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YouTuber Andrew Boyd tried a billionaire biohacker’s program to look younger

Most people wouldn’t mind looking younger, but what if you could literally turn back the clock on your body at a cellular level? YouTuber Andrew Boyd tried exactly that for 75 days.

You might have heard about Bryan Johnson, the 46-year-old Silicon Valley biohacker who is spending $3 million a year trying to reverse the ageing process. You’ve possibly seen pictures of the milky-skinned multimillionaire strapped to various machines like a shaved guinea pig in his quest to be 18 again. 

You may have read about the team of 30 medics he employs to monitor the biological age of his brain, heart, teeth, skin, hair, bladder, rectum and genitals, and you’ve probably decided that, on balance, Johnson’s regime – which includes waking at 4.30am, eating all his meals before 11am, taking 111 pills a day and bathing in LED light – might not be one for you. 

Andrew Boyd, a 23-year-old YouTuber from Chattanooga, Tennessee, has put a budget version of Johnson’s reverse-ageing program to the test, following his diet and exercise plan for an impressive 75 days – and he was shocked by the results. 

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One of the most eyebrow-raising elements of Johnson’s regime? The transfusion of blood plasma he received from his 17-year-old son. Boyd didn’t go to that extreme. “I didn’t swap blood with anybody,” he says with a laugh. “Some of the things that Johnson does are a little bit fringe – on the border of what is known to be scientifically sound.” Indeed, Johnson has said that he won’t be swapping any more blood because there were “no benefits detected”.

Instead, for approximately two and a half months, Boyd homed in on Johnson’s highly regimented diet, exercise and sleep plan, which is called Blueprint. This restricted him to consuming 2250 calories per day in a five- or six-hour window, exercising for at least an hour every day and getting roughly nine hours of high-quality shut-eye every night.

“I lost so much weight, so fast,” says Boyd, who documented everything for his YouTube channel, Project Andrew, on which he puts different health regimes to the test. He had been making corporate films for wineries before jumping into Project Andrew full-time, and weighed about 86 kilograms when he started. Over the 75 days, he shed almost 13kg. “At one point, my face had changed so much that the facial recognition on my phone wouldn’t work.” 

Boyd insists he “felt great” on Johnson’s diet of veggie meals, ‘Green Giant’ algae shakes (the chief ingredients are water, chlorella powder and collagen peptides), vitamin pills and supplements. “You have a lot of energy. My emotions didn’t seem to fluctuate as much throughout the day and I felt like I had clearer thought processes. There was never any time when I felt tired or full because of food.” His blood glucose levels, which he measured with a monitor on his arm, “were incredibly stable”. 

He did his weekly grocery shop at Aldi and ordered everything else in bulk online, spending about $170 a week on food and supplements. Johnson’s three meals a day included the ‘Super Veggie’, a cauliflower, broccoli, mushroom, ginger and black lentil dish, the ‘Nutty Pudding’, a berry and nut blend, and then one other veggie meal. Boyd took only a fraction of the 111 supplements on Johnson’s daily menu. 

And being half Johnson’s (chronological) age, he decided not to take testosterone, which Johnson himself supplements via patches. “I was worried that it would lower my natural levels. I think if I was above 40 years old, I probably would’ve considered taking it.”

Still, he lost weight so quickly that his testosterone nosedived – taking his libido with it. While obesity and excess belly fat are known for decreasing male testosterone levels, rapid weight loss can do the same. “My sex drive decreased – a lot,” he says. And his relationship suffered in more ways than one. “It was pretty difficult for my girlfriend. If we were going to a restaurant, I’d just hang out and sip water. The protocol sort of isolates you from people. Then my sleep schedule was really strict and regimented. And so we ended up spending less and less time together throughout the 75 days,” adds Boyd.

Improved sleep was what he thinks he benefited from most. “I’d try to get into bed around 8.30pm and spend nine hours in there, usually getting about eight and a half hours of sleep a night. It was the best sleep I’ve had in my life,” he says. “Before, I’d probably get about seven hours a night. Now, I feel better in the gym, I feel better when I’m running and I feel better when I’m working or writing.”

