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Have you heard of the Queen song Who Wants To Live Forever? Well, one person that’s answering yes to that question is Bryan Johnson. Now, I’ll admit that some of his methods are bizarre if not highly controversial, to say the least (the use of his dad’s blood plasma, for one). We have written about Bryan’s self-experimentation before. This time his focus is on reversing aging in the joints.  

Aging Joints and Longevity

We need healthy joints. Without our joints, we can’t move – literally. Not only do I need to keep my joints healthy for basic human functioning, but as a woman, I face a higher risk for both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis – one being a degenerative joint disease. This increases the risk of immobility and falls. The other is a bone disease that increases the risk for broken bones and fractures. Both of these conditions are incredibly painful and debilitating, so healthy bones and joints are of top priority to me, and it appears that Bryan Johnson shares these sentiments.

What Is Bryan Johnson Doing To His Joints?

Taking to his Instagram, the 45-year-old opened up about his recent visit to Cellcolabs Clinical – a company looking to prevent and cure diseases through the use of high quality stem cells. The company is currently conducting clinical trials using Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), which are a type of powerful stem cell with anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and regenerative characteristics. 

During his visit, Johnson had 300 million bone marrow-derived MSCs injected into six joints over two days: knees, shoulders, and hips.

In six months, researchers will measure Johnson’s joints again with MRI to assess whether the therapy works, as the trial involves follow-up visits at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. The twelve-month time point will also provide informative data. Therefore, right now it is too early to tell if this is going to work or not! We will keep you posted.

Can Stem Cells Prevent Aging Joints?

The phrase is constantly thrown around in the health and medical field, but what are stem cells? According to my research, stem cells are cells in the body that generate new cells needed for growth, development, and repair. Considering their capabilities, it’s no wonder that they’re at the forefront of so many clinical trials. However, can their unique capabilities translate to reversing aging in joints?

Well, let’s break it down

As mentioned, osteoarthritis is degenerative bone disease. It’s when the breakdown and loss of cartilage causes the bones to grind against each other. This causes pain and mobility issues. Now, thanks to their repair capabilities, stem cells may trigger the regeneration of cartilage. This may prevent and alleviate symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. This isn’t just a theory, as researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Centre found that certain stem cells led to thicker cartilage and protected adult mice from osteoarthritis.

Does Bryan’s human experiment stack up with science?

These days, professionals often debate Bryan’s impact, as he is a hot topic. Granted, he is a one-man longevity and is fascinating to watch. Yet, his testing methods would most likely not stand up to scientific scrutiny if an independent panel of scientists were given the chance – which they have not been – to assess all the work to date. Bryan is still keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to opening up his information to the scientific community.

He is neither biohacker nor scientist: He told Vice in a media interview last year that “he is not a part of the biohacker movement—or any movement outside of his own, for that matter—but he fits neatly within the growing demand for radical means to combat the aging process.”

What he is, though, clearly is a brilliant businessman (already a billionaire) and marketer. With his resources and knowledge, he has identified a need to fill. He has claimed his longevity pursuits are driven by his own desire to live eternally.

Longevity science is not simple

Most people don’t really delve into the details of how health, drugs, or therapy discoveries are developed for human use. They do not know about the many years, trials, peer reviews and legal rigor it takes to make public findings of any new longevity drug discovery. What does it matter if you have a billionaire telling you that he can show you how daily on social media and on his website?

It’s an interesting phenomenon and only made possible by the open nature of the digital world we are living in. Years ago, his antics would not have seen the light. In the case that they did, they would have been limited in impact.

Bryan is his own experiment with one person. This means that the outcome he is sharing is only based on him. It takes a good deal more time in science to prove longevity treatment works.

Of course, it would be really helpful if he would engage proactively with the scientific community and open up his findings. Perhaps he will, but for now, this is his own study of one, and this is important to note.

The future of longevity

The billionaire is showing what may be possible when it comes to the field of longevity. He is opening up the concept of living longer and feeling younger, to millions of people around the world. Ironically, these individuals may not have considered the concept of limiting the aging process. This may ultimately have a positive impact on longevity science and even investment in longevity projects.

In the meantime, we still believe that the most valid and safe longevity therapies and outcomes will be generated by scientists. This will be done over time using multiple studies, with significant trials. Thoroughly peer reviewed to ensure that whatever comes to market is fit for humans.

Keep Your Joints Healthy

If you’re worried about your mobility as you age, here’s what I recommend you do to keep your joints healthy:

  1. Adopt the Mediterranean Diet: This eating style is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help combat inflammation.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can place strain on your joints.
  3. Stay active: Regular exercise can keep your joints healthy and agile.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk for many chronic conditions, including osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: edwardolive/shutterstock

Read more articles on Bryan Johnson here:

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a journalist graduate and writer, specializing in health, beauty, and wellness. She also has a passion for poetry, equality, and natural hair. Identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to provide the latest information on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle and leave a more equitable society behind.

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