Lately, there’s a lot of people talking about a natural ingredient called pycnogenol which is known to improve people’s athletic performance but has other proven health benefits as well.
Made from pine bark extract, pycnogenol is a natural supplement sourced from the Les Landes de Gascogne Forest in France’s southwest. It can be used to help with skincare, joint health, circulation, eye care, mental function and more.
Pycnogenol is a water-soluble flavanoid and is a clinically proven Nitric Oxide generator, anti-inflammatory and it plays an important role against free radical damage.
There’s over 40+ years of scientific research and160 clinical trials, it’s one of the most studied natural ingredients around. These studies show pycnogenol has a lot of health benefits so it seems strange that up until now, we haven’t heard too much about it. That’s changed now with an Australian company bringing the product to market and calling it Modex.
Pycnogenol + Modex
Modex is a natural liquid sports supplement which supercharges the delivery and effect of pycnogenol in the body for enhanced performance, endurance and recovery.
Modex adds some other ingredients such as aloe vera, honey and papain – and these have a synergistic interaction with the pycnogenol – helping the body to deal with inflammation and allowing athletes to go further.
Enhances athletic performance
Athletes have found the use of pycnogenol helps with their performance and recovery – and provides improved mental function. In a 2013 study, investigating pycnogenol supplementation on the performance of athletes in a 100-minute triathlon, they found that pycnogenol improved training and performance.
“The total triathlon time was 89 min 44 s in pycnogenol in comparison with 96 min 5 s in controls. “Control subjects improved their performing time on average 4.6 minutes in comparison with the average improvement of 10.8 minutes observed in pycnogenol subjects ” ( Vinciguerra, 2013).
It’s suggested that the anti-inflammatory properties of pycnogenol helps to reduce the muscular pain and cramps associated with exercise. This makes training more effective and reduces the recovery period.
Intense exercise should also generate more oxidative stress as it progresses – though members of the study that were taking pycnogenol experienced no increase in oxidative stress throughout the workout. They even had less free radicals in the body compared to when they started.
This indicates that when the pycnogenol group performed better than the control group, they were still better protected from free radicals. The study concluded that with the correct hydration, nutrition, and training, pycnogenol may be able
to enhance the performance of athletes in high-stress sports.
Pycnogenol Supports skin health
The health advantages of pycnogenol seem to extend to our skin health. – showing great promise to enhance our complexion in more ways than one. There’s evidence from some studies that pycnogenol can potentially support skin hydration, skin pigmentation and can provide protection against UV rays.
“It has been shown in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that supplementation with pycnogenol in combination with vitamins and minerals, improves skin smoothness and elasticity in women” (Grether-Beck, 2015)
Lessens symptoms of asthma
Pycnogenol has also shown promise in reducing the symptoms associated with asthma. A 2011 study tested the success of pycnogenol for enhancing asthma management in subjects with stable conditions. Over the course of six months, the participants were given pycnogenol as a 100 mg daily dose.
“Pycnogenol administration was effective for better control of signs and symptoms of allergic asthma and reduced the need for medication” (Belcaro, 2011).
Further research is necessary, though this relationship between pycnogenol and asthma symptoms is interesting, to say the least.
Improves mental function
Pycnogenol isn’t only good for sports performance, but also mental function – showing great promise to improve memory, attention, and general moods. In a study completed in 2011, 53 students were given pycnogenol for 8 weeks to test attention, memory, and executive functions.
Afterwards, an equal group of students were then tested as a control group. The performance of the students was measured with real tests. “The controls failed 9 tests out of a total of 84 (10.71%). In the pycnogenol group the students failed 7 tests out of 112 (6.25%) with a difference of 4.46% of failures in the pycnogenol group that performed, statistically, generally better” ( Luzzi, 2011).
These results indicate the supplementation of pycnogenol in this 8-week period went onto improve the attention, memory, and executive functions of the participating students.
You can find out more about Modex at the Australian website: www.modexnatural.com