Are you ready for biohacking?
Well, it could extend your life by decades: Biohacking is Silicon Valley's approach to improving the human life span.
It's part science, part business and it's becoming a priority at the highest levels of Silicon Valley.
Time magazine recently reported that Larry Ellison, a founder of Oracle, has given more than $330 million to research about aging and age-related diseases.
Google parent company Alphabet's CEO and co-founder Larry Page launched Calico, a research company that targets ways to improve the human lifespan.
And Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, gave $7 million to the Methuselah Foundation, a nonprofit focused on life-extension therapies.
"My goal is to live beyond 180 years," Dave Asprey, CEO of the supplement company Bulletproof, told Time. "I am doing every single thing I can to make it happen for myself."
The things people are doing to make it happen include intermittent fasting, supplements, genome testing, high-tech scans and transfusions of blood plasma from young people.
Those "vampire" transfusions are offered by a California company (of course!) called Ambrosia at $8,000 U.S. per transfusion as part of a clinical trial to see if young blood will improve cellular health in older bodies.
"When we are young, we produce a lot of factors that are important for cellular health," says Ambrosia founder Jesse Karmazin, who has a medical degree but is not licensed to practice. "As we get older, we don't produce enough of these factors. Young blood gives your body a break to repair and regenerate itself."
Scientists are critical of the study, however, because there's no control group and participants are accepted on the basis of who can afford to pay. There's also concern that the procedure could be harmful.
But blood transfusions have long been a life-giving procedure and, with further research, they could conceivably be a life-extending technique, too.
- A severely restricted diet or intermittent fasting, which have been shown to improve biological health.
- A $25,000 U.S. head-to-toe, inside-out physical exam from Health Nucleus that includes genome sequencing, ("data mining your DNA"), a full-body MRI and a full array of lab tests to assess risks and take preventative measures.
- Anti-aging super pills, including one called Basis offered by Elysium Health that boosts NAD+, which is believed to spur cell rejuvenation but which declines naturally in animals as they age. In a trial of 120 healthy people from ages 60 to 80, Elysium cofounder and MIT anti-aging scientist Leonard Guarente found that people taking Basis increased their NAD+ levels by 40 per cent. "We are trying to be rigorously based on science," he says. But although the compound extends the lives of mice, scientists say there's no evidence that it has the same effect in humans. Basis costs $50 for a monthly supply.
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