Update 7/21/19. BCP 157 is fast becoming one of the most popular anti-pain supplements around. But, does it work? In this review, let's look at the research on BPC 157 with special emphasis placed on claims it heals muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint pain /arthritis as well as other issues. What does the research say? Does it work or is it a scam? Is it safe or have any side effects? Let's see what we can discover.
What is BPC 157?
Body Protecting Complex, BPC 157 composed of 15 amino acids. It was first isolated from a larger molecule in stomach gastric juice. It is not a steroid or pro-hormone. It's called a peptide because it's smaller than larger molecules, called proteins.
Additional names for BPC 157 are Pentadecapeptide, PL-10, and bepecin.
What Does BPC 157 Do?
While marketing seems to mostly deal with benefits to helping heal tendons and joint pain, a variety of studies have hinted BPC 157 may have a wide range of effects including:
- Tendon injuries
- Topical skin wound healing
- Heal ulcers
- Help gum disease
- Acetaminophen antidote IAnti-blood thinner effects
- Promoting blood vessel formation (angiogenesis)
- Anti-heart arrhythmia effects
- Helping inflammatory bowel disease
However, the vast majority of these BPC 157 benefits involve lab animals and not humans.
How Does BPC157 Work?
Good question. How it works is not fully understood. There does seem to be a relationship to boosting nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator which means it opens up blood vessels, allowing more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to get to injured tissues. This can play a role in the healing process.
Other ways its thought to work may include increasing growth hormone receptors and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Given the diverse health issues the PBC peptide is touted to help, it's possible it may have several mechanisms of action.
Is BPC 157 Natural?
Even though the substance was first discovered in the body, BPC 157 is patented. This is likely because it was discovered as part of a larger stomach protein. The human body does not make BPC 157.
Is It a Supplement or Drug?
There are BPC 157 supplements. You do not need a prescription to get this stuff although various people have said their doctors had written prescriptions. Basically, people take the prescription to a compounding pharmacy where the prescription is filled.
BPC 157 Video Review
BPC 157 Tendon Injury Research
There are a LOT of studies on the BPC peptide for many different things. Much of this research comes from the University of Zagreb in Croatia.
Since BPC supplements are marketed to help exercise pain and injuries, let's look at the research on tendons and other issues those in the gym might experience.
Researchers in 2011 took Achilles tendon cells from rats and bathed them in solutions containing either BPC protein or not. They noted tendon cells bathed in a BPC 157 solution seemed to heal better than those without it. This was basically a test tube study. It did not prove BPC157 enhanced Achilles tendon strength or helped the tendon heal faster in the body.
These same researchers also noted rat Achilles tendon cells treated with BPC 157 had more receptors for growth hormone than non-treated tendon cells. Growth hormone helps things grow and this might also help the healing process. While interesting, this study does not prove BPC-157 improves tendon healing inside the body or tendon strength.
Researchers in 2008 observed BP157 improved “functional recovery” in rats that had their Achilles tendons cut. Those rats which were given BPC157 injections showed improved blood vessel formation. This study did not appear to involve checking if BP157 helped rats walk better after their Achilles tendons were cut.
Researchers also noted the PBC 157 peptide improved muscle healing when rat muscles were crushed.
The majorly of tendon healing research appears to stem from lab animal and/or test-tube studies. Proof the BPC peptide helps tendon tears in humans cannot be located.
BPC 157 & Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition resulting from overuse. The tell-tail sign of plantar fasciitis is heel pain when you get out of bed or get up after seated for a long time. So, does BPC 157 help plantar fasciitis? It may or may not. Clinical evidence supporting the use of supplements or injections cannot be located.
BPC157 & Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness, called DOMS often shows up about 1-2 days after exercise. Currently, there seems to be no clinical evidence on the BPC peptide helping muscle soreness heal faster. It may help or not. There is no evidence either way.
Some testimonials have noted BPC helps with muscle aches and pains after exercise, but human clinical evidence is lacking.
Does BPC 157 Help Depression?
