Blueprint for Longevity: Mapping the Psychedelic Brain & Effective Daily Practices


Episode 231

Bryan Johnson

In this Psychedelic Podcast episode, host Paul F. Austin is joined by founder & CEO of Blueprint and the "world's most measured human." Delve into Bryan's journey from depression to a zest for life, and his extensive approach to longevity and health optimization.

Brian shares his approach to longevity and health optimization. He reveals the philosophy behind Blueprint, a system of intelligence that uses scientific evidence and algorithms to manage health and wellness.

He explains the concept behind Kernel, a brain mapping technology, and its relationship to psychedelic work. Additionally, Brian offers tips on the daily health practices, highlighting the importance of sleep.

This enlightening conversation imagines the future of longevity, exploring the balance of intelligence and compassion—and provides actionable habits for improving health and lifespan.

Bryan Johnson:

Bryan Johnson is the world's most measured human. Johnson sold his company, Braintree Venmo, to PayPal for $800m in 2013. Through his Project Blueprint, Johnson has achieved metabolic health equal to the top 1.5% of 18 year olds, inflammation 66% lower than the average 10 year old, and reduced his speed of aging by the equivalent of 31 years.
Johnson freely shares his protocols and data publicly for everyone to use. Project Blueprint, is an endeavor to achieve humanity and earth scale cooperation starting within Self.
In 2023, Johnson launched Rejuvenation Olympics, a leaderboard assessing one's speed of aging using DNA methylation. Of the 1,750 people who have been using this state-of-the-art aging algorithm to track their progress longitudinally, Johnson ranks #1 in speed of age reduction.
Johnson is also the founder & CEO of Kernel, creator of the world’s first mainstream non-invasive neuroimaging system; and OS Fund, where he invested $100M in the predictable engineering of atoms, molecules, and organisms into companies now collectively valued over $6B. He is an outdoor adventure enthusiast, pilot, and author of children’s books, Code 7 and The Proto Project.

Podcast Highlights

  • The philosophy behind Blueprint’s longevity work.
  • Bryan’s journey from depression to a thirst for life.
  • Kernel neuroimaging.
  • Mapping the brain on psychedelics.
  • Blueprint and effective, actionable daily practices.
  • Sleep as a priority.
  • Follistatin gene therapy and mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Penis rejuvenation.
  • The Future of Longevity.

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Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.4 Paul F. Austin: Welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, where we explore how psychedelics can be integrated into culture for the evolution of humanity. This is your host, Paul F. Austin, and today I'm speaking with Bryan Johnson, founder and CEO of Blueprint.

0:00:16.4 Bryan Johnson: In the world of health and wellness longevity, nobody agrees on anything, and so therefore, it's very hard for anybody to make a decision. And so what I wanted to do with Blueprint is to answer the most basic question, what do I eat for breakfast? The majority of the money I've been spending has been on basically scouring all the scientific literature we can find on healthspan and lifespan, structuring all that data so that we know which things have the best evidence, getting those protocols in place, and then measuring myself extensively. And I've open sourced everything. I've shared the entire protocol, I've shared all my data. Anybody in the world can do this.

0:00:54.5 Paul F. Austin: Welcome to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance, and collective transformation.

0:01:28.2 Paul F. Austin: Hey, listeners, one of the most profound gifts that psychedelics have given me is an appreciation for the beauty of life. I don't want to just live a long life. I wanna live a healthy life. And once you get past age 30, you start to notice aging. It can take longer to recover from physical activities and the mental energy I rely on to maximize my conscious experience can start to wane. Even things like joint discomfort and stiffness can start to creep in. Science knows a big culprit to feeling past your prime. It's senescent cell accumulation. Senescent cells are old worn out cells that no longer serve a useful function in our bodies. They start accumulating in us past our 20s, lingering wasting energy and nutrition, which is why they're nicknamed zombie cells. The good news is that there's recently discovered vegan plant-derived ingredients that help your body to eliminate these senescent cells.

0:02:25.6 Paul F. Austin: These amazing ingredients are called Senolytic. And I love a supplement called the Qualia Senolytic because it has nine of these zombie cell slayers in one blend. Qualia Senolytic can take years off how you feel to help you retain a youthful mind and body, so you can appreciate the gift of life for as long as possible. To try Qualia Senolytic with a 100 day money back guarantee, and currently at 50% off, go to wave and use the code Third Wave to get an additional 15% off. That's wave with code Third Wave to help you keep your mind and body enjoying the prime for as long as possible.

0:03:10.2 Joseph Anew: Whether you are a health coach, a nutrition coach, a relationship coach, or an executive or leadership coach, as a result driven professional in the coaching space, the quality of the tools in your toolkit matter. Psychedelic medicines are humanity's most potent tool for personal and professional growth and transformation, and can be used to significantly amplify the results of your work in almost any coaching domain or existing framework. Coaches that add psychedelic medicines to their businesses in the next 12-18 months will be amongst the first to unlock and really pave the way into the future of transformational coaching, which is why our founder Paul F. Austin has worked tirelessly over the last several years to create the most comprehensive psychedelic coaching certification program in the world today.

0:04:03.0 Joseph Anew: This certification program covers it all from the science of transformation and behavior change to how to best prepare, advise, and integrate your clients on their psychedelic journey to know how to consciously step into the right medicines, dosages, protocols, and experiences for your client's goals, and to ensure your business is positioned optimally to navigate the present legal landscape. It's all included in the certification program, and best of all, certified coaches are included on Third Wave's Professional directory upon graduation so that clients around the world who are seeking non-clinical, non-medical professional help can find your business based on your geographical location. For more details and to enroll yourself now in the next certification program cohort beginning soon, please visit today. That's

0:05:02.7 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast. This is Paul F. Austin, founder and COE of Third Wave. And in this enlightening conversation today, we'll be diving into the fascinating world of longevity with a man who's dubbed the world's most measured human. Joining us today is Bryan Johnson, a visionary entrepreneur who took his company Braintree Venmo to new heights, and now he's on a mission to redefine what it means to live a long and healthy life. Bryan Johnson sold his company Braintree Venmo to PayPal for 800 million in 2013. Now, through his Project Blueprint Johnson has achieved metabolic health equal to the top 1.5% of 18 year olds, inflammation 66% lower than the average 10-year-old, and reduced his speed of aging by the equivalent of 31 years. Johnson freely shares his protocols and data publicly for everyone to use. Project Blueprint is an endeavor to achieve humanity and earth scale cooperation starting within the self.

