What is BPC-157?
BPC-157, which stands for Body Protection Compound-157, is obtained from the parent protein known as body protection compound (BPC). BPC is a naturally occurring protein in the human digestive tract. It protects the gastrointestinal tract lining from damage, mediates healing, and encourages the growth of blood vessels.
BPC 157 is a penta-decapeptide made up of 15 amino acids. It is derived from a stretch of the body protection compound (BPC) discovered and purified from the human gastric juice. Animal studies have proven its efficacy in healing different wounds such as muscle, tendon, and torn ligaments. It further protects organs and helps to prevent gastric ulcers. BPC-157 also enhances the health of the digestive tract and helps to prevent against irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, gastro-intestinal cramps, and Crohn’s disease. The peptide also has analgesic properties, and by promoting the blood flow to the damaged tissues it helps heal skin burns faster.
The synthetic peptide has retained several of the healing properties of its parent molecule, such as:
– Blood vessel growth
– Wound healing
– Nitric oxide generation
– Immune system function
– The coagulation cascade
– Gene expression
– Hormone regulation (specifically in the gastrointestinal nervous system)
AKA: BPC 157
Molecular Formula: C62H98N16O22
Molecular Weight: 1419.5355 g/mol
Sequence: L-Valine,glycyl-L-alpha-glutamyl-L-prolyl-L-prolyl-Lprolylglycyl-L-lysyl-L-prolyl-L-alanyl-L-alpha-aspartyl-L-alpha-aspartyl-L-alanylglycyl-L-leucyl-;glycyl-L-alpha-glutamyl-L-prolyl-L-prolyl-L-prolylglycyllysyl-L-prolyl-L-alanyl-L- alpha-aspartylL-alpha-aspartyl-L-alanylglycyl-L-leucyl-L-valine
PubChem: CID 108101
BPC-157 Peptide Research
1. Wound Healing
The mucosal barrier in the GI tract helps to protect the underlying tissues from the harmful actions of bile, gastric acid, and other compounds necessary for digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. BPC helps to preserve the structural integrity of the mucosal layer. The role is partially mediated through the recruitment of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are pivotal to healing wounds as they produce extracellular matrix proteins such as fibrin, collagen, elastin, and others. BPC-157 has been observed to promote proliferation and faster migration of fibroblasts in dose-dependent manner, both in culture and in vivo.
2. Vascular Growth and Collateralization
The peptide is a powerful angiogenic factor and is known to enhance endothelial cells’ growth and proliferation, which line the walls of blood vessels. Research in rats has shown that the peptide can substantially increase the collateral blood vessel growth rate in the setting of ischemia. The above effect has been majorly observed in the GI tract, but there is evidence of similar observations in muscle, neurological, and cardiovascular tissues. Thus, the findings highlight the potential of BPC-157 to be used for the treatment of stroke and heart attack and a probative molecule for understanding the healing process post-ischemic injury. Research using chicken embryos has revealed that BPC-157 promotes vascular growth through activation of VEGFR2 pathway. VEGFR2 is a cell surface receptor active in the nitric oxide signaling and helps in cell growth, longevity, and proliferation.
BPC-157 treatment promotes vascular “running” in cultured cells. Vascular “running” is the growth and development of new blood vessels towards a site of injury or around the area of blood clot to reach out to distal tissues and thus protect cellular function. This function of BPC-157 can be used to replace unwanted surgical interventions such as coronary artery bypassing, stenting, and more which a simple and effective oral medication for the slow-progressing vascular occlusions like in atherosclerotic cardiac conditions.
3. BPC-157 Peptide and Tendon Healing
BPC-157 has shown positive effects in connective tissue healing such as ligament, bone, and tendon. Ligament and tendon injuries take a long time to heal due to the poor blood supply to these tissues. There is slower migration of fibroblasts and wound-healing cells to these sites of injury owing to poor blood supply, and therefore the repair process is obstructed. The peptide has shown to improve collateralization and density of fibroblasts in the sites of injury in research involving rat tendons. It has been found to be more beneficial than treatment using EFG, bFGF, and VGF hormones.
Immunostaining assays involving FITC conjugated phalloidin have shown BPC-157 to enhance F-actin formation in fibroblasts. F-actin is crucial for cell structure and function and promotes cell migration. Immunoblotting experiments have revealed that BPC-157 increases phosphorylation of paxillin and FAK proteins which are crucial for cellular migration.
4. Antioxidant property
Studies in rat models have shown the BPC-157 has amazing antioxidant properties and helps to neutralize oxidative stress molecules like nitric oxide and malondialdehyde (MDA) and reactive oxygen species in the GI tract. There is further evidence that modified Lactococcus lactis bacteria increases the amount of the peptide in cell culture and can possibly deliver it to the GI tract.
5. BPC-157 and Drug Side Effects
The clinical use of a pharmaceutical molecule is restricted by its potential side effects. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, for instance, cannot be consumed over a long span as they increase the risk of gastric bleeding and cardiac arrest. BPC-157 has been found to overcome the adverse effects of NSAIDs, medications used in psychiatric conditions, and a number of cardiac medications.
The peptide protects against the side effects of various drugs on not only the GI tract but on brain, heart and other tissues as well. BPC-157 is protective against the prolongation of QTc in the hearts in rats. Prolonged QTc can lead to fatal arrhythmias. QTc prolongation is a side effect of drugs used to treat diabetes, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric conditions. Similarly, BPC-157 also overcomes catalepsy and somatosensory disturbance. This helps treat difficult psychiatric conditions as patients tend to discontinue the treatment due to severe side effects.
6. BPC-157 and Bees
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a syndrome that causes entire colonies of bees to decline rapidly and die entirely, possibly due to Nosema ceranae fungal infection in the GI tract of bees. Use of BPC-157 along with bee food shows significant improvement of the bee GI tract and hive survival. The peptide has been thus successfully used for oral use in natural field settings to reduce the effect of CCD on bees which is the natural pollinator of many crop plants.
BPC-157 is being actively studied in a number of cell culture and animal models. The peptide not only helps in wound healing and vascular growth but also to study the regulation of these processes, especially in angiogenesis which is extremely crucial in wound healing, cancer progression, and embryo development.
BPC-157 shows minimal adverse effects, medium oral, and excellent subcutaneous bioavailability in mice. The dosage in mice (per kg) does not scale up to humans.