Some types of depression are linked to low serotonin levels. Some antidepressant drugs work by raising serotonin levels. One study has noted BPC 157 raises serotonin levels in rats. Does this mean BPC157 helps depression?
Researchers in Croatia have noted rats injected with BPC157 seem to do better after going through a series of unpredictable stressful situations. This is interesting although serotonin levels were not measured in this investigation.
What About Parkinson's Disease?
Human research on the BPC157 peptide and Parkinson's disease is lacking. At least one mouse study seemed to show the BPC peptide seemed to help mice treated with chemicals to induce a Parkinson's-like state. It would take human research to know if it helps people with Parkinson's disease.
Do We Digest BPC 157?
Since BPC 157 is basically, a protein, do we digest it? If that happens, then, supplements might not work. Some researchers have noted the body protecting compound can survive in the stomach for at least 24 hours. This hints BPC157 supplements may make it into the bloodstream intact.
How Do You Take It?
In the majority of lab animal studies, the BPC peptide is injected. In research, it is not taken orally. Injectable products are sold online. Investigate companies you are considering doing business with. If taking BPC by injection, read the labels to make sure if it needs to be refrigerated.
Can You Take BPC 157 Orally?
Some BPC supplements may contain 1 mg or 0.5 mg per capsule. The amounts found in supplements may be derived from extrapolating what was given to lab animals.
But, since humans are not rats or mice, it's difficult to know for certain how much might work in humans.
More research is needed to understand if BPC supplements work.
Is BPC 157 Legal?
Like most natural products, BPC 157 is not FDA-approved. The FDA does not approve any supplement. That said, if you are subject to drug testing (athletes, military, etc.) double-check it's not a prohibited substance.
In a document from the World Anti-Doping League (WADA) titled, Internet Surveillance for PEDs, WADA classified BPC157 as “not approved for human use.”
So is it legal or not? Good question. WADA does not give more details than this. Click here to download the WADA pdf document. Researchers do state that drug tests can detect the BPC peptide in the urine. Consider this if you are subject to urinalysis drug testing.
When in doubt, ask whoever performs the drug test that you're taking BPC peptide in case it raises any red flags.
Can You Make Your Own BPC 157?
You cannot save money and make your own BPC 157. Here's why.
The BPC peptide is composed of the following amino acids, arranged in the following sequence:
- Glutamic acid
- Aspartic acid
- Aspartic acid
So, could you save money by taking these amino acids and help your body make your own BPC157? This will not work for two reasons:
- Taking the amino acids by themselves will not force the body to make its own BPC protein because we do not make this substance naturally.
- The arrangement of the amino acids is important. Just as different combinations of letters make different words, different combinations of amino acids make different substances.
Even if you could make BP157 (which you don't), simply taking the amino acids that compose the substance, does not mean the body would arrange them into the sequence you want.
BPC 157 vs.
Studies that compare the BPC peptide to pain revealing supplements cannot be located. It's not known if the Body Protecting Compound is better than:
Do these supplements help BPC work better? this also needs more research.
BP 157 Side Effects
Lab animal studies do not reveal any side effects. That said, human research is needed to know what its side effects might be or if it interacts with medications. If you are going to try BPC supplements, here are some general considerations. This list is not complete.
- Start with less than is recommended for the first week to see how you respond
- Talk to your doctor/pharmacist if you are pregnant/breastfeeding
- Talk to your doctor/pharmacist if you take any medications
- Stop taking BPC supplements at least 2 weeks before surgery
- More research is needed on how BPC 157 changes blood pressure
Preliminary evidence suggests the BPC substance can cause blood vessel growth – angiogenesis. If this is true, what does this mean for people who have cancer? Cancer needs a blood supply to grow. So, does BPC 157 cause cancer?
There is no proof either way at this point.
For those who have cancer, it's best to discuss BPC 157 with your oncologist for the most up-to-date information.
Does BPC 157 Work?
I'm very skeptical. While the preliminary research is encouraging and the testimonials intriguing, more human studies are needed to better understand if it really works or not.
Did you try BPC 157? Let me know if it worked for you.
Here it is on Amazon
Any Questions Or Comments?