The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the world for quite some years now. Several lives have been claimed, the economy of several nations devastated, and technological advancement has been halted due to this deadly virus. The estimated number of patients confirmed to have the disease has exceeded 266,504,411, and about 5,268,849 deaths have been recorded as of 8th of December, 2021, 3.20 pm CET.
Coronaviruses, a group of respiratory viruses, have been identified as the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The current pandemic is caused by SARS – CoV-2. The SARS-Cov-2 virus enters the host cell through the S-spike protein by binding to ACE-2 for internalization assisted by TMPRSS2 protease. The invasion of the virus to the endothelial cells of the vascular system, the hepatocytes, the myocytes, and the alveoli cells of the lung results in several inflammatory changes due to pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-6 and TNF-alpha.
This contributes to the pathogenesis of lung injury commonly associated with the disease, decreased immune response, myocytes damage, and gastrointestinal, neurological, and cardiopulmonary adverse changes.
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Usually, endothelial cells produce nitric oxide by the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). This maintains vascular homeostasis, regulates cell growth, promotes apoptosis (cell death), and enhances immune function.
Covid-19 infection can lead to loss of eNOS activity leading to decreased nitric oxide; hence the vascular integrity is destroyed, the immune response becomes suboptimal, and finally, multi-organ failure. Reduction in nitric oxide levels also causes thrombosis and hypertension frequently seen in severe cases of Covid-19 due to the lost vascular integrity.
BPC 157 prevents the destruction of eNOS and promotes the production of nitric oxide. By doing so, BPC 157 helps to maintain vascular integrity and prevent the decrease in immune response caused by the SARS- CoV-2 virus.
Furthermore, BPC-157 prevents the virus from replicating, limiting the virus’s spread in the body, reducing thrombus formation. It can be good prophylaxis in disease conditions like atherosclerosis and any other platelet-endothelial dysfunction. It can also mitigate organ damage caused by the virus. This is further elaborated in the next section.
SYSTEMIC APPLICATION OF BPC 157
BPC 157 acts on specific crucial organs in the body. It protects the brain, the heart, the liver, and the lungs from the adverse effect of the SARS-CoV 2 virus.
BPC 157 NEUROPROTECTIVE ACTIONS
Covid-19 causes inflammation of the brain parenchyma, characterized by infiltration of lymphocytes into the brain and increased blood-brain barrier permeability. It can also damage the brain by reducing blood flow to the brain or disturbing the vascular integrity of the cerebral blood vessels and can even attack the neurons directly.
The resultant sequelae are stroke, loss of smell and taste, loss of consciousness, lack of concentration, headaches, seizures, and even Guillain-Barre syndrome.
BPC 157 can counteract these adverse effects by the following mechanisms based on previous effects in other experiments.
● BPC 157 promotes hippocampal neuron survival and growth.
● Studies have shown that it reduces the damage induced by brain trauma from cuprizone.
● BPC 157 decreased pro-inflammatory gene Cox-2 expression in rat brain lesions.
● It has been proven to be helpful in encephalopathy from alcohol usage and NSAIDs.
Though it is yet to be used in Covid-19 patients, it carries great potential in the management of encephalopathy as well.
BPC 157 CARDIOPROTECTIVE ACTIONS
This is the aspect where BPC 157 has the most promising effects. It prevents the disruption of the vascular integrity and the destruction of myocardial cells by the SARS-CoV 2 virus.
Recent experiments revealed BPC 157 actions on the cardiovascular system, which include:
● BPC 157 reduced the duration of arrhythmias during hypoxia and reoxygenation.
● It can be used to treat and prevent hypertension.
● It prevents pulmonary interstitial edema.
It can be therapeutic for cardiovascular disorders like thromboembolism, coagulopathies, arrhythmias, and pulmonary embolism. It is also helpful in the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
ACTION OF BPC 157 ON OTHER ORGANS
In an experiment, rats were subjected to congestive heart failure. Due to this, their serum liver enzymes like alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase were raised, suggesting liver damage.
The rats were then administered BPC 157 for four weeks, and the raised liver enzymes showed a considerable decrease.
BPC 157, based on its proven beneficial effects in other experiments, offers the world a new hope in the fight against the deadly Covid-19 virus. Scientists and medical practitioners worldwide need to pay more attention to this peptide.
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