Every year scientists research and experiment with thousands of compounds in an effort to unearth the ones that can move the needle in human health. The ones that can improve metabolism, heal wounds, quell inflammation, enhance our thinking, and even help us live longer. Often there are associations and correlations found but it’s rare and extremely exciting to find something that actual a direct effect.
Well, hello, BPC 157 – the darling child of the optimized self, bodybuilding and performance enhancing communities. Used for years overseas, in athletics, nootropic & regenerative spaces it’s now fast becoming a staple in many health protocols. Need to heal your gut? BPC 157. Need to shut down inflammation around a tendon? BPC 157. Need to heal from an ACL surgery. BPC 157. With little to no side effects, BPC 157 can be introduced into a protocol for healing or optimization.
Interested in learning if it’s a good fit for you? Let’s dive into the science, studies, treatments & what to layer it with to make it even more effective.
- What is BPC 157?
- What Does BPC 157 Do?
- What are the Benefits of BPC 157?
- Where to Get BPC 157?
- What Happens when you have an injury and you take BPC 157
- The Heal Like Wolverine Peptide Stack – BPC 157 & TB500
- Different Ways to take BPC 157
- But, be careful with BPC 157 if you have..
What is BPC 157?
Let’s rewind to high school science class for a minute. BPC 157 is a short peptide chain, and like all peptides, it is composed of small building molecules called amino acids. Peptides, simply put, are a string of amino acids. An amino acid may be powerful on its own but once linked together in a chain-like sequence to form a peptide, they’re vital. Given that peptides send messages to cells with instructions regarding what those cells should become they’re pretty important when it comes to the functioning of our body.
BPC stands for Body Protective Compound, and that is exactly its function. It was originally discovered to be a protective peptide within our gut and to have a healing effect in both our upper and lower GI tract.
It should be understood that BPC 157 is only a small part of the whole BPC protein, but it is essential for its functionality because it is where binding spots for enzymes are located. The structure of this stable gastric pentadecapeptide consists of 15 amino acids, and looks a little something like this: Gly-Glu-Pro-Pro-Pro-Gly-Lys-Pro-Ala-Asp-Asp-Ala-Gly-Leu-Val.
What Does BPC 157 Do?
BPC 157 naturally occurs in our gastric juice, and its role in the gut is to kickstart and accelerate the repair and renewal of the intestinal tract. Since our intestines are under a lot of pressure and constantly working to repair damage, BPC 157 does a fantastic job of keeping everything running smoothly by regenerating cells of intestine walls and endothelium, preventing ulcers, stabilizing microbiome, and controlling blood vessel functioning. 
After identifying the healing properties of this peptide, scientists decided to test the effects outside the digestive tract, and the results were incredible.
It turns out that BPC 157 interacts directly with Nitric Oxide (NO) pathway, regulating blood vessel functioning, but also promoting key growth factors. The primary mechanism of NO mediated wound healing is the formation of new blood vessels in a process called angiogenic repair. That means that more oxygen and energy can be delivered to injured spot, and the recovery is faster.
BPC 157 is responsible for stimulating the production of angiogenic cytokines like VEGF, TGF-b, and FGF. However, it does a lot more than these growth factors alone, and its full regenerative potential is extraordinary.
It upregulates the Anti-Inflammatory Gene Transcription Factor, and Growth Hormone receptors, all leading to better systemic repair response.
BPC 157 also stimulates the growth and spread of fibroblasts, which are vital for the formation of a structural protein of your skin, bones, and connective tissue, called collagen.
What Are the Benefits of BPC 157?
Some of the world’s top researchers around the world, many at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, are working to determine whether BPC 157 contains life-changing properties.
The benefits list is growing by the day:
- Useful adjunct to healing almost anything related to the GI tract
- Heals mitochondrial damage
- Accelerated healing of ligaments, bones, and tendons
- Reduces inflammation in autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis,
- Protects endothelium and the formation of scar tissue
- Improves brain health & mood
- Blocks long term effects of corticosteroid injections
- Stabilized production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters (eg. serotonin)
- Protection of the cardiovascular system
- Reduced drug-induced damage
- Better general body repair and wound healing
- Improved body’s response to allergens and viruses
BPC 157 for Gut Health
BPC 157 helps to stabilize the brain-gut axis, which is in charge of the interaction between the nervous system, gut, microbiome, and immune system.
