Is BPC 157 Bad For Your Heart?

In this article, we will take a close look at BPC 157, a pentadecapeptide known for its healing effects. We will look into its potential impact on the heart, discussing its role in angiogenesis and vasodilation. Also, we will examine the scientific evidence regarding its safety and potential benefits for the heart.
Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub Gwiazdecki

Fifth year medical student at the Medical Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava.

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Is BPC 157 Bad For Your Heart?

No, BPC 157 is not bad for the heart. Based on the available scientific literature, there is no evidence of any harm. On the contrary, several studies indicate that BPC 157 can have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. During an experiment on rats, BPC 157 showed a vasodilatory effect on the aorta. This antihypertensive measure was found to be mediated by nitric oxide. A substance with such properties is, from that point of view, cardioprotective [1]. Another study, also performed on rats, found that BPC 157 can stimulate angiogenesis. This process, when activated, allows the organism the production of new blood vessels. BPC 157 can increase the production of a special receptor (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2)) responsible for the process [2]. Furthermore, BPC 157 has been shown to counteract arrhythmias induced by digitalis toxicity in rats. It reduced the number of ventricular premature beats, prolonged the time before the onset of Ventricular Tachycardia, and reduced ventricular tachycardia and AV-block duration [3].

What is BPC 157?

The impact of BPC 157 on the body

There are many ways in which BPC 157 can influence the body. The present uses include therapies if occlusion and ischemic muscle events. The peptide can promote the healing of tissues and support this process with new vessels (via angiogenesis) [2, 4].

The impact of BPC 157 on the heart

BPC 157 has a significant effect on the heart. In a study by Slaven Gojkovic et al., BPC 157 was tested on rats with a hepatic disease (Budd-Chiari syndrome). This rare condition causes a decrease in hepatic blood flow. The slower flow of blood through a vital organ like the liver impacts the whole cardiovascular system. Prolonged conditions like this can lead to heart failure. Budd-Chiari syndrome is caused by clots which can also occlude other vessels like the coronary arteries. When electrocardiography was performed, the rats in the study had signs of heart failure and ischemic signs. After treatment with BPC 157, many of those changes were milder. This suggests that this peptide has a positive impact on the heart, especially in clot-related conditions [4]. In another study by Ivan Barisic et al., also on rats, the possible beneficial influence of BPC 157 in myocardial infarctions (MI) was described. They looked at the tissue and necrotic markers in rats after being given drugs which can cause MI. The result was a positive reduction of the damage and the markers. It was linked to the ability of the BPC 157 to balance the vasodilative process in the arteries. Such an impact on the heart is very desirable, as it could also help people with a predisposition to heart attacks [5].

How does BPC 157 work?

Some of the pathways of BPC 157 were already mentioned above. Now, we will discuss them further. The good influence that the peptide can exhibit on the heart works in 2 ways. One is the increase in nitric oxide (NO). BPC 157 induces the production of the NO. Higher levels of this oxide in the blood activate special proteins in the cells lining the blood vessels. Those special proteins relax the smooth muscles in the arteries, leading to vasodilation and lower blood pressure. With this, the BPC 157 lowers the risk for diseases like atherosclerosis [1]. The other mechanism by which the peptide is impacting the cardiovascular system is the increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) [2]. The high availability of this receptor activates the VEGFR2-Akt-eNOS signalling pathway faster than normal. This pathway makes the endothelial cells change on many levels. Through genetic, cellular, and mitochondrial paths, it makes them express more proteins needed for division. The cells relax and more space is created between them. They release growth factors, which allows them to mobilize more cells for their cause of growth. Over time, the formation of new cells and thus new blood vessels happens [2]. Furthermore, because of its ability to make the cells produce growth factors, BPC 157 has been shown to influence the healing process. It promotes the formation of granulation tissue and collagen [6].

Cardiovascular risk and BPC 157

At the moment, there is no evidence that BPC 157 poses any cardiovascular risk. Quite the contrary; science reports about the benefits it can bring. However, because of the initial stages of this substance, the studies are performed on laboratory animals. This introduces safety and a risk of uncertainty. The effects a substance can have on a human are often similar to those it has on an animal. Nevertheless, a risk is present. The beneficial effects shown on animals can differ or even be negative when the substance is given to humankind. Thus, to talk about the risk linked with BPC 157 it is necessary to perform trials on people.

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Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub is in his fifth year as a medical student at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He has special interested in cardiology and in patient-centered medicine. His love for heart health isn't just book-smarts; he wants to know how it works, what it means for our feelings, and how key it is for health and happiness. Jakub thinks real good health care comes from always putting the patient at the centre, treating each person as a whole.