The Basics of the BPC-157 Peptide Supplement
Medically review by Leann Poston, M.D. on 9/28/20
There’s been a lot of buzz around peptides recently for a whole host of different conditions and benefits. They are among the vanguard of a new wave of supplements and medications that are designed as “biohacks” – essentially, using the body’s own substances and chemical triggers in new ways, to achieve various results and outcomes. That can include weight loss, more energy, living longer and healthier, and much more. They’re not magic, and no one peptide can do everything. But proponents (and science) have borne out their benefits, and they show a great deal of promise as a new frontier in medicine and wellness.
One particular peptide that has gained a lot of attention for its healing and body protective effects is the BPC-157 peptide formula. But does it hold up to scrutiny, or is it just a gimmick? What is the BPC-157 peptide, anyway, and what can it do for you? For that matter, what is a peptide in general? Where can you get BPC-157 peptide supplements, and how do you take them? Naturally, there are a lot of questions like this that newcomers to the world of peptides will have. To help answer them, we’ve put together a primer on the basics of the BPC-157 peptide supplement. So read on to learn more!
What is a Peptide?
Let’s start at the beginning with some basic science. A peptide is a chain of amino acids, at least 2 acids, and no more than 50 acids in length. In turn, an amino acid is one of the fundamental building blocks of proteins and other structures in the body. By definition, a chain of more than 50 is classified as a protein rather than a peptide. While there are several hundred amino acids, all naturally occurring in one form or another, only 20 proteinogenic (protein creating) amino acids are encoded in the DNA of most species and are considered the standard amino acids, with 2 others found in select organisms (though not in the genetic code).
The long and the short of this is that these basic building blocks combine in pre-set ways within the body, or can be put together artificially. The exact makeup, length, and construction of a peptide effectively determine what it does or can do in the body. Indeed, peptides are typically classified based on either their source, function, or both. There’s a lot more to it, of course, but that’s a very basic scientific overview of amino acids and peptides.
What is BPC-157?
The BPC-157 peptide, also known as PL 14736, PL 10, and PLD-116, is a synthetic peptide that is normally found in the digestive juices of humans. A pentadecapeptide, by definition, it, therefore, has 15 amino acids in its chain. Specifically, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Proline, Proline, Proline, Glycine, Lysine, Proline, Alanine, Aspartic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Glycine, Leucine, and Valine, bound with standard peptide bonds and containing the standard groups that are inherent to all peptide chains.
Setting the specific science aside, the BPC-157 peptide was developed for its putative healing and cytoprotective (cell protective) effects and synthesized under the name BPC-157, where the BPC stands for Body Protective Compound. It has been around since the early 1990s and studied in animals for various benefits in a number of different systems in the body. These studies have all been animal studies, not human, limiting the scientific understanding of this compound’s effects on humans.
Today, it can be used as a supplement (under a doctor’s supervision and prescription) to help patients realize some of those benefits. It has not formally been approved as a drug or medication, like many peptides, and is, therefore, in a bit of a grey area and more commonly called a supplement than a drug. This status may change if classification, drug approval, and patent protections for peptides are put into place in the future, but remains fairly standard in the world of peptide medicine today.
What are the Benefits of the BPC-157 Peptide Supplement?
There are numerous reported benefits to BPC-157 peptide use based on animal studies. The primary benefits and effects center around healing – wound healing, tissue repair and recovery, and gut health. Briefly, the benefits include:
- Improved gut health, and protection against the damage that drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can cause to the lining of the gut.
- Greatly accelerates healing in soft tissues and other structures in the body, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, the liver, nerves, the skin, and more.
- Joint health, largely by treating systemic corticosteroid-impaired muscle healing, thus stabilizing joints, especially those damaged due to overuse or made less stable due to aging.
- Various hormonal and chemical signaling and transport systems appear to be acted upon by BPC-157, including serotonin, insulin, GABA, dopamine, opioids, and more.
- May have anti-viral properties on select viruses.
- Cytoprotective effect on heart cells and blood vessels in the body, translating to normalizing blood pressure and fixing several heart rhythm problems, as well as the regrowth or outgrowth of blood vessels among damaged heart tissue.
- Other benefits that have been posited in some studies include improving oral health, treating urinary incontinence, treating certain specific eye conditions, and reducing brain swelling post-stroke.
It’s important to note that there are numerous animal studies on some of these benefits (especially the gut health, wound healing, and joint health aspects), while others have more limited data available. Further, these studies have only been shown in laboratory animals, with wide-scale human testing remaining elusive. However, building on animal tests, strong customer feedback and anecdotal evidence from human patients being treated with the BPC-157 peptide have overwhelmingly demonstrated effects consistent with those animal studies – hence the popularity and buzz that has surrounded BPC-157.
How Does the BPC-157 Peptide Formula Work?
