BPC-157: Going In depth – Is it worthwhile?
What does it do?
BPC-157 has gained a lot of attention in recent years among the fitness and sports community because of the reported benefits this peptide exhibits for healing purposes. The reported benefits of BPC-157 use include amazing improvements with joint issues, gut issues, faster recovery between workouts and even a number of reports on mood and sleep benefits. Of course, as a professional skeptic, I set out on a mission to discover whether or not these user reports were based on any solid science. If you only read this paragraph, let me tell you that I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.
What exactly is it?
Now, for all the chemistry peeps, BPC-157 is a peptide consisting of 15 amino acids in a particular sequence. The sequence BPC-157 displays is not a naturally occurring one, but instead derived from a protective protein found in the stomach of several animals—humans included. Although research is limited to bio-chemistry and animal data, current understandings suggest that BPC-157 influences several growth factors involved in angiogenesis and other factors involved in regeneration following damage. Of course, this is not a chemistry lesson, so I’m sure the layman reading this wants to know simply whether or not that last sentence was relevant in proving if BPC-157 would be effective. In other words, “are all the success stories with BPC-157 we’re reading about on Google true?” Well, probably, they are true. Conspiracy theorists against big pharma do not have anything to worry about either, because currently BPC-157 is a research chemical only. What that means is that there is currently no medically approved use for BPC-157 in humans, so there is no company making millions (or billions) of dollars from it—yet. A caveat to that last sentence—which is explained in a paragraph below.
My joints hurt. Is BPC-157 worth it?
Without knowing the context, my blanket answer would be a resounding “yes, BPC-157 is worth a shot if your joints are playing up.” Before I cite relevant scientific papers, it is important to understand that studies done in a petri dish or in animals, do not necessarily indicate the same will happen in humans. Of course, depending on the circumstance being studied, we can draw hypothesis from the data we have to predict what the outcome would be in humans. The below paper was one of the most interesting to me. Again, I am sorry to the laymen reading on. You may want to skip past this next lot of chat. Below I will paste some of my favourite extracts and conclusions from the available research on BPC-157 with reference to joint healing potential.
“In conclusion, BPC 157 promotes the ex vivo outgrowth of tendon fibroblasts from tendon explants, cell survival under stress, and the in vitro migration of tendon fibroblasts, which is likely mediated by the activation of the FAK-paxillin pathway.”
“In comparison, pentadecapeptide BPC 157 fully improves recovery: (i) biomechanically, increased load of failure, load of failure per area and Young’s modulus of elasticity; (ii) functionally, significantly higher AFI-values; (iii) microscopically, more mononuclears and less granulocytes, superior formation of fibroblasts, reticulin and collagen; (iv) macroscopically, smaller size and depth of tendon defect, and subsequently the reestablishment of full tendon integrity.”
If you were a rat with a joint problem, you’d be saving all your pennies to invest in a lifetime supply of BPC-157. We’re humans though, so what do we take from this? Well, fortunately the toxicology surrounding BPC-157 shows that BPC-157 is not very toxic at all. In fact, what a safe looking compound at first glance. This kind of safety data was enough for some mad scientist to put BPC-157 in a lyophilised puck for a human to be able to inject the compound and experiment. And experiment the humans did.
How much do i take?
So, if there isn’t any human studies on BPC-157, how do we know what the minimum effective dose is? The minimum effective dose is important, because it saves you money and it reduces the likelihood of side effects. What we do in science is use a calculations based on a formula to predict the equivalent human dose. In BPC-157, the closest recommended dose for a human is based on a rat study where BPC-157 was dosed orally.
“Orally did you say? Can BPC-157 be used orally and be equally as effective?”
