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BPC-157: Experimental Peptide Creates Risk for Athletes

vials of clear liquid with a syringe in one vialWhile the peptide BPC-157 is not presently included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, it is important for athletes to be aware that this substance is not approved for human clinical use by any global regulatory authority, it may lead to negative health effects, and it could be added to the Prohibited List at any time based on new research. An anti-doping test for detection of BPC-157 in urine has been developed and published.

Keep reading for more information on a peptide that is making its way into wellness and anti-aging treatments.

Does BPC-157 have a medical purpose?

Therapeutically, the synthetically produced peptide BPC-157 is not currently approved for use as a human drug. It is an experimental compound that has been investigated for inflammatory bowel disease and soft tissue healing, although there is a concerning lack of published clinical trial data because studies appear to have been cancelled or stopped without any published conclusions.

Even though there are no studies or clinical trials that show BPC-157 is safe or effective in humans, some websites related to performance-enhancing drugs advertise that it can be injected or taken orally for bone and joint healing, stomach ulcers, organ damage, and a number of other purposes, including athletic performance enhancement. 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.

Other websites advertise BPC-157 as a “research chemical” that is “not for human use,” and yet, the same websites have suggestions for how someone could use it. Athletes are advised to never use a product that is marketed for “research only.”

Are there health risks associated with using BPC-157?

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.

Is BPC-157 legal?

There appears to be no legal basis for selling BPC-157 as a drug, food, or a dietary supplement, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed there is also no legal basis for compounding pharmacies to use BPC-157 in compounded medications. However, there is evidence that BPC-157 is being illegally included in some wellness and anti-aging treatments and products.

Is BPC-157 prohibited under the WADA Prohibited List?

No. WADA has clarified that BPC-157 is not a prohibited substance at this time. However, this could change in the future if it is determined to meet at least two of the three inclusion criteria for the WADA Prohibited List.

Can I get a TUE for BPC-157?

No, because BPC-157 is not prohibited in sport. There are also no FDA-approved medications that contain BPC-157 and it is not clinically indicated for any medical condition.

More questions?

For questions about specific products, substances, and methods, contact USADA’s Drug Reference Line at drugreference@usada.org or call (719) 785-2000, option 2.

References:

Chang CH, Tsai WC, Lin MS, Hsu YH, Pang JH. The promoting effect of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on tendon healing involves tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2011;110(3):774–780. https://doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00945.2010

Cox H, Miller G, Eichner D (2017) Detection and in vitro metabolism of the confiscated peptides BPC 157 and MGF R23H. Drug Testing and Analysis 9:1490–1498. https://doi.org/10.1002%2Fdta.2152

 Gwyer, D., Wragg, N.M. & Wilson, S.L. Gastric pentadecapeptide body protection compound BPC 157 and its role in accelerating musculoskeletal soft tissue healing. Cell Tissue Res 377, 153–159 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-019-03016-8

Chang, C.-H.; Tsai, W.-C.; Hsu, Y.-H.; Pang, J.-H.S. Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 Enhances the Growth Hormone Receptor Expression in Tendon Fibroblasts. Molecules 2014, 19, 19066-19077. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules191119066

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