What is BPC 157?
By Austin Schanzenbach “Professor Schanz”
At some point in every lifter’s life, they will start to incur injuries. As they get older, and wear and tear piles up, this becomes a frequent occurrence. If you’re like me, you will not stand idly by as mother nature, father time, and brother iron beat down your body into a decrepit bag of ossified tissues and arthritic bones.
Which brings me to my latest knee surgery aimed at ameliorating some chronic, potentially degenerative, knee pain and ultimately leading me on a knowledge quest into the world of peptides.
Wait, let me back up a little bit. I didn’t just jump into surgery and then to peptides. I researched and tried every damn thing I could think of, including, but not limited to: knee braces, knee sleeves, NSAIDS, RICE, natural anti-inflammatories, foam rolling, Active Release Technique, physical therapy, Grastin, voodoo floss, corrective exercises, collagen supplements, MK-667, etc. All with little to no success. This left me as frustrated as a constipated elderly man just before Thanksgiving feast.
At this point, I opted for the knee scope in hopes that it would alleviate some mechanical dysfunction. I had my left knee scoped around 5 years ago and had pretty good success with that knee. At around the 6-week mark post-surgery, I was pretty close to 100%.
Fast forward to this year, 6 weeks post-surgery on my right knee and I felt like I had been stricken with polio as opposed to being 100%. Part of this may just be getting older and having slower recovery. Or it could be that there was more damage done to this knee. Either way, recovery was at a snail’s pace and I wasn’t confident that I was going to rebound near as well as my last scope. This led me to my research on peptides and eventually experimenting with BPC 157.
What is it?
BPC 157. Sounds like a Star Wars Robot, right?. Well, BPC is actually short for Body Protection Compound. It is derived from naturally occurring gastric juices that are designed to protect the body’s gastrointestinal system. It is technically a peptide consisting of 15 amino acids known as a pentadecapeptide, which I am quite certain is the name of an alien boss in the latest Gears of War game.
Peptides are sequences of amino acids that are bonded together. In most instances, peptides need to be injected because they are not orally stable. Digestive enzymes are quite adept at breaking apart bonded amino acids. This is after all, what digestion is.
However, because BPC 157 is isolated from gastric juices, it is actually stable throughout the gastrointestinal system and remains surprisingly bioavailable if taken orally.
How does it work?
Nobody really fucking knows for sure. One hypothesized primary mechanism is via increasing angiogenesis. This is a fancy word for increasing the formation of new blood vessels. Presumably, the increased blood vessels would help facilitate recovery and healing by bringing more nutrient-rich blood to the injured areas.
Another hypothesized mechanism is enhancing growth hormone receptor expression, which is just a science-y way of saying that your cells may be able to grab and utilize more growth hormone than usual.
How to use it?
For those squeamish about needles, you’ll be relieved to find out that the stability and bioavailability of BPC 157 in the gastrointestinal system means that you don’t necessarily have to inject and can swallow it to still experience benefit.
There is some evidence though that there is an enhanced local effect when injected. This could be especially beneficial when trying to target specific areas of injuries, which is what I was most interested in using it for.
For targeting specific areas of injuries you can use a subcutaneous injection or go directly into the muscle. The former is much more pleasant than the latter. I was actually quite surprised at how painless a subcutaneous injection was. I have done dozens of finger sticks testing my blood sugar and those are a bitch in comparison to the subQ injections.
Okay, so I buy BPC 157, buy some needles, and then inject it like the adrenaline scene from Pulp Fiction, right?
...not exactly. After I bought BPC 157, I also purchased a kit that included insulin syringes, bacteriostatic water, and sterile pads. This is what I did for a successful BPC 157 injection:
Learned how to give a proper subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. Hint* you can pretty much find anything on YouTube.
Mixed the BPC 157 peptides with bacteriostatic water at the dosage I wanted. Most common dosages seem to be between 250-500mcg per day, with some dosing going as high as 800mcg per day. I used 250-300mcg a day, for cycles of 4 weeks on and 2 weeks off.
