Peptide Therapy Round 2: BPC-157 and TB-500
Peptide Therapy Round 2: BPC-157 and TB-500
As I previously wrote about in the article “My Experience with BPC-157,” I’m absolutely riddled with permanent damage and experienced some mild benefits from a BPC-157 protocol. Particularly, it seemed that the partial rotator cuff tears were resolved, as the next MRI showed mild fraying. That said, the slight benefit but increased ability of use led me to likely overuse it. I developed a partial tear in my bicep longhead tendon shortly thereafter and ended up worse off than before I dabbled with BPC-157, which I touched on in my first article.
I decided to give peptide therapy another go, this time with a “combination attack,” and am incredibly glad I did. I utilized a protocol of 500mcg of BPC-157 daily for 40 days, subcutaneously injected into my shoulder, and 10mg of TB-500 once a week, also subcutaneously injected into my shoulder, for 6 weeks (42 days). I also had an MRI 6 weeks before I started the regimen, and another MRI 2 months after I completed the regimen as a “before and after baseline.” As shown in the MRIs, at the bottom of this article, the partial tear of the bicep longhead was healed, leaving only slight tendinopathy. The rotator cuff is now “unremarkable,” indicating that the mild fraying has subsided. In two rounds of peptide therapy, I have resolved almost all of the tendon-related issues in my left shoulder.
Of course, my osteoarthritis and labral tears are not even remotely improved and have in fact worsened. I was hesitant to write this article right away, as I wanted to see how the healing held up. Seven months later, my stability, when my arm is raised at 90 degrees and travelling in a straight line, or is lower than chest height with my elbow tight to my body, remains intact, and my strength continues to improve. To envision this, think exercises like throwing a straight 2-dimensional punch. By two dimensional, I mean the fist travels in a straight line like a laser pointer to the target, and retracts back in a straight line. Or, for tight to the body, envision doing a bicep curl with your elbow “glued” to your side. For these positions and movements, I have regained almost normal strength. Of course, this is limited greatly, as my labral tears and absence of any cartilage on the joint prevent me from doing much. For context, I have been able to re-learn to box and kickbox as a southpaw. I chose this as while I can now throw a jab with my left, I can’t throw a hook with my left and cannot generate much power with my left jab. That said, my tendons are now strong enough to strengthen my muscles, which in turn leaves my shoulder strong and stable enough to throw a left straight or a tight left uppercut from southpaw when I rock my body into it (i.e., pendulum movements after I throw a right hand first, or off of certain lateral footwork-based movements). This limited, but real and significant, improvement in functionality has allowed me to pick up two of my greatest passions again: boxing and kickboxing — activities I did not believe I would be able to partake in ever again.
What is BPC-157?
BPC-157 is a synthetic peptide, which is a short chain of amino acids. BPC-157 is derived from a protein that plays a protective role in our body and is found in our stomach. Many claim that BPC-157 is not being studied rigorously because it is “naturally found in our stomach and so money cannot be made on it,” but this is simply not true. BPC-157, as mentioned, is a synthetic peptide and is patented.
What is the Science Behind BPC-157?
There is extraordinarily little published research on the synthetic peptide BPC-157. The last time I searched — several months ago — there was a single human study with sparse details regarding rectally administered BPC-157 for ulcerative colitis. There was an additional registered clinical trial that had not been published, despite beginning in 2015 and with an estimated completion in 2016. The positive data is limited to rodents, where BPC-157 has been shown to improve healing time in numerous trials on skeletal muscle, ligaments, and tendons.
What is TB-500?
Thymosin beta-4 (TB-500) is a protein that in humans consists of a sequence of 43 amino acids. TB-500 is a major cellular constituent in many tissues and has been shown to play a role in tissue regeneration and cell proliferation.
What is the Science Behind TB-500?
Animal and cell culture research has shown that TB-500 may be able to lower pro-inflammatory cytokines and assist in stem cell maturation.i It plays a vital role in the repair and regeneration of damaged tissues.ii In Phase II trials exploring healing rates in pressure ulcers, stasis ulcers, and epidermolysis bullosa (EB), which is a condition where the skin blisters easily, TB-500 was shown to increase healing speed.iii Several other Phase I and Phase II trials have demonstrated positive results from TB-500, from wound healing to dry eyes and even heart failure.iv Interestingly, despite success in Phase I and Phase II trials, a search for active clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov for thymosin beta-4 and TB-500 shows only those that were completed or withdrawn, with no active research at this time.
Takeaways on BPC-157 and TB-500
For me, the combination of TB-500 and BPC-157 worked far better than BPC-157 alone, at least anecdotally. Unfortunately, I do not have imaging results to compare before and after results of the first treatment with BPC-157. Additionally, it is impossible to determine the extent of two confounding variables. 1) How much did the first round of BPC-157 assist the second treatment with both BPC-157 and TB-500? 2) How well would TB-500 have worked on its own?
Regardless, I am happy I attempted a second combination peptide protocol with BPC-157 and TB-500. I will definitely experiment more in the future and am excited to continue following any emerging research in this area.
Peptide Therapy Dosage Recap
500mcg BPC-157 daily, 40 days
10mg TB-500 weekly, 6 weeks (42 days)