The exact mechanisms of action for many of the benefits of the BPC-157 peptide formula aren’t well-understood or established definitively. This may sound surprising or confusing, but it’s more common than you might think. Many drugs and medications are in the same boat, with scientists and doctors having good working theories or a general sense of how they work, but the exact molecular mechanisms not entirely understood – anesthesia is a common example. However, there are some clear pathways for some of the more notable effects of BPC-157.
In terms of healing and soft tissue repair and growth, the BPC-157 peptide formulation seems to be attracted to certain chemical signals in damaged tissue. It stimulates receptors for human growth hormone in that injured tissue. As a result, without changing the levels of human growth hormone in the body, more of it can be put to work in the areas that need it to grow and repair cells and tissues.
It has also been shown to increase the precursor structures, called fibroblasts, necessary for tendon and ligament creation and repair. Some studies also show increased collagen production – a critical building block for soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, and tendons – thus likely speeding the repair and healing of those kinds of injuries.
Further, it is well-established in animal studies that it causes increased vascular endothelial growth factor activity (VEGF), which is necessary to cause angiogenesis or the creation of new blood vessels. It is believed that this pathway, in particular, is largely responsible for the versatile healing effects of the BPC-157 peptide formula since blood vessels are essential for delivering the nutrients and building blocks necessary for injured tissues to repair and heal.
There are additional pathways suggested in several studies, especially in terms of how the BPC-157 peptide supplement can impact other aspects or systems of the body (aside from healing and tissue regeneration). However, many of those are less well-established than those discussed above.
Dosage, Format, and Availability of the BPC-157 Peptide Supplement
Depending on the intended application of the BPC-157 peptide formula, it can be administered through various formats. These include patches placed on the skin, patches that dissolve placed under the tongue or along the gum line, oral tablets or similar, a powder or additive that can be put in water or other drinks intramuscular injections, among others. Injections and oral tablets are the most popular administration format.
In terms of dosage, the recommendations will vary based on the administration format. While BPC-157 does circulate systemically regardless of the application method, different levels of absorption will naturally occur based on that method. For example, oral tablets may need to be stronger than injections, since less of the active ingredients will be absorbed through the digestion process. In general terms, most recommendations based on animal studies have looked at between 1 mcg and 10 mcg per kg of body weight. For intramuscular injections, this translates into a typical dosage of 200 to 300 mcg prescribed for an adult, once per day.
BPC-157 is only available via prescription, under the care and assent of a doctor, healthcare professional, or telemedicine provider. It is not available over-the-counter, regardless of dosage format. As a supplement, it is not quite the same as a drug in terms of regulations. However, you can only obtain BPC-157 when prescribed by a licensed health care provider and used as directed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the BPC-157 peptide formula safe?
BPC-157 has been studied extensively in animals. Like most peptides, it has been found to be generally safe, with few side effects. Long-term studies in humans have not been conducted, and many specific studies have had rather small groups of patients. Anecdotal and short-term use side effects that have been noted by some patients taking BPC-157 include mild to moderate digestive issues and/or nausea – likely due to the action it has in the gut. No significant adverse events have been reported in the small number of human studies that have been conducted.
Does the BPC-157 peptide supplement work?
Most people taking the BPC-157 supplement for healing, repair, and/or gut health have seen positive results. Some people who have tried numerous other medications and treatments for long-standing gut issues, for example, turn to BPC-157 in desperation when none of the other treatments work and are pleased that they see a marked improvement. The injury-treating and healing functions of the BPC-157 peptide supplement, either in general or for a specific injury, have also been consistently shown in real-world use, with faster, more complete healing and recovery.
Why does the BPC-157 peptide formula require a prescription?
As we mentioned above, peptides in general, including the BPC-157 peptide formulation, are in a bit of a grey area, somewhere between a medication and a supplement. They are classified as research medication. To be on the safe side, however, things like this that fall into that grey area are generally only available while under a doctor’s care, meaning a prescription is required rather than being available over the counter.
Buy the BPC-157 Peptide Formula through Telemedicine Provider Invigor Medical
If you are interested in trying BPC-157 for any of the numerous benefits and positive effects it can potentially offer, you’re not alone. The good news is you don’t need to visit your general practitioner or primary care doctor to start a BPC-157 peptide regimen. Telemedicine consultations with a licensed healthcare professional are sufficient to obtain a prescription, assuming you don’t have any contraindications or conflicting medications. A quick and convenient telemedicine consultation with the team at Invigor Medical can evaluate your suitability for BPC-157, and if you are approved, get you a prescription and have it filled via our affiliated pharmacy. In almost no time, your BPC-157 peptide supplement will be shipped to your home, ready to use. To learn more or schedule an appointment, visit Invigor Medical’s website at https://invigormedical.com.
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.