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Who is Bryan Johnson? The multi-millionaire trying to biohack his way to immortality

entrepreneur bryan johnson speaking at a conference wearing a beige jacket
Who is ultimate biohacker, Bryan Johnson?Getty Images

What would do if you had all* the money in the world (*an estimated fortune of £400 million)? Well, if you're anything like Bryan Johnson, founder of the health optimising Blueprint regime, the answer is sure to be 'spend every last penny and ounce of spare time you have trying to cheat death'.

In case you're not one of the many millions who've gotten stuck into Bryan Johnson's flourishing YouTube channel of late, here's an explainer on who exactly Bryan Johnson is, why he's so topical right now and what the multi-millionaire does to try and reverse the ageing process (read: biohack his way into having 'the body of an 18-year-old' at the age of 45)...

Who is Bryan Johnson?

Bryan Johnson is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, self-proclaimed 'health rejuvenation athlete' and vlogger, with an impressive history of striking big number deals through the likes of his mobile payments app, Braintree, which went on to acquire Venmo (another money-sharing app) in 2012, and was later sold in a deal with PayPal for $800 million in 2023.

These days, Johnson heads up Kernel, an organisation that measures brain activity through special helmets, and Blueprint, his personal project that centres on age reversal – and through which he claims to have achieved an epigenetic age reversal of 5.1 years, meaning his heart now functions like a 37-year-old, not a 45-year-old.

Johnson has three children, one of whom is his son, Talmage, who also makes appearances on his social channels, and even took part in "the world's first multi-generational plasma exchange" alongside his dad as part of the Blueprint:

What is Bryan Johnson's Blueprint and diet?

The answer is, err, complex: Johnson has a team of more than thirty medical professionals working hard on helping him try to age at a slower rate – a project he's dubbed as the 'Blueprint'. Or rather, "a public science experiment to determine whether it’s possible to stay the same biological age".

Currently, Johnson claims he's ageing slower than the average ten-year-old, something he says is down to his hardcore regime of an incredibly strict vegan diet of exactly 1970 calories per day, daily testing and precise exercise routine (all of which kicks off at 4:30am and lasts for two and a half hours), along with copious amounts of supplements.

This way of life (that he's had in place for two years, according to his website) is no mean feat, and also includes organ measurement tests, blood tests, breathing observations and skin damage scans, and it's one that he follows every day without fail and posts about on his YouTube channel, @BryanJohnson, to his 255,000 subscribers.

Johnson also takes more than 30 supplements a day and eats three carefully considered meals (some of which *no shade* look like slop) – all of which he consumes before 11am. Even bedtime has a strict criteria: Johnson sleeps alone in a temperature controlled room with a custom heat-moderating mattress.

It's estimated that the cost of this hyper-intense regime comes in at a cool $2 million a year (pocket change for Johnson, you'll agree).

Does Bryan Johnson's Blueprint actually work?

Well, according to his website it does, yes. However, others have been vocal in their criticism of the regime, questioning whether it's worth extending your lifespan if you have to exist on a diet of what essentially resembles baby food and spend the majority of your time in a lab being prodded and poked.

Claims that Johnson has made about his health wins so far include:

  • Body inflammation levels that are 66% below the average 10 year old

  • An 80% reduction in grey hair

  • Having identified and corrected (without surgery) a ticking time bomb: bilateral internal jugular vein (IJV) stenosis

  • Perfect liver fat ratio

  • Fitness levels of an 18-year-old

  • For every 365 days in a year, he ages 277 days

Explaining why he started the project, on his YouTube channel Johnson says, "Blueprint was born when years ago I would overeat every night as a result of the stress of everyday life: being a startup entrepreneur, a father to three young kids, leaving a religion I was born into, chronic depression etc. Every night, at 7 PM, there was nothing I could do to stop myself from committing this self-harm of overeating."

He adds that this was "rapidly degrading my health and wellness and speeding up my pace of ageing".

"Eventually, I fired ‘Evening Bryan’, and revoked his decision making authority from 7 PM - 10 PM every night," Johnson continues. "I imagine a future where we would not accept self-harm as the norm. The idea of systematically and reliably avoiding self-harm may be one of the most important goals of the 21st century.

"How silly is it that we do things, individually and collectively that harm our self interests? How odd is it that we are so normalized to it that we even cheer it on?"

Anyone else beyond fascinated by all this?!

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