0:06:02.0 Paul F. Austin: In 2023, Johnson launched the Rejuvenation Olympics, a leaderboard assessing one speed of aging using DNA methylation. Of the 1750 people who have been using the state Of the art aging algorithm to track their progress longitudinally, Johnson ranks number one in speed of age reduction. Johnson is also the founder and CEO of Kernel, creator of the world's first mainstream non-invasive neuroimaging system and the OS fund where he invested a hundred million dollars in the predictable engineering of atoms, molecules, and organisms into companies now collectively valued at over $6 billion. He's an outdoor adventure enthusiast, pilot, and author of Children's books Code Seven and The Proto Project. And in our conversation today, Bryan walks us through his inspiring journey from battling depression to embracing a thirst for life. He shares his philosophy behind Blueprint, a system of intelligence that utilizes scientific evidence and algorithms to optimize health and wellness.

0:07:00.7 Paul F. Austin: And we also get to explore Kernel, the world's first mainstream non-invasive neuroimaging system and its potential connections to the realm of psychedelics. We go into Bryan's daily routine where he generously shares actionable practices for longevity and health from his research and explains why sleep is so fundamental to our overall wellbeing. And finally, we talk about some of the more cutting edge technologies that Bryan is exploring from Follistatin Gene Therapy to Mesenchymal stem cells, even to penis rejuvenation. This conversation isn't just a glimpse into one man's life and routines, but potentially a roadmap for all of us to enhance our health and lifespan.

0:07:41.6 Paul F. Austin: Alright, before we dive into this episode, a quick reminder to follow The Psychedelic Podcast on your favorite podcast app or like and subscribe on YouTube. This is the easiest way to follow the rapid evolution of psychedelics in our global culture. And beyond that following the show and especially leaving a review wherever you're tuning in, are small actions that you can take right now to amplify psychedelic awareness and shift the cultural conversation around psychedelic medicines. Alright, that's it for now. I hope you enjoy my conversation today with Bryan Johnson. Hey, listeners, welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast. Today we have Bryan Johnson joining us from his beautiful home in Venice. Bryan, thanks so much for joining us on the show.

0:08:22.8 Bryan Johnson: I've been looking forward to this conversation. Happy to be here. And by the way, Paul, I just, a friend of mine gave me some nootropics, and my entire mouth stained blue. I tried to brush my teeth three times before this, but I'm still blue. [laughter]

0:08:38.8 Paul F. Austin: And it was, I think it was... We talked about it. This is methylene blue, which is a sort of very interesting nootropic. How do you feel after taking it? Noticed anything shifting in cognitive function, energy levels, anything like that?

0:08:52.9 Bryan Johnson: No, I have... It seems like I have no effect yet, so.

0:08:58.7 Paul F. Austin: Well, TBD we'll check back in at the end of the show...

0:09:00.6 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. TBD, yeah.

0:09:01.5 Paul F. Austin: And see if, anything has changed. So I mean, let's start there. Supplements, supplementation regime. There's a lot that I wanna get in with you today, Bryan, but that's a pretty easy starting point. What supplements do you take? What do you think are the most effective supplements specifically for longevity in some of your goals to not die as your shirt says?

0:09:23.1 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. And maybe it's helpful to... Before I get into the actual supplements, it's maybe helpful to explain the philosophy on what we're trying to do, the practical approach.

0:09:31.4 Paul F. Austin: Let's go into the philosophy. Yeah, we can start a little higher level.

0:09:33.1 Bryan Johnson: Okay, Cool. If you look over time when certain forms of intelligence reach a critical threshold of being better at doing a given task, we adopt it. And so even when it's mechanical, like when the Spinning Jenny came about for cotton, it was better than a human doing it. And then over time, we figured out how machines and software and other forms of intelligence are just better at doing given tasks. And that's really moved to the world of digital information as well and now it's to the world of biology. And so, what we are basically proposing at Blueprint is that we've reached a point in time where a system of intelligence that measures my body uses scientific evidence, and then a closed loop algorithm is actually superior at managing my health and wellness than I am myself. And so that could be whether that I'm... Instead of me pantry grazing or choosing things in the menu here and there or trying to piece together a whole bunch of opinions from the different people, we've basically said, we're at this different, we're at this time and place where computational intelligence, data and science should be running our health and wellness on autopilot.

0:10:45.0 Bryan Johnson: And so everything that we do has been based upon measuring every organ in my body and inquiring of those organs. What do they need to be in their optimal state? And that's the experiment we're trying to demonstrate.

0:10:58.6 Paul F. Austin: And that's interesting. What it reminds me a little bit of is Moneyball, which was a book that was written by Michael Lewis maybe about 20, 25 years ago. Which is the use of statistics in baseball to improve who you signed, to improve, overall outcomes. And so it's sort of like, how are we taking this art of living which we've known about for thousands and thousands of years, and now with the utility of technology, not going fully away from the art, 'cause there's still something to be said about the art of living and how to live a beautiful life, but balancing that with actual science algorithms and computations that are going to significantly reduce our biological age and help to extend our health span in a significant way.

0:11:46.8 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, that's well said. And I'd layer on top of that. In any previous generation, it was reasonable to look in the past and say, "Okay, I see what humans have done before me. I now can reasonably expect my life is going to be somewhat like their lives, therefore I can make the following assumptions". And in this moment in time, if you look at the speed at which artificial intelligence is, is progressing, we no longer have that luxury of looking at the past and modeling the future. We have no idea what the future's going to be like. All we know are these basic rules that when systems of intelligence become better, either more energy efficient or cheaper or superior outcomes, we adopt them with the snap of a fingers. It doesn't matter our moral and ethical and social and cultural qualms, we adapt instantaneously. And right now, there has been quite a bit of pushback on Blueprint because the ideas are from the future. It is, we've found that this is the case before people realize that's what's expected. But I think that basically in a very short period of time, a Blueprint style lifestyle will be the norm and people will forget that we ever resisted it in the first place.

