Dallas, TX – In a rather unconventional family outing, tech entrepreneur Bryan Johnson, 45, along with his father Richard, 70, and his son Talmage, 17, recently visited a health services clinic near Dallas for a unique blood plasma exchange. The procedure involved the removal and conversion of a litre of blood from each family member, with their plasma through blood swapping being swapped among them. This controversial practice, reminiscent of the so-called “blood boy” phenomenon, has attracted attention due to its association with the quest for longevity and rejuvenation.
The concept of older individuals benefiting from the blood plasma of younger counterparts has long captivated the public, drawing inspiration from experiments in mice that suggested rejuvenating effects. While some individuals have ventured into self-experimentation, the scientific community remains divided on the efficacy and safety of such practices.
For Bryan Johnson, this plasma exchange was not an isolated incident. He has been a regular visitor to the Dallas clinic, previously receiving plasma from a young, anonymous donor who met specific health criteria. Johnson, known for his role as the former head of Braintree, a digital payments company, and the founder of Kernel, a brain-machine interface company, has recently focused his attention on his own health through a project called Blueprint. The project involves extensive medical diagnostics, treatments, and a carefully crafted regimen of lifestyle choices aimed at slowing down or reversing the aging process. Johnson’s goal is to publish his methods and results, inviting others to evaluate and potentially benefit from his findings.
While plasma infusions are commonly used in traditional medicine to treat various conditions, including liver disease and blood disorders, their use in rejuvenation therapies remains less explored in humans. Experiments in which older and younger mice shared circulatory systems have shown promising results, with the older subjects experiencing improvements in cognitive function, metabolism, and bone structure. However, human studies in this field are scarce, leaving researchers to rely mainly on animal data.
Experts in the longevity field caution against elective plasma transfusions among healthy individuals, citing a lack of conclusive evidence to support their efficacy. Charles Brenner, a biochemist at the City of Hope National Medical Centre, argues that the pursuit of such treatments is premature and potentially risky. Nonetheless, Johnson’s medical team has approved the procedure as a potential treatment for cognitive decline, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, aligning with Johnson’s commitment to rigorously measure the impact of these transfusions on his body’s performance.
The practice of plasma transfusions for rejuvenation purposes has been subject to stigma and remains a topic rarely discussed openly. Apart from the association with vampiric imagery, the process can be perceived as elitist and ethically questionable, given that wealthier individuals often receive the plasma of younger, less affluent donors. Typically, plasma donors receive around $100 in gift cards for a procedure that costs approximately $5,500.
The plasma or blood swapping exchange process varies in duration, with Johnson expelling a litre of blood and receiving an equal volume of plasma. With careful adjustments to the machine’s flow rate and needle size, Johnson has managed to reduce the procedure’s time to approximately 80 minutes. Resurgence Wellness, the clinic of choice for Johnson’s plasma exchanges, blood swapping positions itself as a medical spa and offers an array of treatments, from hormone therapies to body sculpting.
Prior to their clinic visit, Johnson and his family celebrated together, joined by members of his Blueprint team. Over a healthy breakfast in an upscale hotel lobby, Richard expressed his apprehension, acknowledging that his conservative background and friends might view the procedure as unconventional. However, Richard, who experienced a decline in his health and mental performance, has already embraced aspects of the Blueprint program, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and supplements, resulting in significant weight loss.
As the procedure unfolded at the clinic, Talmage, the epitome of youthful health, underwent the plasma extraction with ease, while Bryan received Talmage’s plasma and Richard received Bryan’s. Emotions ran high for Richard, who saw the exchange as a renewal of familial bonds and an opportunity for personal transformation. Despite concerns about being the oldest and least healthy in the room, Richard’s vein held up during the procedure. As he received Bryan’s plasma, tears welled up in his eyes, describing the experience as both emotional and physical. While the potential health benefits of these transfusions remain uncertain, Richard found solace in the moment.
Johnson refrained from attaching a monetary value to his son’s plasma, as far as we know. However, what Talmage received was far more precious than any price tag could convey: the affection of a caring father. This revelation makes us reconsider the significance of our Father’s Day offerings, as they pale in comparison to the genuine love displayed by Johnson for his child.
Critics, such as biochemist Charles Brenner, suggest that those seeking anti-aging infusions would likely benefit more from engaging in activities like hiking to address anxiety about mortality. With the field of plasma transfusions for rejuvenation purposes still lacking robust scientific evidence, the debate over its validity and safety continues.
In addition, his endeavor to maintain youth now encompasses infusions of “young blood,” despite the lack of scientific evidence supporting its efficacy and the FDA’s non-recommendation of this practice.
As technology entrepreneurs and longevity enthusiasts push the boundaries of medical science, the controversial practice of plasma swapping remains shrouded in both fascination and scepticism. Only time will reveal whether these unconventional measures hold the key to unlocking the secrets of youth or simply perpetuate a captivating myth of the fountain of eternal life.