Tech centimillionaire and middle-aged human man Bryan Johnson, founder of the online payment behemoth Braintree, among other ventures, wants to be 18 again.
Not mentally or spiritually, but physically so — Johnson's on a quest to turn back his biological clock, returning his body's 45-year-old "brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, tendons, teeth, skin, hair, bladder, penis and rectum" to each of their 18-year-old condition. And according to Bloomberg, he'll do pretty much whatever it takes — or costs — to get there.
"The body delivers a certain configuration at age 18," Johnson, who again is a middle-aged human man, told Bloomberg, detailing his roughly $2 million-per-year approach to anti-aging. "This really is an impassioned approach to achieve age 18 everywhere."
Looking at the entrepreneur's daily and weekly routines, it's not surprising that Johnson's biohacking extremes ring up a multimillion-dollar yearly tab. (Full disclosure, by the way: Johnson was an early investor in Futurism Media, though his involvement ended in 2019.)
He reportedly employs over 30 doctors and health professionals and sticks to an expensive — and incredibly strict — diet, fitness, and supplement regimen. On top of it all, he routinely subjects himself to expensive treatments and procedures, which are sometimes extraordinarily painful, all with the goal of hitting 18-year-old biomarkers.
Of course, Johnson isn't the only rich person obsessed with prolonging his lifespan and vitality. Anti-aging, and even reverse-aging, is common pursuit among the ultrawealthy, particularly in Silicon Valley, elite sports, and celebrity circles. But it could well be argued that Johnson takes longevity to greater extremes than most, not just putting his money, but his body, where his mouth is.
"I treat athletes and Hollywood celebrities," Jeff Toll, an internist on Johnson's very large health staff, said to Bloomberg, "and no one is pushing the envelope as much as Bryan."
Pushing the envelope, apparently, has included but not been limited to Johnson taking a lot of pictures — 33,537 in total, per the publication — of his bowels, the undertaking of a "fairly constant stream of blood, stool and urine tests as well as whole-body MRIs and ultrasounds," and extensive daily and weekly skincare routines that involve a lot of lasers and chemical peels. He even employs a device that tracks his nighttime erections, just to give a sense of how deep this rabbit hole goes.
Johnson's doctors told Bloomberg that they do in fact believe that some of their client's organs are aging backward, with his heart, skin, and lung capacity presenting as 37, 28, and 18 years old, respectively. Overall, the entrepreneur and his team claim that Johnson has wound the epigenetic clock back by 5.1 years over the course of 7 months.
"All of the markers we are tracking," Toll continued, "have been improving remarkably."
And unlike other longevity-hunting zillionaires, Johnson hardly keeps anything he does a secret. Fascinatingly, he tracks his progress openly in something called Blueprint, which reads like a fitness-tracker-meets-personal-diary. Everything, from his monthly food costs to his "notable challenges" to his guiding "principles" — "Principle 4: Look in the Darkness to avoid being blinded by the light" — is carefully maintained in the document, in a possible sign that Johnson is less intent on cracking the reverse-aging code in order to financially capitalize on longevity tech and motivated instead by a personal curiosity. Or, perhaps, a personal need.
"This time, our time, right now — the early 21st century — will be defined by the radical evolution of intelligence: human, AI and biology. Our opportunity is to be this exciting future," reads Blueprint's landing page. "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."
Right on, guy. Anyway. We all have our hobbies. And it seems that Johnson has the funds, as well as the sheer willpower, to support his. (We'll continue to work on coming to terms with our mortality, as that suits our particular tax bracket.)
"What I do may sound extreme," the Braintree founder explained Bloomberg, "but I'm trying to prove that self-harm and decay are not inevitable."
READ MORE: How to Be 18 Years Old Again for Only $2 Million a Year [Bloomberg]
More on longevity: Experts Worried Elderly Billionaires Will Become Immortal, Compounding Wealth Forever
(Bryan Johnson was an early investor in Futurism Media, though his involvement ended in 2019.)