Boyd woke up at 5.30 or 6am. “You want to get exposure to a bright light, ideally sunlight, as soon as you can. Then, from about 7pm, I was limiting exposure to screens and blue light – I used those blue-light-blocking glasses,” he says. He measured his sleep patterns using a wrist device, specifically a Whoop 4.0 tracker. For a short time he took melatonin, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and helps control how and when we sleep. It’s sometimes prescribed to people suffering insomnia, but only for short-term use.

“But before you blindly hop into taking something like this, you should definitely talk to your doctor,” warns Boyd, who stopped taking melatonin because it was causing him to have “crazy dreams”. Instead, he switched to a trio of sleep supplements – magnesium threonate, L-theanine and apigenin – which resulted in “significant improvements in my deep sleep, slow-wave sleep and REM”.

Not so challenging for Boyd, who was an avid soccer player when he was younger, were Johnson’s workouts. “He does some intense work on the cardio side, but he’s not lifting very heavy weights. Most of the exercises are fairly light and the idea is to flex and stretch every muscle in your body.” Boyd also did ‘Zone 2’ training – which involves not letting your heart rate go above a certain number of beats per minute – and his resting heart rate dropped from the low 60s to the low 50s.

After 75 days, says Boyd, his biological age was 19.2 – according to a blood biomarker analyser called InsideTracker – while his chronological age was 23.7. “It’s interesting,” he says, “but I don’t put a lot of weight behind this, because this biological snapshot is based on a really narrow window of time.” Meanwhile, Johnson, who has many more tools and lab tests at his disposal, has said his own heart’s biological age is 37, while he has the lung capacity of an 18-year-old.

So what did Boyd learn? “Bryan’s regime works really well for him. But if you don’t share the exact same goals – say, you want to run a marathon or lift more weight – then his diet isn’t for you. For me, doing it as an experiment was great. But it’s not how I’d like to live the rest of my life.” He values travel, eating out, his girlfriend and his mojo too much.

Boyd’s supplement menu

Ashwaganda: Also known as ‘winter cherry’, may ease stress

Vitamin B12: For the nervous system

Vitamin C: Helps protect and maintain cells

Vitamin D3: Balances hormones

Calcium and Vitamin K2: Good for your bones and heart; aids blood clotting

Ginger root: May assist digestion

Cocoa flavanols: For improved cardiovascular health

Lysine: To help prevent fatigue

Boyd’s daily anti-ageing routine

6.30AM: get up, light exposure, skincare routine

6.40AM: Drink a ‘Green Giant’: 570ml water, 2 tbsp chlorella powder, 2.5g creatine, 20g collagen peptides, 500mg cocoa flavanols, 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon. Also, take supplement

7AM: Gym workout

7.45AM: Start heating the ‘Super Veggie’: 300g black lentils, 250g broccoli, 150g cauliflower, 50g shiitake mushrooms, 1 clove garlic, 2g ginger root, 1 lime, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

8AM: Zone 2 training

8.45AM: Eat the ‘Super Veggie’

9.45AM: Eat a ‘Nutty Pudding’: 50-100ml almond milk, 2 tbsp ground macadamia nuts, 2 tsp ground walnuts, 1 tsp ground flaxseed, 1⁄3 brazil nut, 1 tbsp natural cocoa, 1 tsp sunflower lecithin, 1⁄2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon, 1 cup berries, 2 cherries, 60ml freshly squeezed pomegranate juice 

12PM: Eat final meal, such as sweet potato stuffed with chickpeas, tomatoes, avocado,

radishes, coriander, jalapeño, lime, lemon and chilli powder

7PM: Wear blue-light glasses. Take sleep supplements

9PM: Go to bed

Read related topics:SkincareTrending Diets

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Extra Healthy-Ish podcast: what makes up a balanced diet

Clare Collins AO is a Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle and discusses the components of a balanced diet, whether we should worry about noticing our kilojoules, and the vitamins and minerals we should eat more of.


For more on Clare and her research see here. You can read Clare’s The Conversation article here. You can take the healthy eating quiz here or see the No Money, No Time website here


Online: Head to for your daily digital dose of health and wellness.

