What is BPC 157?
The human body has a remarkable system of self-healing and damage repair. One of the important components of this system is a protein called Body Protection Compound (BPC) 157.
BPC 157 is a peptide made up of 15 amino acids; and is produced by the body in the acidic environment of the stomach. The peptide is well-known for its ability to heal, repair and regenerate. Studies suggest that BPC 157 is useful in the treatment of ulcers in the digestive tract as well as management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a group of inflammatory disorders of the digestive tract. BPC 157 also facilitates wound healing of various tissues, including skin, muscle, bone, ligament, and tendon.
BPC 157 in the Digestive Tract
Given that BPC 157 is present in the juices of the stomach, we would expect it to be involved in functioning of the digestive tract. And this is indeed the case. In fact, BPC 157 is also called “stable gastric pentadecapeptide”as it remains stable in human gastric juices for at least 24 hours.
BPC 157 has several functions in the digestive tract. It preserves the integrity of the stomach lining, improves digestion, and facilitates healing throughout the digestive tract. It is particularly helpful in  :
- Inflammatory bowel disease; such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease and Esophagitis
- Fistula and intestinal anastomosis (the latter is a process where a section of an intestine is cut and removed. The two ends are then surgically connected.)
- Reversing short bowel syndrome
- Protecting the gastro-intestinal tract from NSAID overuse
Much of the healing capacity of BPC 157 comes from its ability to:
- Protect the endothelium – inner lining of blood vessels and the lymphatic system known as the endothelium,
- Play an important role in the formation of new blood vessels – a process known as angiogenesis.
BPC 157 as an Anti-ulcer Agent
BPC 157 is a cytoprotective agent; meaning it can limit the damage to gastric mucosa by agents that trigger ulcer formations. Most importantly, it doesn’t prevent gastric acid secretion but strengthens the protection for gastric mucosa.
NSAID’s or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used to relieve pain and inflammation. Overuse of NSAIDs is known to cause ulcers and even bleeding in the digestive tract. BPC 157 possesses the ability to heal these ulcers and a study published in 2013 noted that BPC 157 has clear antidote activity against NSAIDS side effects; and that the “variety of the beneficial effects portrayed by BPC 157 may well be a foundation for establishing BPC 157 as a NSAIDs antidote since no other single agent has portrayed a similar array of effects.” 
In addition, BPC 157 can heal lesions in the liver developed due to overuse of alcohol. These lesions can lead to liver tissue damage. Thus, BPC 157 can protect the liver from further deteriorating.
BPC 157 in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
BPC 157 shows great potential in reducing the symptoms of advanced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The peptide combines its anti-inflammatory and healing properties to manage the following conditions:
- Crohn’s disease: chronic inflammation affecting the digestive tract. It causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and poor absorption of nutrients leading to fatigue and malnutrition.
- Ulcerative colitis: formation of ulcers and open sores in the colon
- Esophagitis: inflammation of the esophagus (food pipe) making it extremely painful and difficult swallow.
BPC 157 in Wound Healing
Wound healing is a complex process involving a sequential, cascade of events; which are critical for maintaining the integrity of the body.
BPC 157 holds tremendous potential in wound healing of many tissues such as skin, muscle, bone, ligaments, and tendons. It reduces inflammation at the wound site and allows faster healing of bone ligaments, damaged muscle, Achilles tendons and skin wounds  .
There are three major processes by which BPC 157 plays a vital role in wound healing; angiogenesis, granulation tissue formation, and production of collagen. All of these mechanisms are central to any healing process occurring within the body.
Angiogenesis is a process where new blood vessels are formed around the site of injury. It allows new blood vessels to send oxygen, nutrients, and inflammatory cells to the healing and regenerating tissues. BPC 157 increases the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that promotes angiogenesis .
A quick primer on VEGF
VEGF is a protein that signals the growth of new blood vessels when a tissue is damaged. It is a very important process that serves to reinstate the blood supply; and with it oxygen and nutrition, to the tissues at the time of reduced blood circulation. In other words, during an injury, the growth factor triggers the sprouting of new blood vessels – an action that increases the influx of nutrients to the damaged tissue.
BPC 157 exerts a particularly effective role in tendon healing. Muscles have a remarkable process of healing; owing to a highly-evolved system of blood vessels and also stem cells. However, tendons lack this blood vessel network and as a result there is a reduced flow of oxygen and nutrients to the recuperating tendon. This leads to impaired healing.
BPC 157, by up-regulating VEGF, triggers an adequate and controlled angiogenic response that allows tendons to heal faster. Controlled angiogenesis is important, as prolonged instances interferes in healing, eventually leading to chronic tendon disease.
BPC 157 achieves effective muscle and tendon healing by regulating certain underlying complex processes, “In tendon and muscle healing its functional, biomechanical, and pathohistological beneficial effect is accompanied by angiogenic action. BPC 157 may directly protect endothelium, influence the NO-system, counteract the effect of both NOS-inhibitor and NO-precursor as well as over expression of endothelin.”
The anti-inflammatory properties of BPC 157 further contribute to its healing benefits. The peptide decreases the concentration of inflammatory mediators in the injured or damaged tissues – promoting the wound healing process and allowing the tissue to heal faster.
BPC Influences the NO system
BPC 157 interacts with, and modulates the nitric oxide (NO) system; an important property responsible for many of its wound healing and tissue repair outcomes.
NO is a gas naturally produced by the body and is implicated in many aspects of repair, healing and regeneration processes – involving angiogenesis, inflammation, cell proliferation, matrix deposition, and remodeling to name a few. Nitric oxide plays a particularly important role in mediating a number of inflammatory responses and promoting angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels).
Furthermore, a study showed that the protein’s ability to influence the NO system may be helpful in many conditions :
- Protects the gastric mucosa following alcoholic lesions
- Alcohol intoxication and withdrawal
- Cardiovascular problems, including chronic heart failure, irregular heart beat and elevated blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs
- Changes in blood potassium levels that can lead to dysfunction of the cell membranes
- Complications with fistula healing; both of colon and esophagus.
BPC 157 is safe with no side effects
BPC 157 is naturally produced by the body in small amounts. There are no reported side effects associated with its use. With no Lethal Dose 1 achieved for BPC 157, it enjoys quite a high safety profile. Lethal Dose 1 of any substance is the dose at which 1 % of the test population is killed.
BPC 157 Benefits in a Nutshell
Miraculous healing protein
- Anti-ulcer and provides protection to the gastric mucosa
- Provides relief in inflammatory bowel disease; including Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
- Promotes healing in intestinal surgery and fistula
- Promotes faster healing of damaged muscle and tendons.
- Improved healing of superficial cuts, skin wounds and abrasions
- 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
- Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157: novel therapy in gastrointestinal tract. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2011
- P Sikiric et al. Toxicity by NSAIDs. Counteraction by stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157. 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
- 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. Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157-NO-system relation. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2014