The history of French Maritime Pine Bark Extract

French Maritime Pine Bark Extract was invented by Dr. Jack Masquelier. Walking through the vast pine forests of Les Landes in the South-west of France, Masquelier was struck by the idea that the thick bark of the Pinus Maritima, the Sea Pine, acted as an enveloppe that protected the saps going up and down through the stems, from roots to needles and vice versa. In this sandy and swampy corner of France, at the border of the Atlantic ocean, sun, winds and salt offer a hostile environment for men, animals and plants.

Clinical studies on French Pine Bark Extractfrench-pine-bark-extract

During the 1960s, Masquelier’s idea came to fruition. Clinical studies proved his Pine Bark Extract to be a great asset in the field of vascular health. This human research led to an authorisation of the extract for use as a vasculo-protective herbal remedy. While working in Canada at the Laval University, Masquelier found confirmation of the effects of Pine Bark extract described by the French explorer Jacques Cartier. In 1535, Cartier and his crew, were grounded by frost and snow while exploring the Quebec region. When scurvy raised its ugly head and the expedition was on the brink of being wiped out, local Indians came to Cartier’s rescue by teaching him that an extract made from the Pine bark and needles of a certain Pine tree could cure and prevent scurvy.

Pine bark extract a trail of patents

Masquelier and his Canadian student Pierre Claveau found that the active principle of this Pine tree was identical to compound that Masquelier had extracted from the French maritime pine tree., Putting 2 and 2 together, Masquelier concluded that it takes more to effectively deal with scurvy than vitamin C. Indeed, the French research confirmed that Masquelier’s Pine Bark extract increased the resistance of the small blood vessels and normalized their permeability. The early years of Pine Bark extract were marked by a series of French, British and American patents granted to Masquelier and his co-workers. On April 1, 1969, the US Patent Office granted Masquelier and scientific colleagues US Patent 3,436,407 concerning the extraction and application of the extract, which identified by the name of its active substances, known at the time as “leucoanthocyans” and later as Oligomeric Procyanidins – or OPCs.

Vitamin P: Dr. Jack Masquelier’s Original OPCs

Masquelier’s invention of Pine Bark extract took place in a “rat race” search for the compound that scientists of those days had informally named “vitamin P”. According to Masquelier in the aforementioned US Patent, his invention concerned a “new compound” that he positively identified as “an active element of a bio-flavonoid or vitamin P factor.” With “P” for permeability, Vitamin P stands for “vascular permeability factor.” Today, we know OPCs were the effective co-factor of vitamin C in the curing and prevention of scurvy. Whether Masquelier’s French Pine Bark extract’s active principle is a genuine vitamin still remains to be seen. But there’s no doubt that they it is a genuine and highly effective capillary “Permeability Factor.”

Pine Bark supplement with OPCs

Throughout the years, the Pine Bark extract created by Dr. Masquelier has always been made from the bark of the French Maritime Pine, the Pinus maritima. Since its invention, this extract has been on the French market under the name of Flavan®, which makes its active principle a “classic” in the field of herbal remedies and Pine Bark extracts marketed as food supplements. Known as MASQUELIER’s® French Pine Bark Extract outside France, his precise Pine Bark extract has been on the market since the late 1980s, together with Professor Masquelier’s equally powerful OPCs invention based on Vitis Vinifera seeds, called MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs. His products are available around the world, uniquely under the name of its inventor, Dr. Jack Masquelier.