Bryan Johnson: The tech entrepreneur who spends millions to reverse ageing

 (Dustin Giallanza)
(Dustin Giallanza)

Tech millionaire Bryan Johnson has been injected with his 17-year-old son’s plasma in a quest to reverse the ageing process and attain the body of an 18-year-old.

Johnson previously hit headlines for revealing he was spending $2 million (£1.6 million) a year on an intense regime to reduce his biological age.

His latest effort to become more youthful has also raised eyebrows, as he revealed he received a plasma infusion from his son, as reported by The Times, inspired by a study that showed that older rodents benefited from sharing a circulatory system with younger mice.

Although the effects on humans is unknown, Johnson has said he will release the results of his own plasma therapy soon.

So who is Bryan Johnson and what is his quest for youth?

Who is Bryan Johnson?

Bryan Johnson, 45, is a tech entrepreneur from Utah who has embarked on a quest to reverse the ageing process.

Johnson was raised in the Church of Latter Day Saints, and was once a Mormon missionary.

When he left the church, he became “partly estranged” from his three children, his son Talmage, 17,  revealed to The Times. Father and son now live together in California.

He made his millions selling a tech company to eBay and has since pursued ventures in health tech, including his anti-ageing mission, Project Blueprint.

Tech ventures

His mission began in 2013, when he sold his payment-processing company, Braintree, to eBay for $800 million (£646 million). The year before, Braintree acquired payment app Venmo.

In 2016, he founded Kernel, using $55 million (£44 million) of his own money. Kernel builds hardware to measure brain activity.

Johnson’s hope is that the helmets will eventually be used to develop mental-health treatments based on psychedelics, according to The Week, and to assist in the studying of brain ageing, Alzheimer’s, and strokes, among other illnesses.

Reversing ageing

Bryan Johnson and his son, Talmage, with whom he swapped blood (Magdalena Wosinska / Courtesy of Bryan Johnson)
Bryan Johnson and his son, Talmage, with whom he swapped blood (Magdalena Wosinska / Courtesy of Bryan Johnson)

The millionaire then announced his next venture, Project Blueprint, in 2021, with the aim of reversing the ageing of his organs. That year, he claimed that his biological age was 36, eight years younger than his then-chronological age of 44.

After two years of following his Blueprint algorithm, Johnson has reportedly slowed the pace of ageing by the equivalent of 31 years, and is now ageing slower than the average 10-year-old. His body muscle and fat is “ideal”, and he has “perfect” liver fat.

But becoming younger isn’t an easy feat — nor is it cheap.

Every day, Johnson follows a strict schedule that dictates what he eats (fewer than 2,000 calories, a vegan diet, plus 16-18 hours of daily fasting), the supplements he takes (more than two dozen upon waking, plus more with dinner), and his fitness routine (an hour a day, including three HIIT sessions a week).

This intense regime, which involves hundreds of measurements annually (routine measurements include BMI, blood glucose, physical fitness, MRIs, and ultrasounds), costs Johnson around $2 million (£1.6 million) a year.

While the process may sound difficult and tedious for most people, Johnson revealed he derives “tremendous pleasure” from his mission.

“It’s funny, because most people hear about this, and the instantaneous reaction is to assume that I must be miserable,” Johnson told British GQ.

“It’s very hard to understand that I might derive more pleasure from doing this than I would anything else.”