BPC 157 may help with esophageal reflux, esophagogastric anastomosis, ulcerative colitis, and intestinal swelling, which are all present in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). [3, 4, 5, 6] People with IBD could benefit from BPC supplements, particularly if their body doesn’t produce a sufficient amount.
Besides protecting the GI tract, BPC 157 could also help preserve colon health.
BPC also has an antiulcer impact and produces a therapeutic effect on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
BPC 157 for Cognition & Brain Health
BPC 157 stimulates the repair of neurons in the brain, and could be a potent healing inducer after traumatic brain injury.
It can decrease the effectiveness of many neurotoxic substances, and can even prevent seizures, brain lesions, and other harmful processes due to insulin overdose.[9,10]
By stabilizing the production of certain hormones like serotonin, BPC 157 may promote mental health by improving depression-type symptoms. Research published in the Journal of Physiology – Paris found BPC 157 to have comparable effects to antidepressants, with no side effects. It even helped to increase mobility in chronically stressed rats in that study.
BPC 157 affects dopaminergic and adrenergic systems, reducing the effects of stress.
Have symptoms of anxiety? BPC 157 stabilizes GABA neurotransmitters, helping with withdrawals and tolerance of certain drugs and also decreasing anxiety.
So what about the potential of BPC 157 in improving those with brain related disorders? Well, its shown strong potential in reducing the toxin-induced neural damage in those with Parkinson’s disease in humans following positive results in animals.  Research has also demonstrated positive results in the treatment of various central nervous system disorders, including multiple sclerosis.
BPC 157 and Your Heart
BPC 157 has shown great potential in protecting the cardiovascular system. It protects blood vessels from oxidative stress, toxins, and damages, all leading to better cardiovascular health and increased longevity. Our blood vessel quality is a direct indicator of how healthy our heart and cardiovascular system is. It is also useful in detecting tumors and metastases, as it looks like BPC 157 could play a significant role there. However, more studies are needed to confirm this.
BPC 157 stimulates the formation of new blood vessels and tissues, promoting cardiovascular health.
It successfully prevents damages from certain toxic substances, and electrolytes, and can even be used to manage arrhythmias.[19,20]
Its therapeutic effect could even be used in the treatment of severe conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF). BPC 157 has demonstrated favorable results and faster recovery after CHF, but more human studies are needed to confirm this.
BPC 157 & The Prevention of Drug-Induced Damage
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are commonly used for pain, cold, fever, and inflammation, but they can cause damage to our body if taken too often. It appears that BPC 157 can help reduce toxicity induced by NSAIDs. 
It can fight off alcohol intoxication symptoms and prevent lesion formation in the GI tract.
BPC 157 shows excellent potential in the recovery of substance abuse users. It can block the stereotypy from amphetamine and other narcoleptics. [24,25] Since it interacts with the dopaminergic system, it can make certain opioids like morphine less efficient. 
The Healing Capabilities of BPC 157
In addition to its protection capabilities, BPC 157 has a tremendous ability to heal. It can be used for injuries, which is a major reason why it’s become well known in athletics & the fitness community at large.  It should be known that wound healing is a very complicated pathophysiologic process and while the process of healing is continuous, it can be divided into four phases: 1) coagulation and hemostasis; 2) inflammation; 3) proliferation; and 4) wound remodeling with scar tissue formation. With emerging evidence demonstrating that several peptides play critical roles in the inflammatory response (number 2) during wound healing, BPC 157 in tandem with several other peptides, is being used as a part of a comprehensive therapeutic approach to acute and chronic wound management. It can also be useful for treating burns, cuts, damaged skin. 
