The beneficial effects of pine bark were discovered in 1534 when sailors suffering from scurvy, survived by drinking tea made from the bark and needles of pine trees.
Pine bark extract is made from the bark of the maritime pine tree, Pinus pinaster, which contains naturally occurring chemicals called proanthocyanidins. Masquelier patented the method of extracting oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC) from pine bark in France in 1951
The maritime pine is native to the western Mediterranean with a range extending over Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and Morocco.
Antioxidant-like OPCs found in foods can be destroyed through heating and cooking of food, therefore removing the free radical scavenging health benefits. Microwaving foods can also damage antioxidants in this way.