Aging & Longevity

Tech Millionaire Bryan Johnson Takes NAD⁺ Boosters to Become 16 Again

Both the most popular NAD+ boosting supplements — nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and nicotinamide riboside (NR) — reverse the age of anti-aging guru Bryan Johnson by 26 years.

45-year-old Bryan Johnson with 17-year-old son Talmadge Johnson.
By Griffin Dean

Key Points:

  • The results are in, and Johnson’s cellular NAD⁺ levels are the same after switching from NR to NMN.
  • It took only 9 months for Johnson to reduce his biological age by 26 years based on his NAD⁺ measurements.
  • The verdict is still out on whether NMN or NR is superior, as both appear to provide similar benefits.

Recently, Bryan Johnson — a successful entrepreneur worth an estimated $400 million — has made headlines by revealing his results from swapping blood with his son and father. Although Johnson’s day job includes his roles as the CEO of Kernel and OS Fund, he’s making waves for his personal mission to slow down aging. His journey has involved investing millions of dollars into a project he calls Blueprint and doing things like transfusing himself with young blood (from his son).

While Johnson has announced that he will cease the blood transfusions due to them having no age-reversing effect, he will by no means be terminating Blueprint. In fact, he attributes the blood transfusion failure to his already incredibly thorough Blueprint routine. 

“’Young [blood] plasma exchange may be beneficial for biologically older populations or certain conditions. Does not in my case stack benefit on top of my existing interventions,” Johnson said.

Bryan Johnson and his son holding vials of blood samples
Johnson and son holding their blood samples.

Blueprint traces Johnson’s path towards a longer life and invites others to join. Johnson bases his routine on the latest scientific findings, continually adapting it based on new information. For example, he recently cut down his Brazil nut consumption to just a quarter of a nut daily due to high selenium levels. Because his approach is rooted in the forefront of aging biology research, Johnson is essentially a living experiment in longevity.

As part of this human experiment, Johnson has switched from nicotinamide riboside (NR) to nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), both of which are known to increase NAD⁺ levels that naturally decrease with age. Limited human studies compare NMN and NR directly, but Johnson’s self-testing offers some intriguing findings.

Johnson’s NAD⁺ Levels Reflect his Biological Age

Johnson initially took 750 mg of NR daily but then switched to NMN for 90 days. After the switch, he stated, “They basically work to get my intracellular NAD to level age 16 equivalent.” How did he determine this? By conducting comprehensive measurements, including home tests for NAD⁺ levels by a company named Jinfiniti. The results showed that Johnson’s NAD⁺ levels were about 54.6 µM, similar to a 16-year-old’s. In comparison, his initial levels were more typical of someone aged 55 to 90.

Bryan Johnson's Intracellular NAD⁺ Levels. The chart depicts Bryan Johnson's NAD⁺ levels, showing his current levels (green) exceeding the typical range for individuals under the age of 20 (< 20 Y). This contrasts with the expected NAD⁺ levels (yellow), which should fall within the range of individuals aged 30 to 55 (30 – 55 Y).
(Blueprint, April 2023 Monthly Notes ) Bryan Johnson’s Intracellular (ic) NAD⁺ Levels. Bryan Johnson’s current NAD⁺ levels (green) are above the range of an average individual under the age of 20 (< 20 Y). This is opposed to his expected NAD⁺ levels (yellow), which should be within the 30- to 55-year-old (30 – 55 Y) range.

The tech mogul didn’t always lead a healthy lifestyle. During the early days of building his company, Braintree, he developed unhealthy habits. This experience sparked a realization of the importance of self-care and led him to his pursuit of slowing the aging process.

The concept of reversing age is grounded in the distinction between chronological age — the number of years we’ve lived — and biological age, which comprises health indicators from biological measurements. For instance, having NAD⁺ levels similar to a 16-year-old can be likened to having the biological age of a 16-year-old.

Johnson likely has the most comprehensive understanding of his own biological age, as he measures more biological metrics than anyone else in the world. After following his Blueprint routine for 9 months, he’s been able to reverse several indicators of his biological age.

Bryan Johnson's Biological Age Reversal. The visual portrays Bryan Johnson's biological age measurements after 9 months of following his Blueprint routine. At age 44, he managed to reverse his biological age by as much as 26 years (based on NAD levels), bringing it down to that of a 16-year-old.
(Blueprint, January/February Monthly Notes Bryan Johnson’s Biological Age Measurements. After 9 months of following his Blueprint routine, Johnson (aged 44 at the time) reversed his biological age by up to 26 years (NAD levels), to that of a 16-year-old.

NMN vs NR?

A frequently asked question Johnson encounters is: “NMN or NR?” Based on his measurements, both appear to elevate NAD⁺ levels equally. However, it’s still uncertain which is superior due to the lack of comparative human studies. One recent study compared NMN- and NR-containing formulations designed to burn fat and found that both NMN and NR had similar effects. So, it seems both could be equally effective in fighting aging.

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