If you had the money to reverse the natural process of aging would you do it?
Bryan Johnson, a wealthy entrepreneur based in Venice, Calif., who is 45 going on 18—is enamored with the idea of being biologically young again. So much so that he is on the path to spending over $2 million this year alone on a host of medical interventions and tests aimed at helping him be younger. They range from electromagnetic pulses to improve the muscles in his pelvic floor to a device calculating the number of erections he has per night, according to a recent profile of the software businessman in Bloomberg. Johnson also routinely has MRIs, and has his body fat, heart rate variability, and blood and stool samples examined.
Johnson sees a team of 30 doctors for regular, and sometimes invasive, tests for what they have named Project Blueprint, according to Bloomberg.
Oliver Zolman, the 29-year-old lead doctor and “regenerative medicine physician” on the project, is dedicated “to help reverse the aging process in every one of Johnson’s organs” and charges up to $1,000 an hour for patients interested in the vast testing that Johnson participates in, Bloomberg reports.
While the data is preliminary, Johnson has the heart of a 37-year-old, the skin of a 28-year-old, and the lung capacity of an 18-year-old, according to tests his doctors performed. His overall biological age is at least five years younger, per the report.
“We have not achieved any remarkable results,” Zolman tells Bloomberg. “In Bryan, we have achieved small, reasonable results, and it’s to be expected.”
Johnson, who has a medical facility in his own home, also adheres to a hyper-strict exercise and eating ritual, taking two dozen supplements/other medicines at 5 a.m. each day, consuming 1,977 “vegan calories a day,” exercising for an hour, and hitting the hay at the same time after using blue-light-evasive glasses.
“What I do may sound extreme, but I’m trying to prove that self-harm and decay are not inevitable,” he told Bloomberg. Since beginning to see results, he’s continued the project, despite criticism that it’s all a step too far in a way that impedes on the spontaneity that can define living a happy life.
When Bloomberg reporter Ashlee Vance visited Johnson’s home, he writes, “He could have been mistaken for a big, swollen porcelain doll.” (Johnson had recently undergone a fat injecting face procedure, which he says will help him accumulate more youthful cells, though it produced an allergic reaction.)
Johnson has made it clear—whether due to a dream of staying fit and young, outliving his own generation, or to simply explore the untapped potential of emerging longevity technology—he is not stopping anytime soon.
“The whole longevity field is transitioning into a much more rigorous, clinical place,” George Church, a geneticist at Harvard University, tells Bloomberg.
For the majority of people who don’t have the resources to have a medical facility in their home or access a team of doctors and regularly undergo medical tests, there are a myriad of questions: Namely, what will this mean for the rest of us? What is the result of this kind of health care that allows the ultrarich to literally descend in age?
For Johnson, though, it’s all fun for now.
“If you say that you want to live forever or defeat aging, that’s bad—it’s a rich person thing,” Johnson says to Bloomberg. “If it’s more akin to a professional sport, it’s entertainment. It has the virtues of establishing standards and protocols. It benefits everyone in a systemic way.”
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