Well, perhaps. Personally, I wouldn’t take the risk of my human-self deactivating any of the good stuff. However, there are many positive anecdotes out there that also swear by the success of oral BPC-157 too. All you have to do is YouTube or Google it and you will discover many stories that swear by oral BPC-157 administration also. But anyways, I’m not recommending it. Back to the recommendations via the good ol’ needle. The oral dose that was effective in rats is 10 mcg/kg and there are currently no human pharmacokinetic studies to assess species differences. With all this said, it is likely that the dose required via injection is lesser. From this, the dose of 250-1000 mcg per day of BPC-157 injected sub-cutaneously was awarded as the standard dose in humans. It sounds like it was a pretty good guesstimate too. Based on my “clinical experience,” BPC-157 at a dose of 500-1000 mcg per day has worked (subjectively) very well with my clients. Unfortunately, I have to admit that it does sound like the dose at the higher end has been more effective. But who knows, this is all down to the subjective reports of my clients. Something positive seems to be happening, that’s all I know for sure. If I had to choose a dose, I would say the dose that is regarded as the standard is a pretty good place to start. Dr Google isn’t always that bad after all, huh?
Aside from the joint health, is there anything else this peptide may be useful for?
It seems so. It is not quite understood exactly how BPC-157 exhibits all of its healing effects on tissues. Again, animal and petri dish data can provide us with some insight, but it seems that perhaps there is a composite effect with this unique peptide. For those wondering what I mean by composite in this context—it means that BPC-157 is thought to heal from a number of different mechanisms of action. Current research suggests BPC-157 influences several growth factors usually involved in angiogenesis and other factors involved in regeneration following damage, particularly EGF-1. Aside from what the science suggests, something seems to be going on that is not limited to joint injuries only. Summed up well here from examine.com:
“Researchers have conducted numerous rodent studies on BPC-157 that show it has protective effects extending beyond the stomach and intestinal tract. BPC-157 has been shown to benefit ulcers in the stomach, intestinal damage such as fistulas and inflammatory disorders, bone and joint healing and growth rates, and organ damage. It also has some influences on the brain. Researchers have observed marked protective effects when BPC-157 is administired to rats alongside a research toxin or damaging surgical procedure.”
For those of you who want to fact check, examine.com is a helpful database of sorts that compiles most of the known data on foods and supplements; with information presented to the layman in summary format for his/her own application. It saves time filtering through Pubmed for every credible source, that is for sure. Here are a few of my favourite citations that indicate the various other use cases of BPC-157:
1.) Anti-ulcer potential.
“In these conditions, no delay in the effectiveness was noted in BPC 157 medication and a reduction of the immobility of chronically stressed rats was noted after both 4 and 6 d of BPC 157 (10 microg, 10 ng) medication.”
2.) Increased mood and energy potential.
“Thus, a complex protective interaction with both alpha-adrenergic (eg, catecholamine release) and dopaminergic (central) systems could be suggested for both intragastric and intraperitoneal BPC 157 administration.”
3.) Gastrointestinal disorders (digestive issues)
“Finally, BPC 157, due to its special relations with NO-system, may both lessen increased MDA- and NO-tissues values and counteract effects of both cyclophosphamide and L-NAME on stomach and duodenal lesions.”
“Hopefully, the lessons from animal studies, particularly advanced intestinal anastomosis healing, reversed short bowel syndrome and fistula healing indicate BPC 157’s high significance in further IBD therapy.”
“Innate NO-system disability for esophagogastric anastomoses, including L-NAME-worsening, suggests that these effects could be corrected by L-arginine and almost completely eliminated by BPC 157 therapy.”
“This study showed BPC 157 to have a beneficial effect on ileoileal anastomosis healing in the rat.”
Im convinced i want to experiment with BPC-157. Where to buy?
Harm reduction is the aim of our game here. Of course, it is obvious that not all sources online for BPC-157 will be credible ones. Wherever there is profit, there is often corruption. And as discussed above, there is no such thing as a “pharmaceutical version” of BPC-157 in Australia. So, who do you trust? Well, as I write this, I cannot be so sure that the sponsored suppliers currently even stock BPC-157, but rest assure we will quality check all products that are promoted and discussed within this forum. If you have a particular supplier in mind, I encourage you to ignite discussion within the forums and perhaps myself or other members can shed light on the validity of the supplier or product in question. There is no bigger sceptic than myself, so be sure I’ve done my homework before I comment. I strongly recommend no one orders any BPC-157 internationally, as the probability of seizure is high. And the consequences?