0:13:03.9 Paul F. Austin: So, I wanna spend most of our conversation on the Blueprint, the $2 million plus a year that you invest in your own health and longevity. I wanna talk about penis rejuvenation, and nighttime erections. But before we get into that, you had a very successful career before getting into this. This isn't necessarily your first project, your first rodeo. And in fact, you sold a company Braintree for, I think, $780 million. You started a company called Kernel, which is a really advanced way of tracking and measuring brainwaves and brain health, which I wanna hear a little bit more about.

0:13:46.5 Paul F. Austin: And now you've really started to make, I would say, a significant and substantial public impact with your conversation on longevity and the Blueprint that you're putting together. So I'd love to first hear a little bit about who you were when working on Braintree. What was your mental health like? How did you live on a day-to-day basis? I saw you recently posted on Instagram that death was your only wish for 10 years. That depression had you in an unbreakable choke hold. And so you're giving thanks that you now feel unsatiable thirst for life. So I'm curious, what shifted for you, as well?

0:14:28.3 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, yeah. I really hope this is an opportunity for me to share things with people that they will take to heart and will help them in their lives avoid the mistakes that I've made, or I will help them dig out of holes they may find themselves. And so I, as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 21-year-old, I determined that I wanted to spend my life doing something meaningful for the human race. Something that would change the course of humanity. And of course, that's a bold and courageous and naive thought process when you're 21 years old that you can think like that. And fortunately, it worked out for me. I sold Braintree Venmo when I was 34 years old and then made a few hundred million dollars. But that 14 years about killed me in like every aspect of life.

0:15:22.2 Bryan Johnson: And so, I got married, I had a few little, I had three babies. And so the process of being in a challenging relationship and raising three kids and building startups and then being chronically depressed and then trying to leave my born into religion created a firestorm within me where I really couldn't discern reality very well, it's just all very confusing. When you're in a depressed state, your mind just beats you down all day, every day. You know, like, it constantly chirping, "There's no reason to live. There's no hope. Life is terrible. You should end your life". And so when people talk about suicide and depression, I understand them, like [chuckle] it is a very rational thought process to be like, Yeah, I don't wanna live anymore and there's nothing to live for". So, I completely understand it. And then at 34, after being in that terrible state for 10 years, in one year's time I sold my company, got a divorce, left that church, and tried to recreate myself from scratch.

0:16:23.4 Bryan Johnson: And a few of the things that I think were driving my depression during those stages, like one, a bad relationship is like the worst thing ever. Like, nothing is worse than being in a relationship that has some acrimony and other things like that. Two is that I was not doing basic self-care. So I was overeating. I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now. My sleep was awful. Just like... And it wasn't like... I just, it was hard to control myself because things were so bad. And I also felt... The last thing I'll say is I had subscribed to this idea of grind culture. This idea that you're a martyr as an entrepreneur to build something and sell something. And that if you're ragged and you sleep under your desk and you code for days on end, there's mythology about you. And so, I really bought into this cultural story that I regret deeply. And that, like prioritizing one's health and wellness was not seen as, socially signal worthy. So yeah, it was a tough, very tough period of time in my life.

0:17:31.9 Paul F. Austin: And what changed? I mean, how did you go from suicidal and depressed to having this sense of rev... Not only reverence, but like deep curiosity about extending life in a substantial and significant way? That's a huge 180.

0:17:49.1 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. I mean, I think two things. When I was in that 10 year time period, I tried everything I could find to address my depression. I tried all the antidepressants. I did TMS, TDCS, I did acupuncture, you name it, I did it, and nothing worked. And it ended up that once I was able to get out of that relationship and leave the religion, it was... My depression just lifted. So I think it was more those factors that I was in on a daily basis. The probably other things like sleep as well. And so, really, it was correcting the things of my daily life. And when that came out, I guess I just kind of had this reconciliation with existence where I had grown up and been given a story about who I was and why I existed and what the meaning is. And for the first time in my entire life, I got to pose those questions the first time and say, "Why do I think I exist? What is the purpose of this whole thing? Is there meaning, if not, what do I do about it? So it was the first time I could really ask with a fresh mind, fresh and open mind, those basic questions.


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0:20:15.7 Paul F. Austin: Well, let's go into that. What is the purpose? Why do you think you exist? And maybe I'd be curious, how did that change from 21-year-old Bryan compared to 35, 36-year-old Bryan when you had sold the company and left the church and left the relationship? How did that shift for you?

0:20:40.4 Bryan Johnson: I discovered the French philosopher Albert Camus.

0:20:45.9 Paul F. Austin: Camus was great. Yes.

0:20:46.6 Bryan Johnson: And I love, my interpretation of him is he went to the ends of existence trying to reconcile with existential reality, I mean trying to reconcile with reality. And instead of generating a bunch of mumbo jumbo about the metaphysical state of reality and the quantum effects of blankety blank, he just said, "The only question that matters is when you find out that there is no meaning, the only question is, do you commit suicide or not? And if you don't commit suicide, then the only answer is you just play." And I thought that was such a beautiful conclusion that it wasn't nuanced, it wasn't complex, nobody knows what's going on, everyone is just making this stuff up we have. And so, given that, let's just play and that's why the only thing I care about right now is don't die. Basically the observation of when intelligence reaches a certain threshold, the only foe becomes death. And I think we've reached that point right now. Now if we were not living in this place right now, I'd probably choose a different game to play. And I'd probably be just as engaged as I am now, but I think this is really...

0:22:08.6 Bryan Johnson: The thought experiment that got it for me is I imagine being present with the 25th century. And they're observing the early 21st century and they say, and they're marveling at what we figured out in the early 21st century to make intelligence thrive in the galaxy. And to me, what they would observe is obvious is we figured out the only philosophy that makes sense is don't die, don't die, don't kill each other, don't kill the planet and align AI, we don't die. That's the only thing intelligence cares about when you get a certain threshold.

