What is That Anyway? A Spotlight on Pycnogenol

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by | Updated: August 2nd, 2017 | Read time: 3 minutes

When you think of France, Paris probably springs to mind. But move away from the City of Lights and set your sights on Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France. Why? From this large pine forest comes Pycnogenol®, pine bark extract that is known for its potential benefits for normal joint comfort, circulation, lung function and more.* This trademarked natural extract is featured in Vitacost’s new line of whole-food-based supplements, Root2.

Pine Tree Forest, a Source of Pycnogenol (Pine Tree Extract)

We reached out to Horphag Research Ltd., the manufacturers of Pycnogenol®, to get in-depth information about this highly-researched dietary supplement.

What is Pycnogenol®? What makes it so special?

There are many “uniquenesses” to Pycnogenol®. First, the source of the raw material is unique. Pycnogenol® is extracted from the bark of mono-species pine trees grown exclusively in Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France.

The forest is unspoiled and natural, with no pesticides, no herbicides. The premium quality of Pycnogenol® components comes from the fact the bark is not subject to seasonal variations, unlike other plants, which makes it an ideal botanical source.

Second, the composition of Pycnogenol® is unique. Pycnogenol® is a naturally programmed combination with constant proportions of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenolic acids, which offer amazing natural properties.* Most importantly, its science is unique. Pycnogenol® is a scientific evidenced-based and proprietary extract, which is protected by several U.S. and international patents.

Where is your company located? Why was the location selected?

Pine trees from which Pycnogenol® is produced are grown as a mono-species forest, spread over the coastal region of southwest France, in Les Landes de Gascogne. The administrative office of Horphag Research is based in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Pycnogenol® is sold in more than 80 countries globally and is included in over 700 products worldwide.  To ensure a worldwide operation, there are offices in the USA as well as in Asia and other regions.

What are some of the top uses and benefits of Pycnogenol®?

People often wonder how come Pycnogenol® provides so many benefits, in such a large range of health applications. First, you need to understand Pycnogenol® has 4 basic properties. It acts as a potent blend of antioxidants, it is a natural anti-inflammatory, and it stimulates generation of collagen and hyaluronic acid and helps with natural dilation of blood vessels by supporting production of nitric oxide.*

These unique properties of Pycnogenol® help with almost every key function of the body. This is why Pycnogenol® is so unique in supporting multiple health benefits including skin, heart, vision, joint, women’s health and sports.*

What is unique about your farming/harvesting and manufacturing practices?

The extraction process of Pycnogenol® is patented, and complies with the highest quality standards. The manufacturing plant is GMP compliant, and the production process does not include any toxic solvent.

What is your company’s mission?

Because we care about people, we care about their quest to look, feel and live better, and this inspires both our stakeholders and employees to support our clients by developing and commercializing safe, efficacious, science-based, high-quality natural health products.

How long has your company been in business, and how did it get started?

In the 1960’s, Charles Haimioff, Founder and Chairman of Horphag Research, initiated the visionary concept of “healthy aging”. In his Berlin based laboratories, he developed a unique substance, a water-soluble flavonoid extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, called Pycnogenol®. Charles Haimoff’s original vision from decades ago is still today’s driving force behind Horphag’s commitment to research and development.

How many ingredients/products does your company produce?

Pycnogenol® has been and still is Horphag Research’s flagship ingredient. However, we are very excited about the recent launch of our new ingredient Robuvit®, which is this year’s winner of the NutraIngredients Award for Sport and Energy.

Robuvit® (row-boo-vit) is a patented natural extract from French oak wood, rich in roburins and other flavonoids unique to oak wood. Robuvit® is a powerful, premium quality, evidence-based and natural vitality ingredient. Thanks to its unique properties, Robuvit® has been proven via multiple international clinical studies to offer health benefits in the fields of energy and detoxification.*


*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.