What are the laws surrounding BPC-157 in Australia?
BPC-157 is classified as a research peptide. Actually, peptides are not illegal in Australia with a prescription. Research peptides are currently schedule 4 substances. Despite the fact there are clinics in Australia that do write scripts from Doctors to patients for BPC-157, these peptides have not been approved for human use by any weight of evidence—as I mentioned in an above paragraph at the start of this article. This may sound confusing—and that is because it is. How on earth Doctors claim to be experts in the field when there is no amount of evidence to support their claims. Once again, where there is profit, there is corruption. And profit there sure is. The good news is, you can technically use these peptides legally if you wanted and the quality is likely assured from these clinics. The diagnostic criteria in order for you to get prescribed is also very “soft.” Put it this way; it is unlikely you’re going to be turned down if you wanted to use BPC-157 from one of these peptide clinics. The bad news is, these clinics take advantage of patients and charge prices so high that the minimum effective dose will cost you a fortune. Pretty much, the cost to benefit ratio is outweighed by the cost. On top of that, these clinics will often claim the benefits of this peptide are beyond the current credentials of BPC-157. With BPC-157 or any compound that has not been followed up with human trials, the answer must never be “it will do this,” rather it should be worded as “it may do this.” In my opinion, unless I had money to burn, I would try and find a solid online supplier and investigate their reputation via reviews and other means—as it goes for most things you buy in life, really.
Summing things up. Do i recommend BPC-157?
I hope this article has been informative for you all, especially if you’re an Australian considering the use of BPC-157. Injuries suck—anyone would agree. This peptide was well worth a look at for me. In fact, once I completed this paper, I began a trial of BPC-157 myself for a calve tendinopathy that has been nagging me the past 3-4 months. I have chosen a dose of 1000 mcg daily injected sub-cutaneously in my abdomen. Some user reports swear by site injection, but I’m not convinced. If you want to site inject, I don’t see that being of any harm and if it does further benefit you, then that’s a bonus. Until diving deep on BPC-157, I’d say my knowledge on this healing peptide was vague at best. I see now though the potential of BPC-157 and the animal research really could explain some of the positively bizarre success stories. For all of my science peeps, I have linked below what I believe to be some of the better references to read on BPC-157. I’ll do my best to respond to everyone’s questions in the comments section below. Until the next one.
2. Jelovac N, et al. A novel pentadecapeptide, BPC 157, blocks the stereotypy produced acutely by amphetamine and the development of haloperidol-induced supersensitivity to amphetamine. Biol Psychiatry. (1998)
3. Cox HD, Miller GD, Eichner D. Detection and in vitro metabolism of the confiscated peptides BPC 157 and MGF R23H. Drug Test Anal. (2016)
4. Tkalcević VI, et al. Enhancement by PL 14736 of granulation and collagen organization in healing wounds and the potential role of egr-1 expression. Eur J Pharmacol. (2007)
5. Sikiric P, et al. The antidepressant effect of an antiulcer pentadecapeptide BPC 157 in Porsolt’s test and chronic unpredictable stress in rats. A comparison with antidepressants. J Physiol Paris. (2000)
6. Veljaca M, et al. BPC-15 reduces trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-induced colonic damage in rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. (1995)
7. Hsieh MJ, et al. Therapeutic potential of pro-angiogenic BPC157 is associated with VEGFR2 activation and up-regulation. J Mol Med (Berl). (2017)
8. D.Basagiannis et al.. Dynasore impairs VEGFR2 signalling in an endocytosis-independent manner. Nature. (2017)
9. Sikiric P. The pharmacological properties of the novel peptide BPC 157 (PL-10). Inflammopharmacology. (1999)
10. Rebec GV, et al. Differential sensitivity to amphetamine following long-term treatment with clozapine or haloperidol. Psychopharmacology (Berl). (1982)
