An Irritated Peter Attia Calls Out Biohackers Like Bryan Johnson

Peter Attia, M.D., says biohackers misconstrue what it takes to live longer and healthier.

Peter Attia (left) and Bryan Johnson (Right).
By Griffin Dean

Key Points: 

  • Biohackers distract from what matters by spending ample amounts of money on supplements and therapies that may not work, says Attia. 
  • According to Attia, what actually matters are the interventions that most everyone can afford, including exercise, practicing good sleep hygiene, and maintaining social connections. 

In a recent video, Peter Attia discussed being asked about an individual who sounds a lot like Bryan Johnson. This individual, Attia explains, is obsessed with biohacking his way to immortality. While the details are fuzzy, Attia says this individual, who might be Australian, went to Mexico and spent $700,000 on follistatin gene therapy.  

Bryan Johnson may not be Australian, but he is obsessed with not dying (sometimes confused with immortality). Last year, Johnson took a trip to a Latin American (i.e. Honduras) to receive follistatin gene therapy for its longevity benefits. Reportedly, Johnson spent $25,000 per shot of this injectable therapy. While the details are a bit off, Johnson sounds a lot like the individual Attia was asked about. 

Biohackers Distract from What Matters 

Attia goes on to describe the reasons why rich biohackers bother him. First, they send the message that if you can’t fork out thousands of dollars, you’re out of luck. Attia remarks that spending $700,000 on follistatin gene therapy is the most ridiculous thing he has ever heard. He says, “If it was $7, I wouldn’t do it. Why? Because there is zero evidence that this works.”

On a side note, Attia mentions that follistatin is a protein that inhibits another protein called myostatin. Myostatin inhibits muscle growth, so increasing follistatin could promote larger muscles by inhibiting this inhibitor of muscle growth. However, Attia says he has not seen evidence of this working in humans. What’s more, increasing muscle size can be done in the gym. 

A freakishly muscular cow.
This cow has a mutation in the myostatin gene that inhibits the myostatin protein, allowing for large muscles (Image:

And this is how biohackers distract from what really matters, according to Attia. He says that you do not need to pay money to get larger muscles, except for maybe a gym membership. You also do not need to pay for being mindful of what you eat and going to bed a little earlier. These are some of the things that matter when it comes to longevity, and they are relatively inexpensive.  

The same can be said for supplements, Attia feels. He says, “Before you know it, a person is spending $500 a month on supplements for which there is no demonstrated efficacy.” Again, this sounds a lot like Bryan Johnson who takes hundreds of supplements, undoubtedly spending hundreds of dollars a month on them.  

Things Almost Guaranteed to Lengthen Life and Improve Life Quality 

Taking a step back, Attia points out that he is not opposed to people spending money. He says, 

“I’m not opposed to people wasting money, I’m really opposed to people wasting mind share. I’m opposed to the fact that people think that doing these things is somehow a substitute for doing the things that matter.” 

He continues by listing some of the things he says have a near 100% probability of prolonging your lifespan and improving life quality: 

  • A high VO2 max  
  • Solid muscle mass
  • Being very strong
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Having connections with people 

In contrast, he says that the litany of questionable supplements and therapies that biohackers talk about have a probability of prolonging lifespan closer to zero. He ends by saying, “I have a very low tolerance for nonsense and buffoonery.”

Is Peter Attia Talking About Bryan Johnson?

Bryan Johnson wearing a "don't die" shirt.
Bryan Johnson (image:

It is unclear whether Attia is calling out Johnson specifically. Some of the arguments put forward by Attia do not apply to Johnson. For example, Johnson follows a strict strength-building routine to maintain his muscle mass and is taking follistatin for its longevity benefits rather than its muscle-growing potential. Johnson, who has the VO2 max of an 18-year-old, has also said his diet, strict sleeping regimen, and exercise routine are paramount to his overall longevity. 

Still, it could be that Attia only knows about Johnson through what has been amplified by mainstream media, such as spending $2 million dollars a year and taking 100 supplements per day to make himself younger. On the other hand, Attia may not be speaking of Johnson at all but is referencing other biohackers similar to Bryan Johnson. Either way, what Attia alludes to is that money cannot buy a longer and healthier life. A long healthy life requires an active lifestyle with consistent hard work and dedication towards a stronger mind and body across a lifetime


Attia, Peter. “Why biohacking sends the wrong messages about the pursuit of health and longevity.”, uploaded 20 April 2024,

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