What is BPC-157?
BPC 157 is a peptide, or rather a pentadecapeptide, compound comprising of 15 amino acids linked in a chain. This protein is naturally produced by our body in its own gastric juices in very small amounts. In case you are wondering what BPC stands for, it is ‘Body Protection Compound’. The name quite aptly sums up the healing properties for which the peptide is famous.
In many in-vitro and in vivo animal studies, BPC 157 has been shown to exert therapeutic effect through the entire gastro-intestinal tract and provide protection against ulcers and painful inflammatory bowel disease. This amazing protein also offers tremendous potential in accelerating wound healing in various tissues – including skin, muscle, bone, ligament and tendon.
Let’s explore in some more detail how BPC 157 works and influences various mechanisms involved in gastro-intestinal health, and can speed the healing of various tissues and organs.
BPC 157 and Gastric Health
BPC-157 is also known as a “stable gastric pentadecapeptide”as it remains stable in human gastric juices. The protective peptide is known to maintain the integrity of gastric mucosa, improve digestive functions and promote a healing effect throughout the gastro-intestinal tract; both the upper and lower GI. It shows remarkable anti-ulcer properties as well as exerts healing effects on advanced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). BPC -157 is found to be helpful in particularly advanced intestinal anastomosis healing, reversed short bowel syndrome and fistula healing   .
The gastro-protective properties exhibited by BPC 157 make sense, considering it is present in our gastric juices. One of the ways that BPC 157 upgrades digestive functions is by protecting the endothelium – a thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. Another way it regulates these functions is by being an important catalyst in angiogenesis – a process where new blood vessels are formed from pre-existing blood vessels (“angio” means blood vessels and “genesis” means creation).
Studies suggest that that BPC 157 interacts with the Nitic Oxide (NO) system to bring about these benefits and more. A 2014 study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design reported that the role of BPC 157 in modulating the NO system proves beneficial in many conditions, for example “ (i) gastric mucosa and mucosal protection, following alcohol lesions, in cytoprotection course, NO-generation, and blood pressure regulation; (ii) alcohol (acute/chronic) intoxication, and withdrawal; (iii) cardiovascular disturbances, chronic heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and arrhythmias; (iv) disturbances after hypokalemia and hyperkalemia, and potassium-cell membrane dysfunction; and finally, in (v) complex healing failure, proved by the fistulas healing, colocutaneous and esophagocutaneous.” 
The peptide offers significant potential in treating Ulcerative Colitis – a colon ailment hallmarked by the formation of ulcers and open sores – and also in Crohn’s Disease – a chronic inflammatory disorder of the digestive tract. BPC 157 is also believed to mitigate symptoms in esophagitis – inflammation of the esophagus that makes swallowing difficult and painful.
In addition, BPC 157 heals ulcers in the gastro-intestinal tract in people who have overused NSAID drugs – non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to relieve pain and inflammation. With no reported side effects and a very high safety profile (Lethal Dose 1), BPC 157 is established as an antidote to NSAIDs.
A 2013 study reported that “BPC 157 antidote activity (i.e., the role of BPC 157 in cytoprotection, being a novel mediator of Robert’s cytoprotection and BPC 157 beneficial effects on NSAIDs mediated lesions in the gastrointestinal tract, liver and brain and finally, counteraction of aspirin-induced prolonged bleeding and thrombocytopenia) obviously have a counteracting effect on several established side-effects of NSAIDs use.” 
Clinical trials also show that BPC 157 can heal liver lesions, abnormal tissue damage induced by overuse of alcohol. BPC 157 is non-toxic and is absolutely effective on its own without needing assistance of any carrier to achieve its therapeutic benefits.
BPC 157 and Wound Healing
BPC 157 offers great potential in speed healing of an array of tissues – including skin, muscle, bone, ligament and tendon. Specifically, it reduces inflammation at the site of injury and facilitates effective ligament to bone healing, repair and regeneration of injured muscle tissue and faster healing of skin wounds, Achilles tendons, muscle tears and damaged ligaments.   .
How BPC 157 Contributes in Wound Healing Process
Some of the key processes where BPC 157 plays an important role in wound healing are angiogenesis, granulation tissue formation and collagen production.
Angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels stemming from the existing ones – is a natural and complex process that plays a central role in healing mechanisms in the body. The process results in “revascularization of the wound bed”, delivering oxygen, nutrients as well as inflammatory cells to the tissue undergoing repair, regeneration and healing. A 2009 research suggested that BPC 157’s role in promoting angiogenesis is closely associated with its ability to up-regulate Vaso Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) expression .
VEGF is a signalling protein that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels after injury. It is basically a part of an overall mechanism in the body that works to restore the supply of blood and nutrients to tissues in the event of compromised blood circulation. So, basically the growth factor would lead these new sprouting blood vessels into the tissues that are low on oxygen and nutrients.
