What the heck is Pycnogenol?

What the heck is Pycnogenol?

Patrick Boxall ·

It’s a great question, and one we’ve been hearing a lot since Modex landed at Aid Station. Below we’ll cover Pycnogenol’s background and benefits, but to put it simply: Pycnogenol is a trademarked name for French maritime pine bark extract. Voilà.

Pining for more info? Here’s a quick botanic briefing:

The French maritime pine (pinus pinaster) is native to the southwest Atlantic region. It thrives during the dry, hot summers and cool, wet winters of Portugal, Spain and southern France, but can also be found across the Mediterranean in Italy and Croatia, as well as northern Africa. This pine delivers the same antioxidants as red wine and chocolate, so it’s in good company. Keep that in the back pocket for your next round of pub trivia. 

Where did Pycnogenol come from?

Pycnogenol is an oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC), which are naturally occurring compounds proven to have important health benefits. The first methods of extracting OPCs on a commercial scale were developed by Dr Jack Masquelier, a French scientist and pioneer of phytochemistry (the study of chemicals derived from plants) who also discovered the existence of OPCs in the 1940s.

Masquelier is said to have begun studying pine bark after learning of Native Americans using tree-bark tea as medicine. He dedicated his life to researching the impact these compounds can have on human health and there are now a number of formulas, like Modex, making the most of his groundbreaking work.

Maritime Pine Bark

What are the benefits of Pycnogenol?

There are a whole bunch of benefits associated with Pycnogenol. It’s believed to reduce the effects of ageing on skin and lower levels of hyperactivity for those with ADHD, though more research is needed in these areas. 

What we’re most interested in is how Pycnogenol can support athletes; fortunately, this has been well studied. These benefits come from the compound’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and include: 

  • Increased production of nitric oxide, which boosts blood flow to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the muscles
  • Reduced muscle fatigue and soreness after a session
  • Reduced chance of cramps
  • Boosted immune system
  • Improved focus

What is Modex?

Modex is an Australian brand harnessing the power of Pycnogenol. They say that 40+ years of research has been dedicated to Pycnogenol, with 160+ clinical trials and 450+ scientific publications confirming its effectiveness and safety. Modex incorporates Pycnogenol in an isotonic liquid, which swiftly hits the bloodstream to supercharge the compound’s delivery and effect.

Modex - Pycnogenol Supplement


Who is Modex suitable for?

Modex is a natural supplement that can support anyone living an active lifestyle. It’s approved by HASTA – the only Australian lab testing for WADA prohibited substances – and it's also gluten free. 

    Happy training!

    Keen to try Pycnogenol yourself? Aid Station’s Modex Sample Pack is a great place to start.

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