0:22:37.7 Paul F. Austin: And I wanna dive into more of that because it's a, in some ways it's a very old notion, this concept of the philosopher's stone, this concept of how might I reach sort of almost like a god-like status. That's how we perceive immortality, if you will, not dying, is to be associated with gods. And Nietzsche who was a forerunner of Camus would often talk about how we are becoming these god-like figures. That when meaning no longer comes from an external perspective, but really comes from an internal desire that we, as you said, have this chance to play and create. And that is both beautiful and it can also be terrifying at the same time, 'cause it's the sort of responsibility and weight of the world. And so I love how you frame it within, that's why it's so important that we play because play allows us to hold that responsibility with a sense of levity rather than it becoming so overwhelming that we decide, okay, this isn't worth it.

0:23:41.8 Bryan Johnson: That's right.

0:23:44.0 Paul F. Austin: And for any listeners who wanna go into Camus, what Bryan is talking about in particular, I believe is, Camus wrote a book called The Myth of Sisyphus that he won the Nobel Prize for. Where he talks about the morality of suicide in particular and essentially says, "Suicide is not moral and therefore if life is absolutely worth living, how do we navigate it?" And of course, the Myth of Sisyphus is the man pushing the boulder up for eternity. And so even if we look at life as difficult or challenging, which sort of gets into the hustle culture that you were talking about, how do we still hold it with a sense of beauty? So that I think is a good transition point for Kernel and into Blueprint. So I do wanna spend a little bit of time on Kernel because of the overlap with the psychedelic space in particular. So Cybin, which is a publicly traded company announced a few years ago that they were doing a partnership with Kernel, to do brain mapping in conjunction with psychedelic work. What's the origin story of Kernel, Bryan? Why did you decide to start it? And most importantly, what is Kernel?

0:24:55.1 Bryan Johnson: Kernel is a helmet that you put on your head, it's like a bike helmet and it gives you fMRI-like quality of your brain activity on your cortex. It's easy, it's high quality, it's fast, and it's the first technology ever built that can be mapped to billions of people using it around the world. And so, over the past couple of years, I've become the most measured person in human history through Blueprint. And...

0:25:24.8 Paul F. Austin: How do you determine that? What's the quantity behind that?

0:25:30.0 Bryan Johnson: The most biologically measured person in human history, when you look at biomarkers, whether it be blood, saliva, stool, imaging, fitness tests, when you put together everything I've done, as far as we know, no one has ever been more measured than myself.

0:25:49.8 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:25:50.6 Bryan Johnson: And in that process, we've learned that measuring the brain is very hard. Right now, we primarily use MRI and fMRI. But to do that, you have to go to a large facility, you sit in that coffin-like environment, it's expensive, the protocols are nuanced, it's hard versus... And so, Kernel, you just you're in a natural environment, you just put it on your head, it's easy, and it gets that scan done and so we've really had a need for that. But the origin story behind that is I was flushed with cash, of a couple hundred million dollars, then I had this question, what do I do? What game do I play? And in those moments, it is so easy to buy into the current zeitgeist and just sample the world and say, what's happening? And then you pick from what people are already doing. It's extraordinarily hard to say, I'm going to not do any of that, and I'm gonna go carve out original things which no one's working on, and I try to blaze that trail. And so, Kernel was one and Blueprint is the other. And the idea behind Kernel was that we humans, for example, if something is easy as when we buy a washer and dryer, we don't wonder whether the dimensions of those things are going to fit through the front door. We just know that, we just assume they will, because doors have been built and washers and dryers have been built so that they basically fit with each other.

0:27:26.3 Bryan Johnson: And if you look throughout society, you don't buy a car and wonder whether it's gonna fit in the lanes, it does. And so, we have this engineered society because we build it based upon measurement. Now when we build society around our minds, which is that's what we're doing, we don't have any measurement, it may be very little. So the things we do, we can measure, we have, for example, like we have timings of how long a yellow light is up before it turns red, and we have for break time, for reaction time, for the physics of the car to work. So the idea behind Kernel was if we're going to survive ourselves as a species and align ourselves with AI, we need these basics of measurement because we need to engineer with scientific rigor our mind with this technology. And right now, we just can't measure it. So that was really the idea. And then along the way, of course, we could use it for biomarkers on depression and mental health and cognitive decline, all those other useful things. But the idea was, as a species, we want to methodically engineer our path forward into the future versus our haphazard way right now and we have many blind spots in doing this.

0:28:37.0 Paul F. Austin: So as a follow up to that, then what's the relationship between brain health and longevity? Because when a lot of folks think of life longevity, like you were even talking about all the organs, the heart, the liver, the stomach, the gut. What in particular is so critical about brain measurement that will help us to extend lifespan in a significant way?

0:29:08.5 Bryan Johnson: We've seen in Blueprint how interconnected everything is when... If we pose the question, how can we extend health span and lifespan? In many ways, you're trying to find the one or two or three points that are going to give out before the rest. If you can be in great physical shape, but if your heart is in bad shape, you have a heart attack, it doesn't do you any good. And so you're trying to find the weak elements of the system, and they're all deeply interconnected. And so, mental health has obviously a connection throughout the entire body, and so you can derive so many insights. Something simple, like to bridge into psychedelics, we did a study with ketamine, it's actually... This is what Cybin funded ahead of their work on psilocybin. And we wanted to help build intuitions, why would someone measure their brain? People know they want to know how much they weigh because they're aware of all concepts like skinny and being overweight. And so weight is this thing that we all understand, but because we have consciousness and because we can feel things like headaches, people think that their sensor system is good enough for their brain. They're like, "Oh, no, I got it covered, I don't need to measure it."

0:30:28.7 Bryan Johnson: They don't think, it'd be as silly as going to the cardiologist and the cardiologist being like, "Okay, tell me how your heart feels." And it's like, "No doc, I wanna a EKG, I want you to do a blood panel, I want you to tell me my cholesterol levels." You want measurement. But we don't have those same intuitions around our brain and so I wanted to do something with ketamine to say, what happens to my brain when I take ketamine? Because I can offer a subjective assessment like, oh, I felt like I went to a different dimension and I had this really weird experience and then I forget over time what happened. But I wanted quantitative data to say, this is what happens day-by-day to my brain when I take ketamine. And then if you just simply say, okay, now we understand what happens to my brain when I take ketamine, what happens when I'm on social media for three hours a day? What happens when? And then if you fill in the blank with thousands of questions of things we do on a daily basis that we have no idea what happens to our brains.

