Does BPC 157 Work? What The Science Says.

BPC 157 Summary:

  • BPC-157 is a protein peptide that contains 15 amino acids.
  • It is claimed to help with muscle, joint, and gut repair, inflammation, strengthen bones, and even protect the brain.
  • Most research done on BPC 157 has been done in rodents and has demonstrated positive benefits.
  • Dosing is either 100mcg daily via an injection or 150-200 μg when taken orally.
  • There are other alternatives to BPC 157 that produce similar benefits (see end of article).
  • My recommendation for the best two BPC products are BioTE Medical Clinical Grade BPC 157 and Hydrapharm Unbreakable BPC 157.

 

 

 BPC 157 has been making waves in the fitness community lately.

It was discovered by Brazilian scientists and is claimed to help with muscle, joint, and gut repair, inflammation, strengthen bones, and even protect the brain.

What does science say? Is BPC 157 safe? To answer these questions we need to look at what research says about this new supplement.

What Is BPC 157 And How Does It Work?

how does BPC 157 work

BPC-157 is a protein peptide that contains 15 amino acids.

These are: L-Valine, glycyl-L-alpha-glutamyl-L-prolyl-L-prolyl-L-prolylglycyl-L-lysyl-L-prolyl-L-alanyl-L-alpha-aspartyl-L-alpha-aspartyl-L-alanylglycyl-L-leucyl-; glycyl-L-alpha-glutamyl-L-prolyl-L-prolyl-L-prolylglycyllysyl-L-prolyl-L-alanyl-L-alpha-aspartyl-L-alpha-aspartyl-L-alanylglycyl-L-leucyl-L-valine.

The sequence does not exist in nature, but instead has been replicated and synthesized by researchers from the protective proteins found in stomach tissue.

BPC-157 targets cytokines such as TNF (tumor necrosis factor) and IL1β to improve immune response and reduce inflammation during wounds or other traumas.

Studies have found that BPC-157 has protective effects beyond the stomach and intestinal tract. It is best known for improving ulcers in the stomach, as well as gastrointestinal problems such as fistulas and other inflammatory disorders. In addition to these benefits, it has been shown to help heal bone and joint diseases significantly faster than placebo.

Clinical trials have also suggested that BPC-157 can have a protective effect on the brain, as evidenced by rats' response to this protein derivative undergoing research toxin or damaging surgical procedure.

More research is needed to understand why the drug does not work for all patients. However, current findings suggest that BPC-157 influences several growth factors usually involved in angiogenesis and regeneration following injury.

What Does BPC Stand For?

BPC stands for body protecting compound.

Is It Found In Any Foods?

BPC 157 may be found naturally occurring within soybeans but it can't be ingested in this form because it will be broken down before entering the bloodstream.

Claimed Benefits

BPC 157 benefits

The purported benefits of BPC 157 include:

  • Repairs tendons
  • Helps muscles recover faster
  • Improves gut and intestine health
  • Strengthens bones and teeth
  • Protects the brain
  • Counter the damaging effects if NSAIDS

What is essential to understand is these benefits are being claimed from rodent studies; not human studies. To date there are no studies showing BPC 157 will have a positive impact on human health.

This doesn't mean it doesn't work, as some people have reported benefits. It just means research in humans need to be conducted to:

  • See if BPC 157 is beneficial
  • Optimal dose
  • And most importantly if it is safe

Let's briefly look at a few key studies done on BPC 157.

What The Science Says

Here is a brief summary of BPC 157 studies done on rodents provided by the good folks over at Suppversity.

