BPC-157 is an experimental peptide that has recently grown in popularity due to its purported healing effects.
The peptide has never been tested on humans except for one small trial. All the scientific information available for its effects is available only from animal and in vitro studies.
Thus, it is still considered an experimental peptide and is legally available only for scientific research, just like IGF-1 LR3.
Selling BPC-157 for human use is against the law. However, many sellers label it “for research use only,” and individuals can purchase it for personal use without any regulation.
Despite the several lab studies that suggest BPC-157 may have regenerative effects after animals with toxic exposure, surgical wounds, and trauma, no conclusions can be made about the safety and effectiveness of this peptide.
Furthermore, the lack of control over the quality of the peptides that are available online creates a serious risk that you may be purchasing expired, contaminated, or counterfeit products.
Therefore, it may not be worth it to inject yourself with a poorly researched chemical.
What does BPC-157 do?
BPC-157, also known as L 14736, PL-10, or Bepecin, is a pentadecapeptide made of 15 amino acids. The abbreviation BPC stands for ‘Body Protection Compound’ and stems from its potential to enhance regenerative processes in animals.
Despite the fact that the peptide is often labeled as a “gut peptide,” and some even claim that it shares a similar structure to gastroprotective peptides found in the human digestive system, the BPC-157 sequence is not known to occur in nature.
The patent of the BPC peptides, including BPC-157, also reveals that the compound is fully synthetic. It is reportedly produced from various organic and inorganic products.
BPC-157 may have the potential to speed up the healing process of various tissues in mice, especially connective tissue, thanks to its effects on fibroblasts.
This is why it is currently under investigation for its effects on the healing of the skin, tendons, and gastrointestinal tract. It is also studied for its potential to speed up repairs in nerve tissues.
According to available animal research, BPC-157 does not have any effects on hormones. Only one study suggests that the peptide may upregulate the receptors of the human growth hormone (HGH), thus potentially increasing its effects.
Is it legal?
Due to the lack of human trials, BPC 157 is not FDA-approved, and it can’t be legally sold or possessed for human use. That’s because neither its effectiveness nor its safety has been tested on people.
Instead, it bears the status of a research compound that can be legally obtained only by scientists and used for research.
Yet, since research peptides are not subject to any regulation, they can be purchased freely for research purposes without any requirements for documentation or any form of prescription.
According to the limited research on BPC-157, the peptide appears to be well tolerated by animals, but its safety in humans remains unknown. Furthermore, the lack of regulation means that there is no guarantee that you will receive a genuine and safe product that is free of dangerous substances.
How long does it take for BPC-157 to work
There is almost no human data on how long it takes until BPC-157 exerts any potential benefit. Thus, there isn’t any established timeline for its effects.
According to animal research, it takes anywhere between 4-7 days until the various effects of BPC-157 kick in.
For example, one study revealed that 7 days of therapy in rats led to a significant increase in serotonin synthesis in their brains. A similar trial also showed faster angiogenesis with a week of injections in lab animals.
Another experiment also suggests that BPC-157 significantly speeds up the healing in rats within 4 days following a surgical procedure.
Most of these effects appear to be more significant than placebo. However, it is unknown if they are permanent, whether the organism may develop tolerance to the peptide, and what may happen to the results after stopping the treatment. It’s also unknown if these benefits extend to humans.
Benefits of BPC-157
Here is a short list of all the potential benefits of BPC-157, most of which are poorly studied or not studied at all:
- connective tissue healing, including tendons, joints, skin, etc.
- pain reduction
- anti-ulcer activity
- improving the healing of intestinal tissues
- improving short-bowel syndrome
Laboratory experiments suggest that BPC-157 may speed up healing in tendon injuries, arthritis, and after injuries.
In vitro studies suggest that BPC-157 can enhance the growth of tendon fibroblasts which may speed up healing in tendon injuries. Also, studies in rats with injury of the Achilles tendon report a faster rate of healing and recovery.