0:31:20.6 Paul F. Austin: And I think what's interesting about a substance like ketamine, or... I've done a lot of personal work with psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, even some with 5-MeO-DMT, is that these have a substantive and often immediate impact on what's going on in the brain, whereas potentially something like social media is a little bit more like chronic social media use over a year or two is going to show probably degradation in certain areas, whereas just the day of it might not show major factors. So, working in particular with these substances, these psychedelic substances are probably quite interesting because the change is so dramatic. In fact, a good friend of mine, he used to be the practitioner at 40 Years of Zen with Dave Asprey and did all those. So he's mapped 50,000 brains and he did it with 5-MeO-DMT before and after and he had never really seen anything like it in terms of how the brain shifted. And then, he could map that on to the woman that he was working with because she was, like you said, talking about this subjectively, right? And all of a sudden he go, "Okay, she's talking about this subjectively and we can actually see how that's changing in the brain immediately." Which is so fascinating.

0:32:32.8 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Exactly right.

0:32:36.4 Paul F. Austin: So with that ketamine in particular, I'm curious if you remember how much if it was done intravenously or intramuscularly and what happened? What changed in the brain when ketamine was introduced?

0:32:54.9 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, it was 68 milligrams in intramuscular dose and it was a FDA formula that we got through our IRB. The way we have structured the output is that, so think of, imagine you're looking at planet Earth and you see airports all over the globe and you see that traffic patterns between New York and Tokyo has a lot of volume, but between smaller regions like between some smaller port in Tennessee and some smaller port in Alabama, there's less traffic. So you have these thorough ways in the brain where there's more traffic, there's some places with less traffic and you have a lot of city to city. And so, we saw with my brain I scanned every day for five days before the ketamine treatment, basically that my networks in my brain, they looked like this planetary thing where I have certain nodes communicating with certain nodes, and it was a 96 by 96 matrix showing my pathways. And then I did ketamine and it basically scrambled my pathways, it's almost like you just randomly picked up airports and just put them back down in the middle of wherever in the world, it's a totally different network. And then, so the funny story that my colleagues have is that on day two after the ketamine treatment, we were walking to a meeting and there was a newly constructed wall that was about five feet tall. And so, we were walking there and it was a shortcut to my next meeting and I thought, I'm just gonna jump over the wall.

0:34:22.7 Bryan Johnson: And so, I just jumped over the wall and then everyone's like, "Bryan, what's up? What are you doing?" And I had forgotten, okay, so jumping over a wall in a social environment might trigger a social norm violation, even though we were a startup and even though I think were pretty unstructured in how we do things, but still...

0:34:40.7 Paul F. Austin: True.

0:34:41.0 Bryan Johnson: It didn't... It wasn't as obvious to me in that moment that kind of play was like, sure, I'll do it. But in looking at that, it mapped up with my behavior where the patterns I had in my brain were gone. I was open to new ideas, new experiences, new mapping, new understanding. And then we saw on day three, four, five, my patterns crept back up into their regular patterns. And so, it matched the data that after a therapeutic experience, after a psychedelic experience, you have this therapeutic window to kind of lock in the gains, remap your resolve, remap your ideas, and then you go back to your old self. And so, it was really cool to see in the data exactly what patterns I had, how they got washed away, then how they reemerged, and what changes I could have made in that time period.

0:35:27.1 Paul F. Austin: And it's probably interesting for you as well, just subjectively to notice and observe and witness that, right? Like having that opening, noticing internally, you might think about this memory, you might have this idea, or all of a sudden some new things come forth. And then, like you said, maybe what I have to notice is usually after two to three weeks of sort of being back in normal reality, a lot of the things that I wanted to do or shift or change, I don't necessarily do them that well.

0:35:55.7 Bryan Johnson: That's right.

0:35:56.2 Paul F. Austin: And my thought on that is a lot of it comes back to certain setting the context we go back into. It's like you were saying, when you left your relationship, you left the church and you sold your company, the depression lifted. Because the context of your existence changed to something that was more nourishing and beneficial. And so, I think where I wanna lead with that question is longevity, the Blueprint that you're putting together. Let's talk a little bit about some of the particulars. And I wanna end the conversation, just kind of end up in terms of the vision for you, in terms of what does the society and culture look like? What are some of the key fundamental aspects that need to be present for people to feel like their environment supports them to live a very long time, because that's important.

0:36:44.8 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, yeah.

0:36:46.8 Paul F. Austin: But that's a little, I think, I wanna get there, but I don't wanna start there, I would love to start first with, okay, you spend $2 million a year plus investing in your own health. Kind of break us down, where does that money go? What is it spent on? How was it invested? How do you make the choice about how to invest it? I'd love to start there.

0:37:11.7 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, my parents have a very simple problem, they want to know what to eat for breakfast for health and wellness. They don't care about who's publishing what, in what journal, they don't care about who's debating what, they just wanna know what to eat for breakfast.

0:37:27.8 Paul F. Austin: Right.

0:37:28.3 Bryan Johnson: And a lot of people want to know that. And in the world of health and wellness and longevity, nobody agrees with anything on anything. And so, therefore, it's very hard for anybody to make a decision. And so, what I wanted to do with Blueprint is to answer the most basic question, what do I eat for breakfast?

0:37:48.7 Paul F. Austin: Interesting.

0:37:49.6 Bryan Johnson: And so that's what we've done over the past three years we have, the majority of the money I've been spending has been on the process of basically scouring all the scientific literature we can find on health span and lifespan, structuring all that data. So that we know which things have the best evidence, and then getting those protocols in place, and then measuring myself extensively. And so, we don't care about what anyone says, we only care about my data. So we do that process, we look at evidence, we do the protocol implementation and we look at my data. We do it again and again and again and again. And the evidence is based upon population level studies. So a lot of people say, "Oh, it doesn't matter because it's n equals one." But that's not true. These are population level studies applied to an individual, me, and then I have data. Now, yes, there's some nuance, but it's not a dismissal because it's n equals one. And so that's why Blueprint and I've open sourced everything. I've shared the entire protocol. I've shared all my data. Anybody in the world can do this. And we've had, I would dare say, thousands of people at this point who are currently doing Blueprint. And it works like you've talked to somebody who does it. It works remarkably well.