On social: Via Instagram at @bodyandsoul_au or Facebook. Or, TikTok here. Got an idea for an episode? DM host Felicity Harley on Instagram @felicityharley

In print: Each Sunday, grab Body+Soul inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), the Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria), The Sunday Mail (Queensland), Sunday Mail (SA) and Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania).

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Healthy-Ish podcast: how to have a healthy relationship with food

Do you have a healthy relationship with food…or not quite sure? Clare Collins AO is a Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle and discusses what this looks like and how to nurture one.


To hear today’s full interview, where she discusses what a balanced diet actually looks like…search for Extra Healthy-ish wherever you get your pods.

For more on Clare and her research see here. You can read Clare’s The Conversation article here. You can take the healthy eating quiz here or see the No Money, No Time website here


Online: Head to for your daily digital dose of health and wellness.

On social: Via Instagram at @bodyandsoul_au or Facebook. Or, TikTok here. Got an idea for an episode? DM host Felicity Harley on Instagram @felicityharley

In print: Each Sunday, grab Body+Soul inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), the Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria), The Sunday Mail (Queensland), Sunday Mail (SA) and Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania). 

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How breast milk could be key for early-stage breast cancer detection

A game-changing discovery of tumour DNA within breast milk is set to redefine how health professionals screen for the disease, promoting more accurate and life-saving diagnoses for women everywhere. 

Breast milk has long been championed for its ability to promote healthy development and boost immunity for a growing newborn. Now, it seems the natural liquid may be packing another lifesaving benefit. 

A recently published study has revealed the presence of tumour DNA circulating in breast milk. The discovery is set to alter the course of breast cancer screening and treatment for pregnant and postpartum women, some of the most vulnerable to breast cancer mortality rates. 

According to Christina Saura, PhD, and head of the team responsible for the groundbreaking research at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Spain, pregnant and postpartum women often tend to receive their cancer diagnoses in advanced stages.  

“It is typically assumed that the physiological changes in the breasts during gestation and lactation, which are considered to be normal, may hide a developing tumour, explains Saura. “The fact is that postpartum breast cancer, understood to be the ten years after delivery, accounts for 40 per cent to 45 per cent of breast cancer cases diagnosed before age 45.“

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With such sombre statistics, researchers across the globe have been tirelessly working to uncover more effective and accessible methods for early detection. The latest discovery could now see women receiving an early diagnosis based on a simple liquid biopsy of their breast milk.

A surprise discovery 

According to Saura, the idea to test breast milk for any detection of breast cancer came from one of the institute’s patients, a woman diagnosed during her third pregnancy. Paranoid her tumour may have been transmitted to her second child before she was unaware of her diagnosis, she asked her doctors to test a sample of her breast milk she had kept stored in a freezer.  

“Though we knew that breast cancer is not transmitted through breast milk, we decided to test the sample and look for markers that could help our research,” explains Saura, on the institute’s subsequent discovery of DNA with the same mutation that was present in her tumour. 

With the milk sample having been stored in the freezer for more than a year, Saura and her team realised the potential breast milk had in offering a more accurate, early-stage detection method than other current screening techniques.

The subsequent research

The VHIO research team used two different techniques to analyse both breast milk and blood samples: next-generation sequencing and droplet digital polymerase chain reaction. Ana Vivancos, PhD and another author of the study, explains both methods confirmed the presence of ctDNA in breast milk, shining a light on the liquid’s association with earlier and more accurate detection. 

„We were able to detect tumour mutations in milk samples from 13 of the 15 patients with breast cancer who were tested, while circulating tumour DNA was detected in only one of all the blood samples that were collected at the same time,“ says Vivancos. 

Using a genomic panel calibrated to detect the genes that are most frequently mutated in breast cancer in women under the age of 45, the team found their breast milk screening model extremely effective in identifying early-stage tumours.  

„In practice, the panel design allows us to detect mutations in more than 95 per cent of breast cancer cases in women under 45 years old. Therefore, using this panel for early detection of this type of tumour during lactation should contribute to addressing a medical need that, until today, has gone unmet,“ explains Vivancos.

Could this test revolutionise breast cancer screening?

