Operation Bryan Johnson: How the Venice-Based Entrepreneur Is Becoming 18 Again

The 45-year-old tech mogul is on a mission to make himself young. Here’s how he’s doing so far…

If you sold your online payment-processing company for $800 million, how would you spend the money? For Bryan Johnson, the 45-year-old Venice-based creator of Braintree, it was, well, a no-brainer: He’s been investing about $2 million a year on what he calls Project Blueprint, an intensive program of medical, cosmetic, and exercise interventions that he hopes will turn back his biological clock and make him 18 again.

So far, the results have been mixed. “I am biologically hundreds of different ages,” Johnson tells Los Angeles. “On some age markers, I’m as young as nine or 10 years old.” On others, though, he’s considerably less youthful—parts of his heart, for instance, are pushing 70.

To assess Johnson’s overall progress, we asked our in-house physiological experts to study his Project Blueprint website, where he’s been reporting his latest data, and prepare the following medical chart detailing his current condition, body part by body part.

Bryan Johnson, founder of Kernel, OS Fund and Braintree delivers remarks during the opening night of Web Summit in Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos – Corbis/Getty Images)

Brain Johnson’s ventricular volume, cortical gray volume, and pineal calcification levels are all stubbornly middle-aged. But he’s got a boyish volume of white matter—on that score, he’s a spry 37.

Lungs The data show he can expel as much air as a 26-year-old, and he can do it as quickly as a 22-year-old. He starts showing his age, though, regarding how well his alveoli pass oxygen to his red blood cells, at which point his lungs act like they’re 39.

Kidneys “Zero cysts, zero parenchymal thickness abnormalities,” Johnson boasts of his smooth, fat, juicy kidneys, which have renal interlobar artery resistive indices of .46 and .49—which puts them at about 25 years old.

Waistline Johnson notes that, at 82.8 cm, he’s “average  for a 25-year-old,” but adds, sadly, this is the “maximum age reduction” possible for a 45-year-old.

Penis Johnson’s is practically a teenager, at least according to a device he uses to track his nightly erections. However, his online journal reveals he has yet to complete measurements of his “penoscrotal” area, something most males accomplish by middle school. 

Eyelashes This is where things fall short—in Johnson’s case, “genetically short.” He has the eyelashes of a 70-year-old due to a biological disposition for stubby, old-man eye hairs. Even if he lives to 100, they’ll remain at their current stunted length. 

Ears He’s got one good ear and one lousy one, thanks to a childhood spent hunting with loud guns in Utah. When it comes to extended high frequencies, Johnson hears like a 60-year-old on his right side. His left side has the hearing of a 32-year-old.

Mouth Johnson invented an oral-health regimen incorporating a Waterpik, tongue scraping, tea tree oil, and whatever CoQ10 gel is. It’s paid off! He claims his dentist recently told him he has “the gums of a teenager.”

Heart With a resting heart rate of 44 beats per minute, Johnson has the ticker of a professional athlete—or an 18-year-old. Here’s a bummer, though: he’s got the aortic root diameter of a man in his seventies.

Intestines He photographed every inch. “I swallowed this pill, the size of a baby carrot,” he reports. “Then took laxatives [and it] reemerged 10 hours and 38 minutes later, having taken 33,537 images.” The results: no polyps, but his short-chain fatty acids are those of a man over 70.

Prostate At 19.14 mL, Johnson’s prostate volume is that of a 30-year-old American. But, as he notes in his records, there’s an indigenous community in South America whose members are known for the small size of this particular organ. So, in South America, he has the prostate of a 59-year-old.

Thyroid Johnson’s thyroid—the gland producing the hormones that control everything from body temperature to metabolism to body development—is in tip-top shape. With a thyroid volume of 20.9 mL, he’s about 23 years old, hormonally.

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