  • Promotes tendon & ligament healing by tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration as it was observed in a rodent model of Achilles tendon rupture (Chang. 2011), and when administered in the drinking water to rats with experimentally damaged medial collateral ligaments (Cerovecki. 2010)
  • Direct tendon-to-bone healing so effectively that they may actually "successfully exchange the present reconstructive surgical methods" (Krivic. 2006), 
  • Counter the damaging effects of NSAIDs on the gut lining so effectively that scientists call BPC 157 "a NSAIDs antidote" one of which they say that "no other single agent has portrayed a similar array of effects" (Sikiric. 2013), 
  • Repair the damage that's done by inflammatory bowel disease within days of oral administration in µg or ng doses in a rodent model of IBS (Vuksic. 2007), 
  • Help cure perdidontitis when it is chronically administered in a rodent model of periodontitis potently enough to have scientists conclude that "BPC 157 may represent a new peptide candidate in the treatment of periodontal disease" (Keremi. 2009), 
  • Reverse systemic corticosteroid-impaired muscle healing, in a rodent model where it was administered with a front-load of 10µg orally once daily for 14 days to rats w/ crushed gastrocnemius muscle (Pevec. 2010 | similar benefits in a rodent study by Novinscak et al. that was published in Surgery Today in 2008), and
  • Bone healing in rabbits who suffered an experimental segmental bone defect before being treated with BPC-157 (Šebečić. 1999).

BPC 157 Dose

BPC 157 dose

The are two ways to dose BPC 157. One is done through an injection and the other orally.

BPC-157 acts systemically. This means you inject it subcutaneously, intramuscularly, or you simply spray it into your mouth orally

Oral Dosage: Oral administration of BPC-157 is simple and easy. Just spray and hold it in your mouth for 90-120 seconds, then swallow.

  • 110 μg for a 150lb person
  • 145 μg for a 200lb person
  • 180 μg for a 250lb person

Injectable Dosage: Take 100mcg of BPC 157 every day, subcutaneously (under the skin).

Injections are potentially more bioavailable as the BPC 157 doesn't break down as quickly and can enter the blood stream in its active state

How To Mix BPC 157

BPC 157 powder is mixed with bacteriostatic water. Here's how according to one manufacturer:

  1. Open the both BPC-157 and BAC bottles.
  2. Clean the rubber stopper on the BPC-157 and BAC vial with an alcohol swab and let it dry.
  3. Dose out the correct amount of BAC. In the case of a 30ml bottle of BAC, if you fill three insulin syringes full of water, then very slowly and carefully (peptides are extremely fragile) inject each of those syringes into a 5mg bottle of BPC-157, you are going to nearly completely fill the 5mg bottle of BPC-157.
  4. Once the 5mg bottle of BPC-157 is full, then based on this very handy Peptide Mixing & Dosing Calculator, each time you inject a 1ml/1cc syringe into it and pull that syringe back to the eight tick mark (15 Unit mark), you are going to have yourself approximately 250mcg of BPC-157.

How To Inject

To inject BPC 157 subcutaneously, either pinch an area of skin near the injured body part and poke the syringe into that spot, or if it's too difficult to simultaneously grab your skin and inject yourself, you can get a helper or just angle the syringe so it slips under the skin.

How Long To Take It

Based on current human studies, BPC-157 can be safely used for four weeks followed by a two-week break.

What Are The Side Effects?

None found so far within studies on mice. It's unclear if any side effects will be seen in human trials.

Are There Health Risks?

There is no way to know if the compound BPC-157 is safe or useful in treatments because it has not been examined extensively in humans.

Is It Legal?

There does not appear to be any legal basis for selling BPC-157 as a drug, food, or dietary supplement. The FDA also confirmed that there's no way for pharmacies to compound medications with this substance

However, there is evidence that BPC-157 is being illegally included in some wellness and anti-aging treatments and products.

Is It Prohibited By The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA)?

BPC 157 safety

In response to recent inquiries about BPC-157, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has clarified that it is not a prohibited substance at this time.

There are, however, three criteria for inclusion on the WADA Prohibited List: "use by athletes must pose an actual or potential health risk,"; "use by athletes would be contrary to sportsmanship;" and "use of such substances would violate the spirit of sport." If BPC-157 meets any two of these criteria in the future, it will be added to the list.

