Currently, 1 in every 4 adults suffer from chronic knee pain; this represents a 65% increase over the last 20 years. While knee pain can be caused by several causes, including meniscus tears, tendinosis, sprains, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, osteoarthritis (OA) remains the most common contributor to this condition.
In this study, Lee and Padgett evaluate the use of the peptides BPC157 and thymosin-beta-4 (TB4) for the treatment of knee pain. Specifically, as part of this study, 17 patients received peptide therapy consisting of BPC157 or a combination of BPC157 and TB4 injections for their knee pain.
It is estimated that the human body has nearly 300,000 peptides. These peptides consist of chains of amino acids that range from 2 to 100 amino acids in length. One specific peptide, BPC157, when isolated, has demonstrated restorative properties that have helped in the repair of tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and bone fractures. BPC157 has also been found to promote recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI), reduce blood clots, and protect the liver.
Because of its reported acceleration of recovery from ruptured tendons, BPC157 has also become a favored therapeutic option by athletes looking to speed up the healing of their injuries. Prior to this study, no study using BPC157 in humans has been published, nor has this peptide received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the United States.
TB4 is FDA-approved and a naturally occurring peptide that originates in the thymus gland. TB4 possesses a range of healing and regenerative properties, including accelerating recovery from skin wounds, TBI, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. TB4 has also been shown to reduce inflammatory markers and pain.
The patients involved in this study either received only an intra-articular injection of BPC157 or a combination of both BPC157 and TB4 injections.
As a follow-up, and as part of this retrospective study, the author followed up with patients between 6 months and 1 year after receiving peptide injections in their knee. Of those receiving only the intra-articular injection of BPC157, 91.6% reported significant improvements in knee pain while 75% of patients who received both peptides showed significant improvement.
While treating knee pain with BPC157 and TB4 has demonstrated potential for future therapeutic options, the author calls for additional larger studies to better understand improvements in structural changes and increased collagen production in patients with OA-induced knee pain.
Lee concludes that this retrospective study demonstrates that BPC157 has been shown to help reduce knee pain and have prolonged effects lasting over six months, a significant benefit when compared to the documented short-lived results of steroid treatment. Source: “Intra-Articular Injection of BPC 157 for Multiple Types of Knee Pain.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34324435/.