0:39:07.3 Bryan Johnson: And so for the first time I say tongue in cheek, Blueprint is the most efficacious health protocol built in human history. Prove me wrong with your data.

0:39:19.3 Paul F. Austin: So what do you eat for breakfast then, Bryan?

0:39:22.0 Bryan Johnson: [chuckle] I eat a few pounds of vegetables every day. So I'll have, I call it super veggie. It's broccoli, cauliflower, black lentils, garlic, ginger, hemp seeds. And then, I have a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. And I'll put a few little nibs of 100% pure chocolate with high polyphenol density.

0:39:42.0 Paul F. Austin: So you're definitely not a carnivore then, you haven't you haven't gone down that rabble?

0:39:47.3 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, you saw I'm vegan, and I'm vegan by choice. I'm vegan because I hope that a scaling law will be true, that as intelligence increases in its capacity, so will compassion. We humans have a lot at stake at the level of compassion that will be in infused in intelligence. I think we want to err on the side of future intelligence being as compassionate as possible. We're no longer alpha [chuckle] as much as we may think we are. We're not.

0:40:26.1 Paul F. Austin: I love that because so much we often just hear about intelligence without any sort of, I might even say moral compass. And as you said at the beginning of the the interview, morality may not matter that much in terms of how we adopt systems. We're looking at other aspects. And yet morality does matter in terms of how we live, how our relationships are, the quality of those relationships. And so I think that sense of balancing intelligence with compassion, to me, there's... Being in the psychedelic space and I was also raised in a church and left the church, became an atheist and then did LSD a number of times and sort of had that open back up. I almost see it's like, how do we balance science, which might be a good way of saying intelligence with sort of spirit or love or, as you said, compassion, like a heart and and head approach.

0:41:25.5 Paul F. Austin: So you mentioned there are thousands who are doing Blueprint. And I'd love to clarify that. Basically, what is Blueprint and what is not Blueprint? And what I mean by that is like, you've talked a little bit, like I think I just was on your Twitter profile now called X. And you mentioned Follistatin, I don't know if I'm pronouncing this right, but Follistatin Gene Therapy that you just did. So you mentioned how thousands are doing Blueprint. Is that just specifically the diet and the food protocols or are a lot of people also experimenting with these sort of other aspects of there was this really interesting stem cell that you just got injected through the Bahamas, the Gene Therapy, the penis rejuvenation, bring us through kind of that aspect.

0:42:17.2 Bryan Johnson: People are doing these at different levels. I would say, people often ask me what is the number one thing they can do. And my response is make sleep your number one life goal, which is counterintuitive because sleep in our current culture is something that can always be squeezed. You can always stay out late. You can always binge watch. You can always just take the extra time. And I don't know about you, but I there's nothing known to me that changes my conscious experience more than sleep. When I'm not well rested, I feel honoree and life feels daunting and I don't feel like I can take on the challenges, when I'm well rested, I feel like I can do anything. I mean, it's very common for people to say, "Okay, this rich guy is doing two million dollars a year. It's totally not accessible. This is not possible. And then sleep is in the power of everybody.

0:43:11.5 Bryan Johnson: Now, sometimes it's more nuanced because people have small children. Sometimes people have sleep issues. So it gets nuanced pretty quickly. But still, many of these things like sleep. And then, oftentimes the best thing you can do for longevity is not to do something positive, but to stop something negative. So stopping smoking is the single best thing one can do for their health. Getting exercise is the second most powerful thing somebody can do. And so these things are within people's power. And so people are doing various things at Blueprint. I posted, I had a perfect sleep score for eight months using WHOOP as the wearable. And I wanted to do something like a four minute mile where I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to get predictable, high quality sleep every single night. That is not this uncontrollable variable. And so a lot of people who have worn that specific wearable for a year or two have never once achieved a single night of 100% sleep score. And I banged it out for eight months. I wanted to make a point. We can do it as a society.

0:44:17.1 Bryan Johnson: Now people will say, "Okay, sure, you're a billionaire. You need to wake up and understand life is hard". These things I'm talking about are doable. They're small changes. And so, again, I think people are very quick to come up with excuses on why this is not irrelevant to them. But this is something everyone can do in society. And this is like with my children. They were wrapped up in sleep deprivation culture. So, yeah, I think so much more this is in our power than we are willing to acknowledge.

0:44:47.1 Paul F. Austin: Do you drink caffeine?

0:44:49.6 Bryan Johnson: A little bit. I love coffee, but I always get on this escalation train whereby week two, I have to drink it just to feel normal again. And then I have to go through a few days of withdrawal to eat it off. So I just, I can't touch it. So I'll do some tea somewhere between 15-60 milligrams a day, if that.

0:45:10.5 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, 'cause that's that for me is when it comes to sleep, like when I cut out caffeine completely or when I only drink tea, I'll drink pu-erh's or oolongs early in the morning. And then for me, taking a bath before I go to bed, having no light exposure. What are some of those fundamentals that you really honored and paid attention to for those eight months that people could maybe implement at home?

0:45:32.8 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, the top five. So I eat my last meal of the day at 11:00 AM So I basically fast for about 10 hours before I go to bed. And I have found that is the single biggest determiner of my sleep quality. That if my resting heart rate before I go to bed is around 46, I'm almost guaranteed a perfect night's sleep. If I eat too close to bed, my heart rate is elevated, more elevated around 52-56. And I'm guaranteed to lose about 30 to 40% of my sleep quality. I have... The same with foods. If I eat a specific food like I know if I eat a pasta or if I eat sugar or if I eat something else, it's going to negatively affect my sleep. Then I have a blacked out room, so no light can get in. I sleep alone, which is controversial for a lot of people that trying to synchronize sleep with a partner and their wake ups and their bedtimes and their tousles in the night is really, really disruptive. And then I always have an hour wind down time before bed. I know that if I go to bed right... If I work up until the moment I go to bed, my whole night is going to be basically ruminating on the day's work so I don't have time to settle my brain before I get to sleep. And I mean, I've been trying to perfect this for a few years. There's probably more things I do, which I'm not aware of.

