Geneva-based Horphag Research has been studying its flagship ingredient Pycnogenol – a proprietary bark extract from the French maritime pine tree - for 40 years, and is now “one of the most well-researched ingredients available on the market, with more than 450 scientific publications," Bornet explains.
“We do not follow trends; Pycnogenol shows itself to be effective in many different applications, and for us, the important thing is to understand how it works.
“A lot of people in this industry now know us and what we do, but that does not prevent us from keeping on investing in new research.”
Properties and applications
As Bornet explains: “It has four basic properties: It is a strong antioxidant; is a natural anti-inflammatory; it binds to collagen; and it increases nitric oxide (NO) so it’s good for circulation.
“That's why it has so many applications in brain health, women’s health, skincare, and more.
“Every time we find new applications it is like an open door to new questions, and then we try to answer every time those questions in future studies.
“That's why our pipeline of research is always full.”
Research in women’s health
While they may not guide Pycnogenol research, Bornet explained that trends tell a company about its customers' needs: “It's important to know your consumers, to know what they want.”
“When you think about the trend of women’s health, it's a very large audience.”
“It covers applications such as menstrual discomfort, premenopausal and menopausal symptoms, and even urinary tract infections to name a few.”
“Most recently we conducted a study on hair density in 63 menopausal women, finding that pycnogenol supplementation lead to a 30% of the hair density in comparison to a control group.”
The authors of the study concluded: “Oral intake of Pycnogenol might have the potential to reduce hair loss in postmenopausal women,” a result “associated with a decrease in resting flux of the scalp skin, which might indicate an improvement of microcirculation.”
Bornet added: “Hair density can be quite a big problem for women in this age group, as well as the other side effects they go through with menopause.”
“We have a lot of studies on pycnogenol and menopause, but that was the first time we discovered the benefits for hair density so that was very exciting.”