BPC-157 is a novel research chemical that exists in the form of a peptide chain consisting of 15 amino acids. Seeing as it isn’t biosynthesized or a product of any living substance it is classified as a synthetic. It is derived from a protective protein found in the stomach.
To date, researchers have conducted several rodent studies on BPC-157. These seem to suggest it has protective effects, primarily gastroprotective, but seeming to extend beyond the stomach and intestinal tract. BPC-157 has been beneficial in cases of stomach ulcers, intestinal damage, fistulas and inflammatory disorders. It also seems to have collagen regenerating potential assisting in bone and joint healing and growth rates, and speeding some organ damage recovery. It also seems to have some influence on the brain.
Currently its still unknown whether there are multiple mechanisms of action in this peptide chain’s actions. The mechanisms themselves are not fully understood but certain theories about the gut-brain axis are prevalent in current models for how the pentadecapeptide works. There seem to be several separate growth factors involved in angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) and factors related to healing, regrowth and regeneration after tissue damage.
Current studies show much promise, but BPC-157 is currently unstudied in humans, with no clinical trials to date. Human studies will be necessary in order to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of these benefits are extended beyond the research animals such as rodents and chicken embryos.
Most current studies on BPC-157 are based on rat trials. The rats were generally injected with a solution of the peptide chain. While BPC-157 is considered a stable peptide, peptides are somewhat volatile. In addition peptides are generally poorly absorbed with oral supplementation. Certain trials also refer to BPC by the name Bepecin, PL-10 or PL 14736.
As mentioned earlier, there are currently no pharmacokinetic studies done on humans to assess potential species differences so these are just estimates. The BPC in the pentadecapeptide, stands for “Body Protection Compounds” which refers to “peptides comprising 8-15 amino acids residues with a molecular weight of 900-1,600 daltons” . Another study however, claims BPC refers to a specific gastroprotective protein that was used to isolate BPC-157. BPC-157 is sourced from the endogenous protein Thymosin beta 4, or TB-500.
All peptides contain some sequence of the 15 amino acids. While making them seemingly “natural” products as a result, this particular sequence of aminos does not occur in nature and can’t be synthesized in vivo (in the body) and is therefore considered a synthetic peptide. Peptides are a basic chain of code for our body, other well known peptides include noopept for instance.
BPC-157 is easily soluble in wate. The exact sequenced of amino acids in the pentadecapeptide, BPC-157 is Gly-Glu-Pro-Pro-Pro-Gly-Lys-Pro-Ala-Asp-Asp-Ala-Gly-Leu-Val It is considered exceptionally for a peptide, as it doesn’t break down immediately in gastric acid. A chick embryo assay study showed a possible mechanism for BPC involving angiogenesis through an increase in VEGFR2 expression. Injured rats were given BPC-157. Compared to control, VEGFR2 increased. VEGFR2 inhibitors seemed to deactivate this action suggesting that the VEGFR2 pathway may be vital to the angiogenesis effect. This is an important part of what activates the protein code involved in blood vessel repair and new blood vessel creation.
BPC also seems to have a stimulator effect on Mrna of the growth factor EGR-1, EGF-1 and other endogenous growth factors within intestinal cells.
When incubated in plasma ex vivo, it appears that a large amount of the peptide detected is registered as ‘metabolites’ (79+/-2%) of the parent compound within 60 minutes, although it then seems to stabilize, with the remaining intact peptide remaining for up to 240 minutes.
BPC may have some dopaminergic effects, it seems to at least limit the efficacy of dopamine agonists, based on a trial involving amphetamine and haloperidol co-administered with the peptide. Serotonergic effect of BPC may be a reason for its possible positive effect regarding depression and chronic stress and anxiety. It is theorized this is due to the brain-intestines (gut/serotonin) axis since BPC has an effect in both areas. Once again though, the full mechanisms and how they work are not fully understood.
BPC-157 may also have protective effects on brain tissue. Rats administered the neurotoxin cuprizone had reduced cell damage in multiple regions of the brain when offered BPC as a therapeutic intervention. In these tests, BPC was orally ingested. Rats with a chronic unpredictable stress model had their stress and depression model alleviated with the administration of BPC after forced swim tests.
In addition to it’s neuroprotective and gastroprotective qualities, BPC may have a positive effect on collagen, tendons, bone. In sponge studies, BPC seemed to improve the rate of collagen reformation, as well as rats with Achilles heel injury. These studies suggest that tendon regenesis could be aided by BPC-157.