Want to be 18 forever?
Wealthy tech entrepreneur Bryan Johnson does, and he’s spending millions to take his 45-year-old body back in time. While the notion seems crazy, it’s part of a growing trend of technology Midases who are determined to turn back the clock.
In Johnson’s case, he has 30 doctors on staff monitoring his body’s myriad functions daily, according to a Bloomberg report. Although Johnson told writer Ashlee Vance that he’s doing all this to help humanity rewind, not everyone has the $2 million a year he’s currently spending on his Fountain of Youth dream.
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Johnson’s quest is in line with a growing tech-lucre fueled trend:
- PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has pumped millions in the SENS Research Foundation, whose website points out that the organization is building a future “free of age-related disease.”
- Altos Labs, which launched in 2022 with $3 billion in funding from investors that include Jeff Bezos and Breakthrough Prize founder Yuri Milner, is working on ways to rejuvenate cells.
- Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are pouring their riches into Calico Labs, whose scientists are focused on understanding the ways in which our biological systems control aging and life expectancy.
Who is Bryan Johnson?
Johnson founded Braintree Payment Solutions more than a decade ago, a pursuit that left his stressed out, overweight and mentally depleted, according to the Bloomberg News report. He sold the company to eBay for $800 million in 2013, and set out on a quest to give himself a total physical makeover.
Among his first steps was founding a new company in 2016. Dubbed Kernel, it manufactures helmets that analyzed brain activity including trying to dissect the impacts of meditation and hallucinogens on the body’s physical state.
What is Johnson’s anti-aging mission?
Led by a 29-year-old doctor named Oliver Zolman, Johnson is using himself as a test specimen for many experiments. After building a medical wing in Johnson’s Venice, California, home, the team got to work with an aim to give Johnson the “brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, tendons, teeth, skin, hair, bladder, penis and rectum of an 18-year-old,” according to the report.
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The team is now a year into what they call Project Blueprint, which includes a daily intake of 1,977 vegan calories, an hour of high-intensity workouts three times a week, and going to sleep at the same time nightly after two hours of wearing glasses that block blue light. “Each month, (Johnson) also endures dozens of medical procedures, some quite extreme and painful, then measures their results with additional blood tests, MRIs, ultrasounds and colonoscopies,” the report says.
To be 18 again, the regime is extreme
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If you want to be like Johnson, beyond money you need discipline. Vance describes Johnson’s routine is detail, and it is not for the casual fitness fanatics.
Johnson rises daily at 5 a.m. and takes two dozen supplements and medicines, including “lycopene for artery and skin health (and) metformin to prevent bowel polyps.” After a carefully crafted meal, he “brushes, Waterpiks and flosses his teeth before rinsing with tea-tree oil and applying an antioxidant gel.”
To give a sense of the extremes to which Johnson is going, Vance relates that Johnson has taken “33,537 images of his bowels, discovered that his eyelashes are shorter than average and probed the thickness of his carotid artery. He blasts his pelvic floor with electromagnetic pulses to improve muscle tone in hard-to-reach places and has a device that counts the number of his nighttime erections.”
What is Project Blueprint? Johnson wants others to follow suit
In a bid to get others interested in his experiment, Johnson created a website where he posts details of his past two years on Project Blueprint. Among Johnson’s messages for readers: “Entropy = aging and deterioration. Goal Alignment via your Autonomous Self aims to combat entropy by maintaining perpetual youth. Maximally slowing your pace of aging and reversing the aging that occurs.”
More recently, he’s created a new website specifically aimed to encourage others to join him if maybe a less extreme or costly way. Called Rejuvenation Olympics, the site asks those interested in seeing where they rank in terms of slowing the aging process by uploading “your epigenetic data to the platform and your results will be analyzed and included on the leaderboard.”
Story Credit: usatoday.com