0:46:46.9 Paul F. Austin: Interesting.

0:46:47.3 Bryan Johnson: But it's basically a commitment I made to say nothing changes my experience more than sleep. Therefore, it warrants being my number one priority. Your bedtime... I go to bed at this exact same time every night. My circadian rhythm is just like absolutely tuned. But by saying...

0:47:04.7 Paul F. Austin: What time? Like 8:00 PM, 8:30?

0:47:06.8 Bryan Johnson: 8:30.

0:47:07.2 Paul F. Austin: 8:30. Interesting. Okay.

0:47:09.8 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. But by saying that my bedtime is my most important appointment of the day helps me frame that because like you and I, we had a time scheduled today for our podcast. Now, I was a few minutes late because I was trying to get the blue out of my teeth, otherwise, I would have been on time. But we respect each other that we're going to show up on time and be there when we say we're going to. But when it comes to our bedtime, we just miss it. We don't respect ourselves. We know our bedtimes at whatever time we have and we just blow past it. And so there's an element here of respecting yourself versus just running over all these commitments we make to ourselves.

0:47:46.2 Paul F. Austin: Sleep. I love it. That note about the last meal being at 11:00 AM, I've noticed the same thing. I wear the Oura Ring, so I get reasonably good data. And if I ever if I eat past, 7:00 PM, even it shows. And it's the number one thing for me that impacts my overall sleep quality. So I think that's fascinating.

0:48:08.7 Bryan Johnson: I try to be very soft about that and say, "Hey, look, this is me. This is this is what I do. You may be different." It's like just pay attention to your data. Every single person that I've been close to that has tried to rigorously manage this always ends up eating earlier. So this is, again, not to say that it's going to be true for everyone, but I've yet to find an example of someone who sleeps better with a later night, with a later meal time.

0:48:35.7 Paul F. Austin: All right. So we have about 10 minutes left and I wanna get into some of the more highbrow or high tech or very sort of cutting edge things that you've been experimenting with, because I think they're super interesting. I mentioned a few earlier, the Follistatin Gene Therapy, penis rejuvenation. There are these different types of stem cells. There have been blood transfusions. There have been other things that, if I'm not mistaken, aren't necessarily legal in the United States, but maybe legal abroad. And you are maybe one of the sort of first persons to go through with some of these experiments. So first of all, how do you choose and decide which sort of novel or cutting edge modalities to do? And then, tell us about, let's say, the three most interesting and what you've observed and noticed.

0:49:30.4 Bryan Johnson: So first, the $2 million headline is misleading in some regard because doing Blueprint, including groceries, costs around $1,000 to $1,500 a month.

0:49:40.8 Paul F. Austin: Gotcha.

0:49:41.7 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. So Blueprint is very cheap and that's something most people can afford because they spend that money on groceries anyways. And then, the other things like getting good sleep, people can make those life choices. So it's affordable. The money has been spent on learning these things. So in terms of deciding what to do, we have combed every single... I mean, I shouldn't say every, to our best of our ability, we have tried to scour the literature and identify every lifespan of Health Stan study. We've ranked every single one according to 15 biostatistical criteria. And we've said, which ones do we think have the most compelling evidence? And then we implement them in order. So we go down the list and we say, "Okay, number five, can we do it?" And sometimes we can't do it because it was done in an animal model and there's no way to get into a human yet. Or we don't think the safety profile is there yet or blank. So we basically just went down the list and we've identified systematically what therapies we think have the highest potential effect. And those are the ones we've implemented.

0:50:42.6 Paul F. Austin: And what are those?

0:50:45.0 Bryan Johnson: So first, we we wanted to master the basics as a getting... You can basically add roughly 20 plus years to your life by not smoking, exercising, having a BMI between 18.5 and 21.5, having a Blueprint diet, and you gain almost 20 years by doing those basics. And then you get to level two and you start getting into more sophisticated things. And the level three is where I've been out lately with the gene therapy. And so, for example, this Follistatin Gene Therapy, it ranks number seven in all time, having increased my lifespan by 30%. So it's a big one. And I got the injection on September 10th. I did my Follistatin levels 14 days later and it had increased my levels by 160%. So the therapy worked, it achieved in me the exact target we had. And so, now we're looking at the effects on a few dozen organs. So we're excited because there's so much evidence behind this as having compelling effects in humans and animal models. And we actually have the therapy work as we had hoped, now we're looking for the effects in the body.

0:51:57.3 Paul F. Austin: What is Follistatin? I don't know what that it.

0:52:01.0 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah, it's a protein that our body naturally produces. And this gene therapy enhances the production of that specific protein. So this is a gene therapy where it didn't modify my genome. It is a gene therapy that increases the production of the Follistatin. And what we found compelling is this gene therapy has an off switch. So for any reason we don't like the situation or we find some data that makes us concerned, we can just kill it with an antibiotic. And so, it's nice. We've been trying to do gene therapy for the past two years, but we didn't because we've never found it to be safe. Know, the gene therapies don't have an off switch. So you start it and then it just goes and there's no way to turn it off. So we just didn't like that as a situation. And then we did try the plasma exchanges. I think the most compelling result is I gave my dad, my 70-year-old father, I gave him one liter of my plasma. He removed 600 milliliters of his plasma and we saw his pace of aging slow by the equivalent of 25 years. So he went from the average of aging like a 71 year old to aging like a 46 year old. And this is based upon three speed of aging tests looking at DNA methylation patterns before the therapy and three after the therapy. And the effect has continued through six months.

0:53:22.0 Bryan Johnson: And so, it's interesting. I mean, this is kind of the effect size you saw in animals, too. So it's not terribly surprising, but it's cool to see, like that's a dramatic improvement for my dad.

0:53:31.6 Paul F. Austin: It was just one time that it was done?

0:53:34.4 Bryan Johnson: Exactly. Just one.

