The 45-year-old CEO spending $2 million a year on anti-aging is probably wasting his money, longevity expert says – Fortune
45-year-old Bryan Johnson is dedicated to living longer. And by longer, I mean far outpacing the rest of us by reversing the natural process of aging. He’s already biologically at least five years younger than his age, according to his team of doctors.
The mega rich California CEO follows a strict diet, sleep wind down ritual, exercise regimen, takes a round of daily supplements, and undergoes countless medical tests as he strives for the biological age of 18. Johnson is estimated to spend over $2 million this year on medical tests and various procedures aimed to help him achieve his goal, according to a profile of his endeavors in Bloomberg.
Johnson’s intrigue with longevity science has left us all wondering: will all of this really be worth it?
Dr. Andrew Steele, longevity scientist and author of Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old, says it’s an exciting time for research on aging and longevity medicine so people can live longer, and more importantly, healthier lives. But in the case of Johnson, he says science has not confirmed all of his strict approaches.
“The real challenge is that we just haven’t got anything that I would confidently recommend that can slow down the aging process beyond the obvious stuff of diet and exercise,” he tells Fortune. “It’s quite likely that a huge fraction of whatever effect he’s seeing is just the fact that he’s got this incredibly strict exercise regime. He’s eating more nuts and vegetables and most of the stuff that’s in his diet is an improvement.”
So with Johnson’s strict regimen, how long could he live?
Steele says putting a number on it is impossible. First, because Johnson has dedicated his life to adhering to various approaches simultaneously, it will be difficult to understand which modalities, if any, really made the difference.
“It’s really hard to disentangle, is it some exact combination of supplements he’s taking? Or is it 90% of the effective stuff that you can do without $2 million a year?” he says.
Secondly, because, unfortunately to some, we cannot control everything. While a bulk of living longer and avoiding debilitating chronic illnesses lies in lifestyle changes, another factor is genetics, and the other is mere luck.
Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, an internal medicine physician in San Francisco and the founder of End Well, a non-profit focused on reframing the end of life, says while monitoring lifestyle factors is key to aging well, and lowering the risk for developing chronic diseases that present more frequently with aging, genetics still play a role.
“As much as we would like to be able to control our fate, it’s just not possible. Many of us carry genes that can undo all of our best intentions,” Ungerleider says.
Further, the human body is not meant to live well past 100, and even research on centenarians show there is a strong genetic factor to their long fate, Steele says.
“You just can’t exercise your way to living …….