I used a peptide calculator like this.
One tidbit I learned on dosing is that when grabbing the bacteriostatic water with a syringe to spray into the BPC 157 bottle, I needed to do so gently. The BPC peptides are extremely fragile and need to be handled delicately during and after mixing. Legend has it that the BPC peptides are even more fragile than the ego of those who create content for Massenomics.
I used alcohol pads to sterilize the location site for injection, and also gave the tops of the BPC 157 and bacteriostatic water bottle a quick swab.
Look, needles are scary and injections are no fun. The first time I gave myself an injection I was shaking more than an epileptic belly dancer. I am surprised I didn’t accidentally stick myself in the dick. I was also surprised by how damn easy and painless it was. The subQ injections are really a walk in the park when done correctly. I have not worked up the courage (or found it necessary) to give myself an intramuscular injection yet.
If I decided I couldn’t go through with the injections and I just wanted to help my gastrointestinal tract or have a broad, systemic effect, I could have squirted the BPC directly into my mouth from the syringe.
Something, something, dick joke.
Is it effective?
I have tried a lot of different healing modalities in my life. I can quite confidently say that BPC 157 has had the most noticeable effect on my knee. Interestingly enough, if you do some reading on anecdotal experiences from other users, you will find that the knee is often one of the least effective places for BPC 157 to work. I would presume this is because the knee has limited vascularity, and the proposed primary mechanism of angiogenesis would diminish the benefit it could have. Having said that, my knee definitely recovers better after activity and there is a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect that occurs.
Aside from my anecdotal experience, here is what some of the research is saying in a nice compilation from Suppversity:
promote tendon & ligament healing by tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration as it was observed in a rodent model of Achilles tendon rupture (Chang. 2011), and when administered in the drinking water to rats with experimentally damaged medial collateral ligaments (Cerovecki. 2010)
direct tendon-to-bone healing so effectivel that they may actually "successfully exchange the present reconstructive surgical methods" (Krivic. 2006),
counter the damaging effects of NSAIDs on the gut lining so effectively that scientists call BPC 157 "a NSAIDs antidote" one of which they say that "no other single agent has portrayed a similar array of effects" (Sikiric. 2013),
repair the damage that's done by inflammatory bowel disease within days of oral administration in µg or ng doses in a rodent model of IBS (Vuksic. 2007),
help cure perdidontitis when it is chronically administered in a rodent model of periodontitis potently enough to have scientists conclude that "BPC 157 may represent a new peptide candidate in the treatment of periodontal disease" (Keremi. 2009),
reverse systemic corticosteroid-impaired muscle healing, in a rodent model where it was administered with a front-load of 10µg orally once daily for 14 days to rats w/ crushed gastrocnemius muscle (Pevec. 2010 | similar benefits in a rodent study by Novinscak et al. that was published in Surgery Today in 2008), and
bone healing in rabbits who suffered an experimental segmental bone defect before being treated with BPC-157 (Šebečić. 1999).
I may try it in the future on a damaged labrum I have in my shoulder and see how effective that is. The vascularity for the shoulder is much more robust than the knee and should theoretically result in a more pronounced effect.
Cost and where to get it?
BPC 157 is a little on the expensive side. However, I think the old adage of you get what you pay for holds true here. I buy my BPC from Nord-Sci because they give a discount for certain payment methods that work for me.
I also picked up my injection supplies from MedLab Gear. This included:
1cc 30g insulin needles
Alcohol prep pads
Peptide therapy is sort of in the Wild Wild West era right now. This is why BPC 157 isn’t sold for human consumption and is only for “research purposes”. Luckily, there are lots of guinea pigs out there (myself included) willing to experiment for you and document our results.
Having said that, I hope I don’t end up writing an article titled “How BPC 157 helped heal my knee and grow a second penis on my forehead.”
*DISCLAIMER* The content presented here is entirely for entertainment and informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.