Given no screening techniques currently offer pregnant women an opportunity for early detection, this groundbreaking research could significantly increase the survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, „That’s exactly the goal of this research: to screen for breast cancer in women who have just given birth,” Saura says. 

Unlike existing screening methods, this breast milk biopsy is non-invasive and painless, only requiring a milk sample from women after birth. So far, the method has also proven to be significantly more accurate than similar techniques involving blood samples. 

„We have seen that breast milk liquid biopsy was positive for the presence of circulating tumour DNA in 87 per cent of cases, whereas blood only revealed the presence of this marker in 8 per cent of cases,” says Saura. “This difference indicates that breast milk is a biofluid that is in more direct contact with tumour cells and therefore will be more informative in earlier stages.“

With further funding and research, the team at VHIO hope breast milk liquid biopsy will soon become a widely accepted screening method around the world for women of childbearing age. 

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Experts say putting your Christmas decorations up early is actually good for you

Waiting for the right moment to trim your Christmas tree? Experts say, the sooner the better. 

Body + Soul Breathing technique to help you to conjuring calm in your life.

Every year, without fail, around this point on the calendar, there’s a heated debate about when it’s acceptable to break out the Christmas decorations. 

Some say it’s December 1st, others think that as soon as Halloween passes it’s fair game. If you’re a shopping centre, then you’re likely unboxing the tinsel by July 1st. 

While early adopters cop a bit of flack in the public discourse, and many people find Christmas more stressful than they do exciting, experts say that trimming your tree early may actually have a positive impact on your mindset. 

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There’s no doubt that as Christmastime approaches, workloads increase, spending can go way over budget, and you’re often forced to spend time with people you’d rather not. But cons aside, it’s also a season of joy and togetherness, and the mere act of decorating for the holidays can be a happiness booster. 

Child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr Neha Chaudhary told Well+Goodthat „Decorating around the holidays can give us a little spike of feel-good hormones that can scientifically boost our mood,” dubbing it a “happiness-promoting activity”. 

But it’s not because a light dusting of pine needles on your carpet sparks joy in and of itself. It comes back to the concept of nostalgia and core memories, which a 2018 study says “infuses life with meaning”. 

„For some people, decorating can remind them fondly of previous memories associated with the holiday season,“ says Chaudhary. Maybe it was your mum and dad dancing to carols in the living room as a child, which was always decorated with candles and red ribbons. Or it could be more recent memories, like cooking a roast with your partner last Christmas eve, with the Christmas tree twinkling in the next room. 

If you have close associations with the season, cracking open the decorations can unlock those memories, and have them all flowing back. 

Memory and our emotions are strongly linked with smell and taste, which Raymond Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor at Harvard, Venkatesh Murthy, says is due to the anatomy of the brain. 

Smells belong to the olfactory bulb, the structure at the front of the brain, inferior to the frontal lobe, which send information to other areas of the body for processing. Per the Harvard Gazette, odours go straight to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, which are the areas associated with emotion and memory.

Thus, decorating your house with a candle that smells of pine needles, or baking gingerbread, can unlock happy memories that are also tied to those smells. Just keep in mind that if you have upsetting memories of the holidays, decorating your home early can unlock those not-so-happy recollections too. 

The good news is, that while the science applies to decorating for the holidays, it also checks out for other seasons or events that spark joy. You may hate Christmas because of strained relationships with your extended family unit but thoroughly look forward to the summertime. By donning your house with things that subconsciously or overtly remind you of summer holidays, you can hack into those same dopamine hits. 

Similarly, if someone you know loves birthdays, maybe they’ll opt to celebrate many times throughout the month, rather than just once, to build anticipation and marinate in the memories of happy birthdays in years prior. 

Dr Chaudhary points out that while these positive rituals can make us feel calm and happy, they can also provide moments of mindfulness, in a season that’s typically quite hectic. 

“For some people, decorating can be a type of mindful activity that keeps them present and focused in a way that’s good for mental health,“ she says. 

So whether you’re into Christmas, or just into the summertime and a good two weeks off work, we suggest making the most of the season, and finding fun ways of welcoming those happy memories into your home – apparently, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

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