The only human trial with BPC-157 involved the intra-articular (inside the joint) administration of the peptide in 16 patients with knee osteoarthritis. The researchers reported improvement in more than 80% of the patients, but there was no control group.
Scientists also report that local application of BPC-157 may speed up the healing of surgical wounds in rats. They reported an improved rate of collagen formation.
It’s unclear whether the benefits are due to a potential healing effect of BPC-157 on human cartilage or the pain-reducing effects of the peptide previously reported in animal research.
Animal studies also suggest that BPC may have benefits for the gastrointestinal system and the liver in animals. More specifically, BPC-157 was shown to protect against stomach ulcers caused by ulcer-inducing agents.
Research reveals that BPC-157 may also speed up healing in the gastrointestinal tract including anastomoses after gastrointestinal surgeries such as esophageal anastomosis, and intestinal fistulas in models of inflammatory bowel disease.
Animal trials also suggest it may ameliorate models of short-bowel syndrome.
Unofficially, the peptide is claimed to help burn fat, increase muscle, heal the heart, lower blood pressure, help with erectile dysfunction and increase HGH levels, but no data even from lab studies. Furthermore, there aren’t any plausible pharmacological mechanisms to support such effects.
On the other hand, another peptide – Sermorelin can increase natural growth hormone production.
Side effects of BPC-157
The evidence on the side effects of BPC-157 is extremely scarce. Potential adverse reactions and unofficial reports reveal that BPC-157 may:
- speed up cancer growth in cancer patients
- racing heart
- blood pressure changes
- mood swings
Currently, all available animal studies do not report any clear adverse effects of toxicity of BPC 157. It’s unknown if the peptide can lead to acne, water retention, hair loss, headaches, fatigue, or lethargy.
However, the lack of clinical trials means that there could potentially be serious side effects in humans, which remain unknown.
Apart from the unknown effects of the peptide on healthy individuals, there is also no data on how BPC-157 may affect individuals with chronic diseases or whether it may interact with any foods and medications.
For example, animal studies suggest that BPC-157 promotes neovascularization and speeds up the formation of new blood vessels that may be at risk for faster disease progression in cancer patients.
Furthermore, the long-term safety of the peptide is also unknown since it’s been investigated only in short-term animal trials.
Unofficial reports by people who have taken it illegally reveal that it may cause dizziness, flushing, racing heart, blood pressure changes, and mood changes.
How to administer BPC-157
As a research peptide, BPC-157 is primarily available as a lyophilized powder for injections. Injections can be applied subcutaneously or intra-articularly.
Since peptides usually aren’t absorbed in the digestive system, the peptide may only have local effects on the stomach when taken orally.
However, research reveals that oral ingestion of the peptide can also have systemic effects, meaning that oral delivery may also be feasible. Thus, the medication is available both orally and via injection. It can also be applied topically to wounds.
Since there are no clinical studies, the dosage recommendation of BPC-157 can be based only on rat studies and then extrapolated to humans.
The effective oral dose reported in mice is about 10 μg/kg and is estimated to be equivalent to 1.6 μg/kg in humans. Thus a 70 kg (150 lbs) person should take around 110 μg.
Is BPC-157 as effective as HGH?
While the main reason for BPC-157’s popularity is its potential for speeding up recovery, there is no evidence that the peptide can exert any of these effects in humans. The only human study of BPC-157’s effects is small and lacks comparison to a placebo.
In contrast, HGH is studied extensively in clinical trials, and it shows clear potential to speed up cell division and tissue healing.
HGH therapy is also FDA-approved for human use. That’s because it is proven effective for the management of various conditions and can be legally obtained from licensed pharmacies with a medical prescription.
The safety of HGH is also guaranteed thanks to the extensive human research and the strict quality control of all HGH medications.
Considering the fact that both the safety and the effectiveness of BPC-157 in humans are unknown, the peptide cannot be labeled as more effective for recovery than HGH.
Compared to other research peptides, BPC-157 stands out as one of the most well-tolerated by test animals. Yet, the lack of human research on this peptide is a major disadvantage that can hide serious potential health risks.