But, what’s impressive about this peptide is that it can accelerate the healing of almost any injury – internal or external. It is useful in treating injuries of ligaments, muscles, tendons, and even bones. [28, 29, 30, 31] How you ask? Well, BPC 157 stimulates the expression of specific genes and growth hormone receptors which is important for healing damage because it increases the number of repair enzymes, growth hormone sensitivity, enhancing the proliferating effects of growth hormone.  It also regulates collagen organization, which is essential for quicker healing. 
BPC 157 is considered an important piece of the post-injury treatment puzzle. With its ability to stimulate the regeneration of nerves, which is often one of the most frustrating and lingering effects of a serious injury, BPC 157 should be considered in the recovery from the most debilitating of injuries. 
Where Do I Get BPC 157?
A lot of people are wondering where the best places to buy BPC 157 are, given a search into the Google machine is a bit overwhelming. While the options are endless online for peptides, just like the world of supplements, you should be extremely wary as a lot of the supplements come from overseas in untested facilities for quality or efficacy. Sort of like getting lip injections on Groupon, don’t price shop or you could run the risk of some long-standing side effects. Due to the fact that many peptides are injected, and thus go directly into your bloodstream with a 100% absorbability rate – versus a standard supplement whose absorbability is under 40% – you want to make sure what you’re putting into your bloodstream is clean & not contaminated with metals or bacteria.
That said, I work primarily with Tailor Made Compounding given their utmost dedication to quality and efficacy. Tailor Made peptides come pre-constituted, are delivered on ice directly to your door and come with all the equipment you may need when you order through a practitioner. For those starting out, I prefer pre-constituted peptides over the powder form that you need to reconstitute. It’s much simpler and you have the Porsche of peptides experience.
For those who choose to purchase an unreconstituted powder peptide online, please be careful. People can get confused with measurements and calculating concentration and BPC 157 dosage, plus you need to be extremely careful when dealing with this stuff since it is fragile. If you need suggestions on a peptide calculator please message me.
And when it comes to storage of your magical BPC 157 peptide – It’s best to keep it in the refrigerator. If you purchase unreconstituted peptides you can often prolong the shelf life by storing them in the freezer.
How to Take BPC 157
There are a handful of ways to administer BPC 157 – each with a varying degree of effectiveness & ease in dosing.
You can take BPC 157:
- Subcutaneously – BPC 157 subcutaneous injections are easy to administer at home or in the office. The needle goes below your skin, and it doesn’t reach deep. That’s why this is a more pain-free method and can be used to treat muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries.
- Intramuscularly – For this, you will definitely need to schedule an appointment. I often administer BPC 157 intramuscularly for athletes with injuries, since it is the best way to reach close to the hurt area and get the fastest healing effects. Remember that this method is excruciating, but it is nothing compared to how quickly your injury will heal.
- Orally – You can take BPC 157 capsules or liquid if you are not a big fan of needles.
- Nasally – BPC 157 nasal spray is another option.
A lot of people ask me if BPC 157 is systemic, and the answer is yes, in line with current research. However, this depends on the method of administration.. The deliverability can be increased if intramuscular injections are done in the site, or close to, the injury being treated.
In short, as far as BPC 157’s effectiveness is concerned, injections are superior to oral or nasal administration when it comes to sports injuries. If you want to incorporate BPC 157 into a treatment plan for, say, a muscle tear, you want the amplified local effect, and IM injections are best for that.
However, oral and nasal administration have benefits for reducing brain inflammation, accelerated neuron repair, and fighting off allergy and mold toxicity symptoms. The effect is localized first and then systemic so although the absorption is much less, it’s quite effective for the problem being addressed. Capsules are the least effective in regards to absorbability but if you are seeking to treat gut issues a localized healing effect is seen to be effective.
What Happens When You Take BPC 157 for Your Injury?
As an Osteopath & Functional Medicine practitioner, I understand the human body and treatment using a 360-degree approach to healing and optimization. That said, placement of BPC 157 into a muscle should not be done without a thorough understanding of muscle, fascia, nerves and insertion points. It’s becoming more and more popular to use ultrasound to detect the specific place of injury or inflammation, that way, a physician can inject BPC 157 exactly where it is needed. BPC 157 can also be paired with exosomes and PRP for superior healing and regeneration.
