Is BPC 157 a breakthrough compound that could transform the way we approach healing and recovery? It’s advertised to not only accelerate healing, but also to reduce pain and improve function. That’s the promise of BPC 157, but does it truly deliver on these bold promises? I’m going to discuss the science behind BPC 157. We’ll explore what it is, its claimed benefits, and I’ll give you my recommendation on whether this is a therapy worth trying.
BPC 157 is a synthetic peptide created from a protein in stomach acid. The name BPC actually stands for “Body Protecting Compound” and the number 157 refers to its unique sequence in that protein.
The most exciting aspect of BPC 157 is its potential for therapeutic use, especially in healing wounds and repairing tissues. Current research, primarily based on animal studies, suggests that BPC 157 could possess diverse healing properties through multiple mechanisms.
First, BPC 157 seems to promote healing in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It quickens tissue repair by enhancing fibroblast activity, which is crucial for new tissue formation. Additionally, it also helps reduce muscle scarring, a common issue that impairs muscle function post-injury. This combination of speeding up regeneration and minimizing scarring can significantly boost recovery.
Next, BPC 157 has anti-inflammatory effects that decrease swelling and pain. It further aids recovery by enhancing blood flow. This is achieved through angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis is essential for supplying nutrients and oxygen to injured areas and removing waste and inflammatory byproducts.
Additionally, BPC 157 influences vital growth factors like vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor. Both of these are crucial for cell growth and tissue repair. It also interacts with the nitric oxide system, which plays a role in muscle repair, vasodilation, and immune system modulation. All of this helps with overall healing.
Lastly, BPC 157 combats muscle atrophy, particularly in cases of chronic diseases or severe injuries. This helps preserve tissue and muscle functionality. Its neuroprotective properties are also noteworthy, especially in injuries involving nerve damage.
So in summary, BPC 157 shows potential in promoting tissue regeneration, improving blood flow, influencing growth factors, and modulating the inflammatory response. It also helps mitigate issues like scarring and muscle loss. However, it's important to note that these findings are primarily based on animal studies. How much of this is backed by solid research in humans?
The reality is that there are currently ZERO randomized controlled trials studying BPC 157 in humans. In fact, the only study that I could find involving humans was a very small retrospective study with just 16 participants. 12 of these patients got BPC 157 injections in their knees and 11 of the 12 reported significant knee pain reduction.
However, many of this study's subjects had ligament sprains and tendon issues, which often heal on their own over time. Therefore, it's unclear if the improvements were due to BPC 157 or simply the passage of time. Beyond this single study, there's a complete lack of substantial human-based research supporting BPC 157's effectiveness.
This point is particularly important because BPC 157 is starting to get a lot of marketing, often highlighting anecdotal success stories. And while personal stories can be very compelling, they can create a perception of effectiveness that may not be fully supported by clinical evidence.
The next thing to consider is safety. Our current understanding of BPC 157 comes exclusively from animal studies, primarily involving rodents. These studies haven't shown clear toxicity or negative side effects. However, the major concern with BPC 157 is the lack of substantial evidence confirming its safety in humans. This is particularly crucial given its potential impact on various cellular signaling pathways, which could pose serious risks.
Then there’s the problem of where are you supposed to buy this? It is not approved by the FDA for clinical use and most online vendors sell it for research or laboratory use only. Even if you do find a vendor online, most dietary supplements and vendors are known for false advertising and inaccurate ingredients.
There are countless studies that warn people that supplement manufacturers often fail to comply with basic manufacturing standards. This is despite putting on their labels that their supplements are quote and quote professional grade and third party tested.
Finally, it's important to note that BPC 157 is listed as a prohibited substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency. While drug testing may not apply to most people, the stance of the United States Anti-Doping Agency on BPC 157 is quite revealing.
USADA clearly states that there's no legal basis for selling BPC 157 as a drug, food, or dietary supplement, primarily due to safety concerns. They write “because BPC-157 has not been extensively studied in humans, no one knows if there is a safe dose, or if there is any way to use this compound safely to treat specific medical conditions.”
Furthermore, USADA highlights that BPC 157 is not approved for human use as a drug, and there's a notable lack of published clinical trial data. Many studies were either canceled or stopped without conclusions.
Additionally, there are many websites related to performance enhancing drugs advertising that you can take BPC 157 for bone and joint healing and improving athletic performance. However, USADA writes “it is important to realize that these are unproven claims, and that the use of BPC-157 for these or any other reasons is not supported by medical literature or by any medical associations.”
So for all these reasons, I currently do NOT recommend BPC 157. There’s just too much unknown and too much unnecessary risk involved. With that said, I am eager to see future studies looking at the effects of BPC 157 as the hope and potential it shows are intriguing.