties. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 
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