With the injection of BPC 157 comes the increased production of nitric oxide (NO), which is essential for many bodily processes.  Specifically, NO dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the injured area so that enough oxygen and nutrients can be delivered. The increase in NO in tandem with nerve growth factor, VEGF, collagen reorganization, and repair to nerve function is what makes BPC 157 so effective as a part of a healing protocol.
Using collagen hydroxylate during an initial phase of rehabilitation can be beneficial. These molecules are the building blocks for muscle and connective tissue, and as already mentioned, BPC 157 increases the expression of some genes and stimulates collagen reorganization and healing.
The Heal Like Wolverine Peptide Stack – BPC 157 and TB500
You know the saying that “some things are better together” – well that goes for BPC 157. What’s been dubbed the “Wolverine Peptide Stack” by Ben Greenfield is a combination of BPC 157 and TB500 or Thymosin Beta-4. While BPC 157 upregulates the growth hormone cell receptors, TB500 improves the speed of the entire healing process. 
Thymosin Beta-4 and TB500 are in essence, functionally, the same. Thymosin Beta-4 is a whole functional protein, and it has many effects on different tissues. TB500 is a synthetic fragment of that protein, and it is responsible for targeting tissue healing in muscles and connective tissue. 
TB500 is used for wound healing, reducing inflammation, angiogenesis, mediating growth factors like VEG-F, and more.
TB500 modulates the cytokine response, which helps reduce inflammation. It also stimulates the generation of red blood cells, which helps to keep the blood oxygenated. On top of that, TB500 stimulates cell migration into places that need to be repaired, and it also upregulates growth factors.
The concentration of Thymosin Beta-4 in our bodies usually drops in our mid-30s, so this addition to an optimization protocol after the three-decade mark could be beneficial external of a healing protocol.
Does BPC 157 Have any Side Effects?
Very few to no side effects have been reported so far with those under practitioner care with BPC 157. However, anecdotally, those with Mast Cell or histamine intolerances should be wary and work with a practitioner to prime their immune system with other peptides prior to taking BPC 157.
I’ve heard several reports of people with autoimmune issues who try BPC first on their own and have a reaction. You can overcome this by stopping BPC entirely, starting with a lower dose or combining BPC 157 with other peptides that prime the immune system, like Thymosin Alpha-1.
Thymosin Alpha-1 (TA1) is an FDA approved peptide (unlike BPC 157) and a large body of research supports its benefits. Among the dozens of benefits, TA1 restores the activity of natural killer cells and helps recover functional immunity and reduce inflammation. 
Thymosin Alpha-1 also plays a significant role in treating melanoma and more long-tail autoimmune diseases like hepatitis and HIV. [40,41,42]
Ultimately, the goal of taking Thymosin Alpha-1 is to modulate your immune system before taking BPC 157. I can’t stress enough how necessary that is if you are someone with an impaired immune system or even Lyme disease.
Patients with histamine issues can also face problems if they start taking BPC 157 right away. TA1 or TB500 in combination is advisable alongside supplements to support the body.
As always, peptide type, dose & programs are not a one size fits all treatment. Work with someone who is certified by the International Peptide Society and understands their complexity and can help you experiment, heal and optimize safely.
What Can BPC 157 Be Paired With?
Depending on what you’re looking to address, you can pair BPC 157 with other peptides and compounds for maximum results.
- Thymosin Alpha-1 and Thymosin Beta-4 are great for restoring the immune system and reducing inflammation.
- PT-141 can be used to help with erectile dysfunction. 
- RG3 and VIP are commonly incorporated in the treatment of Lyme and toxic mold syndrome (see my article on mold toxicity for more information on my treatment philosophy).
- LL37 is a potent antimicrobial agent and can be a useful partner in wound healing.
- Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium Peptide (Elmiron) and AOD 9604 decrease pain receptors in the brain, which reduces the subjective perception of pain.
- Melanotan is another peptide with potent anti-inflammatory activity. It targets the vagus nerve via the cholinergic pathway. The result is the removal of inflammatory molecules and calmer brain.
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The Information in this guide is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician and is for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you saw or read on my website.