Drug Interactions

It is possible BPC 157 may have negative interactions with the following drugs and medications:

  • Blood thinners
  • Heart medications
  • Antibiotics, particularly tetracycline and amoxicillin. This is because they can cause vomiting which may lead to the BPC 157 being expelled from the body before it has been fully absorbed.
  • The drug neurontin (gabapentin), for seizures or arthritis pain relief as well as any other drugs that affect moods like depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. According to a paper published by National Center for Biotechnology Information in April 2012 this combination could potentially "cause elevated levels of cyclosporine." However, additional research needs to be done on how long these interactions last and their overall effects.

Where To Buy BPC 157

While at this time I cannot recommend taking BPC 157 due to non-existent human research on it, there are probably some individuals who have nothing to lose and want to give it a whirl.

In that case the two BPC 157 products are recommend based on product quality and efficacious dosing are:

For oral dosing:

BioTE Medical Clinical Grade BPC 157

Hydrapharm Unbreakable BPC 157

For injections:

NOT RECCOMENDED as the sourcing and quality can not be verified.

Alternatives To BPC 157

The following are research demonstrated and safe alternatives to BPC 157:

About The Author:

Matt Mosman (MS, CISSN, CSCS) is a research scientist, endurance athlete, and the founder and Chief Endurance Officer at EndurElite. Matt holds his B.S. in Exercise Science from Creighton University and his M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of California. Matt and his family reside in Spearfish South Dakota, where they enjoy running, mountain biking, camping, and all the outdoor adventures Spearfish has to offer.

References:

  • Brcic, L., et al. "Modulatory effect of gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on angiogenesis in muscle and tendon healing." J Physiol Pharmacol 60.Suppl 7 (2009): 191-196.
  • Cerovecki, Tomislav, et al. "Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 (PL 14736) improves ligament healing in the rat." Journal of orthopaedic research 28.9 (2010): 1155-1161.
  • Chang, Chung-Hsun, et al. "The promoting effect of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on tendon healing involves tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration." Journal of Applied Physiology 110.3 (2011): 774-780.
  • Chang, Chung-Hsun, et al. "Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 enhances the growth hormone receptor expression in tendon fibroblasts." Molecules 19.11 (2014): 19066-19077.
  • Keremi, B., et al. "Antiinflammatory effect of BPC 157 on experimental periodontitis in rats." Journal of physiology and pharmacology 60.7 (2009): 115-122.
  • Krivic, Andrija, et al. "Achilles Detachment in Rat and Stable Gastric Pentadecapeptide BPC 157: Promoted Tendon‐to‐Bone Healing and Opposed Corticosteroid Aggravation." Journal of orthopaedic research 24.5 (2006): 982-989.
  • Novinscak, Tomislav, et al. "Gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 as an effective therapy for muscle crush injury in the rat." Surgery today 38.8 (2008): 716-725.
  • Pevec, Danira, et al. "Impact of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on muscle healing impaired by systemic corticosteroid application." Medical Science Monitor 16.3 (2010): BR81-BR88.
  • Šebečić, Božidar, et al. "Osteogenic effect of a gastric pentadecapeptide, BPC-157, on the healing of segmental bone defect in rabbits: a comparison with bone marrow and autologous cortical bone implantation." Bone 24.3 (1999): 195-202.
  • Sikirić, Predrag, et al. "A new gastric juice peptide, BPC. An overview of the stomach-stress-organoprotection hypothesis and beneficial effects of BPC." Journal of Physiology-Paris 87.5 (1993): 313-327.
  • Sikiric, Predrag, et al. "The beneficial effect of BPC 157, a 15 amino acid peptide BPC fragment, on gastric and duodenal lesions induced by restraint stress, cysteamine and 96% ethanol in rats. A comparative study with H 2 receptor antagonists, dopamine promotors and gut peptides." Life sciences 54.5 (1994): PL63-PL68.
  • Sikiric, Predrag, et al. "Toxicity by NSAIDs. Counteraction by stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157." Current pharmaceutical design 19.1 (2013): 76-83.
  • Vuksic, Tihomir, et al. "Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 in trials for inflammatory bowel disease (PL-10, PLD-116, PL14736, Pliva, Croatia) heals ileoileal anastomosis in the rat." Surgery today 37.9 (2007): 768-777.



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