0:53:35.0 Paul F. Austin: Wow. What are Mesenchymal stem cells? You just had an infusion of 100 million Mesenchymal stem cells. What are those?

0:53:44.9 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah, I did 100 million Mesenchymal stem cells of young Swedish bone marrow. And the evidence behind this is it's really multifaceted. People have used these Mesenchymal stem cells for Long COVID, they've used it for heart conditions. They've used it for reducing inflammation. I've used it for joint therapies, regenerating joints. So it's really a multi-application therapy. And so we did it as a general rejuvenation therapy. I have basically no identifiable inflammation in my body. So we didn't have that. We went after primarily slowing my speed of aging and rejuvenation of various things in my body. So it was more of, it is safe. It is known to be effective across the body. And we thought we'd add it to our stack because I think that was like the 33rd highest performing therapy of all time. Something like that.

0:54:41.3 Paul F. Austin: What's the first highest performing therapy?

0:54:46.8 Bryan Johnson: I think it's telomere extension, if I'm not mistaken.

0:54:49.5 Paul F. Austin: Interesting.

0:54:51.7 Bryan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah.

0:54:52.2 Paul F. Austin: Okay. Last question about interesting interventions, penis rejuvenation, having the erection of an 18-year-old, even measuring nighttime erections, that's something that you've been doing as of late. Tell us a little bit about the context behind that.

0:55:10.4 Bryan Johnson: Yeah, I had a few scientists approach me at an anti-aging conference and they said, "Okay, we confess, we hated you when you first started doing your thing because we thought you brought embarrassment to the community. We thought that you were ruining our reputations. We now love you. We understand your situation because we thought that people would get excited about longevity by nature paper publications and this protein doing this thing. But people actually get excited about erections. What does any of this matter if you can't have a healthy sex life? What does it matter if you don't want to have... Yeah, and so I've really tried to speak the language of where people are at and what they care about. And nighttime erections is interesting because it hits on... What I was really trying to do is hit on multiple fronts.

0:56:04.0 Bryan Johnson: Like, one, when you're sleep deprived... So, okay, first, I don't know if you remember, but when you're in your early teens, you're almost constantly erect. You're erect without even you wanting to be erect and you can't even stop the erection. It's just part of your biological function. And then as you age, you have fewer and fewer erections. And so it's actually a really important indicator of psychological, sexual, cardiovascular health. It's a really important marker for the body. And so, in the... When you sleep, people are erect when they sleep. And as you age, that amount goes down. So, for example, an 18 year old on average is erect for three hours and 30 minutes during their sleep. A 46 year old like myself is on average about two hours and 15 minutes, which is where I'm at. I'm about my biological age. And so... But it's a significant biomarker of health on a number of fronts.

0:57:01.5 Bryan Johnson: And so, I started measuring my nighttime erections with this device. It's just a little string that you use. It's very easy. It's comfortable. You forget you even have it on. But it's a proxy and it speaks to the things that people care about. And you can do things about it. If you prioritize sleep, it improves them. If you eat well, it improves them. So these things are... They all connect in a way where it makes anti-aging longevity applicable to people's life and it's no longer like a rich person's quest for immortality. It's speaking to the things that everyone cares about.

0:57:34.8 Paul F. Austin: Okay, so final question back to what I had asked before. The intention behind Blueprint, the intention behind your longevity studies. If we fast forward to 10, 15, 20 years from now, how do you hope that your work on longevity with Blueprint influences the sort of threat of human existence?

0:57:56.7 Bryan Johnson: If you if we can imagine hanging out right now with Homo erectus, who existed one million years ago, Axe in hand had not innovated in a million years on the Axe. So innovation was pretty slow back then. And if we had a conversation and they were able to communicate somehow and we said Homo erectus, spit some lyrics, tell us how amazing life could be for your ancestors. We wouldn't expect anything interesting from Homo erectus outside of the things that they had understood and hunting and doing their thing. So we wouldn't trust their opinion whether the future would be worth it or not or interesting or not. I think we are Homo erectus right now. I don't think we have anything to say that is useful, accurate about the future. And therefore, the only advice I'd give to Homo erectus, if I could, if I'm in the future, I'd say, "Don't die." Your imagination cannot see where we're going, but it's definitely worth being around for it because we're gonna have cool things like these objects that drive you around. We're going to have these digital things that allow you to communicate anywhere in the world. We're going to have, you know, blank by blank. And so it's a pretty cool existence we have right now. And there's a possibility that it becomes more spectacular than anything we can imagine.

0:59:12.4 Bryan Johnson: And so it doesn't really have to go through this idea that, "Okay, I'm gonna persuade you through reason and logic that this is somehow a good thing. It's an invitation to recognize and be humble that we might be just as primitive as Homo erectus. The same things we look back and we're like, "Oh, wow, that's really silly. I kind of they exist." We might be that right now. And the invitation for us might be to say, "You know what? The only thing that matters is finding our way into existence where we don't destroy ourselves. We don't annihilate ourselves with species and we build AI so that we can all prosper." That is the only thing that matters.

0:59:48.6 Paul F. Austin: I love it. Bryan, you have to go. This is an epic conversation. I appreciate your time and the way that you put yourself out there to be at the sort of crosshairs of a lot of criticism. I think the work you're doing is spectacular and inspiring. And yeah, I just appreciate you coming on the podcast and sharing some really interesting stuff with us today.

1:00:10.8 Bryan Johnson: Thanks, Paul. Really enjoyed hanging out with you.

1:00:15.5 Paul F. Austin: Hey, listeners, Paul here. I hope you enjoyed our episode today with Bryan Johnson. Remember to follow the link in the description to go deeper into this episode with full show notes, transcripts and all the links we mentioned in this conversation. And remember, you can continue today's conversation with us in Third Wave's community Let us know what you thought of the conversation. Was there anything you learned? Did you have questions related to this episode or just generally with your journey with psychedelics? Let us know in Third Wave's community. You can sign in and find The Psychedelic Podcast in the menu. Leave us a comment and check out the rest of the platform for support, meaningful discussions and education resources and providers across our global ecosystem. You can sign up for free

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