11. Sikiric P, et al. Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 attenuates chronic amphetamine-induced behavior disturbances. Acta Pharmacol Sin. (2002)
12. Sikiric P, et al. Brain-gut Axis and Pentadecapeptide BPC 157: Theoretical and Practical Implications. Curr Neuropharmacol. (2016)
13. Jenkins TA, et al. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis. Nutrients. (2016)
14. Tohyama Y, Sikirić P, Diksic M. Effects of pentadecapeptide BPC157 on regional serotonin synthesis in the rat brain: alpha-methyl-L-tryptophan autoradiographic measurements. Life Sci. (2004)
15. Klicek R, et al. Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 heals cysteamine-colitis and colon-colon-anastomosis and counteracts cuprizone brain injuries and motor disability. J Physiol Pharmacol. (2013)
16. Torkildsen O, et al. The cuprizone model for demyelination. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. (2008)
17. Herring NR, Konradi C. Myelin, copper, and the cuprizone model of schizophrenia. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). (2011)
18. Benetti F, et al. Cuprizone neurotoxicity, copper deficiency and neurodegeneration. Neurotoxicology. (2010)
19. Chang CH, et al. The promoting effect of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on tendon healing involves tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration. J Appl Physiol (1985). (2011)
20. Molloy TJ, et al. Microarray analysis of healing rat Achilles tendon: evidence for glutamate signaling mechanisms and embryonic gene expression in healing tendon tissue. J Orthop Res. (2006)
21. Ying-Li Hu et al.. FAK and paxillin dynamics at focal adhesions in the protrusions of migrating cells. Nature. (2014)
22. Staresinic M, et al. Gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 accelerates healing of transected rat Achilles tendon and in vitro stimulates tendocytes growth. J Orthop Res. (2003)
23. Sikirić P, et al. Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 interactions with adrenergic and dopaminergic systems in mucosal protection in stress. Dig Dis Sci. (1997)
24. Luetic K, et al. Cyclophosphamide induced stomach and duodenal lesions as a NO-system disturbance in rats: L-NAME, L-arginine, stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157. Inflammopharmacology. (2017)
25. Bilic I, et al. Haloperidol-stomach lesions attenuation by pentadecapeptide BPC 157, omeprazole, bromocriptine, but not atropine, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, ranitidine, cimetidine and misoprostol in mice. Life Sci. (2001)
26. Sikiric P, et al. Therapy effect of antiulcer agents on new chronic cysteamine colon lesion in rat. J Physiol Paris. (2001)
27. Sikiric P, et al. Cysteamine-colon and cysteamine-duodenum lesions in rats. Attenuation by gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157, cimetidine, ranitidine, atropine, omeprazole, sulphasalazine and methylprednisolone. J Physiol Paris. (2001)
28. Sikiric P, et al. Focus on ulcerative colitis: stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157. Curr Med Chem. (2012)
29. Hrelec M, et al. Abdominal aorta anastomosis in rats and stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157, prophylaxis and therapy. J Physiol Pharmacol. (2009)
30. Djakovic Z, et al. Esophagogastric anastomosis in rats: Improved healing by BPC 157 and L-arginine, aggravated by L-NAME. World J Gastroenterol. (2016)
31. Grgic T, et al. Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 heals rat colovesical fistula. Eur J Pharmacol. (2016)
32. Baric M, et al. Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 heals rectovaginal fistula in rats. Life Sci. (2016)
33. Vuksic T, 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. Surg Today. (2007)
34. Sever M, et al. Gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 and short bowel syndrome in rats. Dig Dis Sci. (2009)
35. Lojo N, et al. Effects of Diclofenac, L-NAME, L-Arginine, and Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on Gastrointestinal, Liver, and Brain Lesions, Failed Anastomosis, and Intestinal Adaptation Deterioration in 24 Hour-Short-Bowel Rats. PLoS One. (2016)
36. Sikiric P, et al. A behavioural study of the effect of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 in Parkinson’s disease models in mice and gastric lesions induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydrophyridine. J Physiol Paris. (1999)