Muscles have a highly developed network of blood vessels and also stem cells that facilitate the process of healing. Tendons, on the other hand, are hypo-vascular structures and as a result blood flow to a tendon is low, thus hampering the healing process. Due to its role in modulating VEGF and thus inducing a powerful angiogenic response, the peptide efficiently achieves healing in these parts. It is important to highlight here that while angiogenesis indeed is a vital process for tendon healing, prolonged angiogenesis on the other hand is likely to cause impaired healing resulting in chronic tendon disease. Thus, improved angiogenesis, achieved adequately by BPC 157 provides better healing conditions and subsequently better healing.
As explained in the study, BPC 157 works by influencing some complex mechanisms, “In tendon and muscle healing its functional, biomechanical, and pathohistological beneficial effect is accompanied by angiogenic action. BPC 157 may directly protect endothelium, influence NO-system, counteract the effect of both NOS-inhibitor and NO-precursor as well as over expression of endothelin.” Important point to note here is that the BPC 157 modulated the VEGF protein and resulted in healing of tendon and muscles, but no direct angiogenic effect was observed in cell cultures.
However, the peptide’s contribution to wound healing is not limited to stimulating an adequate angiogenic response. Its anti-inflammatory properties play quite a central role too. The peptide is believed to decrease the concentration of inflammatory mediators in the injured or damaged tissues, helping the healing and regeneration process.
BPC 157 and Nervous system disorders
BPC 157 has been successful in the inflammatory disorders of GI tract, in accelerating healing of tissues and wounds, in managing periodontitis and also in healing liver and pancreas lesions. Now, a body of research has implicated the peptide’s protective role in various nervous system disorders including its anti-depressing effects . A 2016 study reported that BPC 157 has a beneficial effect on the brain-gut axis, noting that this anti-ulcer peptidergic agent is shown to be safe in inflammatory bowel disease trials and now also in multiple sclerosis trials .
The researchers analysed these effects on the premise that one of the many factors in brain-gut interaction is peptidergic growth factors, native in GI tract with strong anti-ulcer effects and thus may play a beneficial role in CNS-disorders. The results in this rat model study showed that BPC 157 modulates the serotonin and dopamine dependent pathways, primarily associated with mood and behavior patterns. BPC 157 may thus positively influence behavioral disturbances that may have arisen due to over-production of brain chemicals or any damage to neurotransmitters systems.
The study also reported that BPC 157 has neuroprotective effects and it offers protection to somatosensory neurons (associated with conscious sensations in various parts of the body such as pressure, pain, touch, temperature, vibration etc.) and stimulates peripheral nerve regeneration after traumatic brain injury.
BPC 157 Benefits Highlights: External and internal healing protein
- Speeds up healing time when applied to external cuts, wounds and abrasions
- Accelerates repair and healing in various tissue injuries; tendon to bone healing, torn quadriceps muscles, detached Achilles tendon, damaged muscles and ligament
- Reduces inflammation throughout the digestive tract; both lower and upper GI
- Promotes healing in advanced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); ulcers, advanced intestinal re-sectioning, fistula; reverse short bowel syndrome; and brings relief in Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
- Heals liver lesions induced by excessive alcohol use; promotes liver health
- Antidote to NSAIDs; heals GI ulcers and other damage induced by prolonged NSAID’s damage.
- No side effects.
- Cesarec V, Becejac T, Misic M, Djakovic Z, Olujic D, Drmic D, Brcic L, Rokotov DS, Seiwerth S, Sikiric P. Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 and the esophagocutaneous fistula healing therapy. European Journal of Pharmacology. 2013
- R Klicek et al. Pentadecapeptide BPC 157, in clinical trials as a therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (PL14736), is effective in the healing of colocutaneous fistulas in rats: role of the nitric oxide-system. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2008
- Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157: novel therapy in gastrointestinal tract. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2011
- P Sikiric et al. Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157-NO-system relation. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2014
- P Sikiric et al. Toxicity by NSAIDs. Counteraction by stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22950504. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2013
- Chang CH, Tsai WC, Hsu YH, Pang JH. BPC 157 enhances the growth hormone receptor expression in tendon fibroblasts. Molecules. 2014
- P Sikiric et al. Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157-NO-system relation. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2014
- Krivic, A., Anic, T., Seiwerth, S., Huljev, D. and Sikiric, P. Achilles Detachment in Rat and Stable Gastric Pentadecapeptide BPC 157: Promoted Tendon-to-Bone Healing and Opposed Corticosteroid Aggravation. . J. Orthop. 2006
- L. Brcic et al. Modulatory Effect Of Gastric Pentadecapeptide Bpc 157 On Angiogenesis In Muscle And Tendon Healing. Journal of Physiology And Pharmacology 2009,
- P Sikiric et al. The antidepressant effect of an antiulcer pentadecapeptide BPC 157 in Porsolt’s test and chronic unpredictable stress in rats. A comparison with antidepressants. Journal of Physiology Paris. 2000
- S Predrag et al. Brain-gut axis and pentadecapeptide BPC 157. Theoretical and practical implications. Current Neuropharmacology. 2016