This is Paul Hynek. Among other notable achievements, and there are many, he is one of 9 people who successfully completed the recent Stanford TRIIM trial with the result of returning his thymus gland to the size of a 30-year-old, and most shockingly, turning back his Horvath DNA clock a couple of years. Although it has yet to hit the mainstream news cycle, it has been exploding in the science press.
This is REAL. As in Real Human Life, Extended
This means that Paul and his cohorts are the first people on earth that we know of who have not simply slowed actually aging, have not just stopped it – they have done something to push back their age. This is not about cosmetics or someone claiming the anti-age effects of some pseudoscience. This was a clinical study. True, it was a very small data set, and true, it required a tremendous effort on the part of the study organizers to create custom protocols that were constantly being adjusted to each individual. But if one believes that the Horvath clock really is the gold standard for measuring one’s life span, and some very smart people do, this is a rather big deal. It is not yeast cells, or mice or monkeys; it’s humans.
Close Encounters of the Brilliant Kind
Paul comes from a rather renowned science family. His father was a Scientific Consultant to the US Air Force for UFOs for twenty years. He created the classification system that the TV series “Project Blue Book” is based upon, as well as Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” J. Allen Hynek organized the first citizen science project putting observatories around the world, which allowed the Apollo program to optically track satellites. Paul himself swims with a very interesting tribe – Aubrey de Grey, Steve Horvath, Ray Kurzweil. As he tells me “Once you get to a certain age, you can make proactive choices about who you want to be your tribe, and then things just feed off each other.”
In his parallel life, he is a straight-laced finance guy – Wharton MBA, an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Accounting at Pepperdine University, and the creator of a startup financial projections software that has helped raise over a billion dollars for thousands of businesses. Paul like many finance people we know is also a deeply curious guy whose interests span languages to aliens to blockchain to now radical life extension. He likes to understand things – big, complicated things.
Paul Shares his TRIIM Trial Experience
What was this trial you did?
The first-ever medical trial approved by the FDA and Institutional Review Board to combat aging itself as opposed to fighting a specific disease. It was run under the aegis of the Stanford Neuroscience Institute. The principal investigator is a brilliant medical Ph.D. named Greg Fahy.
When did the trial happen?
The TRIIM Trial ran between 2016-2017. It was a one year program.
How did you get into the trial?
I was at a conference about 4 or 5 years ago and Greg Fahy was a fellow speaker. He announced the trial and solicited volunteers. I ran to the stage and told Greg that I would be in the trial, no matter what.
Why did you so strongly want to do this?
I don’t want to die. There have been a number of studies in achieving radical life extension, and in all of them, the first order of business is the immune system. It doesn’t matter what else you do, telomeres, etc, if you get sick and die, it’s over. The thymus is the engine of the immune system. It creates white blood cells, also known as T-cells for thymus-enabled cells. The thymus shrinks 3% per year as soon as you turn 20. So by the time you are in your 50s and 60s, it is no longer producing what are known as naive T cells, which are effective at fighting novel pathogens that the body has not encountered before. There is also an incidence of the collapse of the thymus around 75 which is when a lot of people get cancer and other diseases.
What was the cocktail they gave you for the trial?
It was a combination of human growth hormone, Metformin, DHEA, vitamin D, and zinc.
Are you still taking any of these?
No. I successfully completed the trial, but I would love to do another round of it. I had injected myself in my belly 4 nights a week for a year.
Do you know the dosage of the HGH you were given?
It was calibrated specifically for us and was adjusted as we went. Imagine having the best doctor you have ever had in your life spend hours and hours on a very detailed medical report, then send you an incredibly detailed email with his concerns and observations, with an eye not towards simply maintaining your health, but towards radically improving it. It’s a wonderful feeling. With the HGH, I quickly determined that there was much more risk of, what’s the word for it? Oh yeah – DYING if I did nothing. If I want to live a long time, I can’t just sit on my ass, I need to do something about it.
Did you have questions for them before you started shooting yourself up with this stuff?
I wondered that even if we did regrow the thymus, would the body know that and actually take advantage of it? How would that work? But previous research in mice indicated the system does reboot. We are now Thymonauts!
What did you feel from the trial?
I didn’t really feel anything, but some of the others seemed to feel some interesting things. But it is not the point of the thymus to give you any feeling, it’s about your immune response running well.
OK, so the thymus regrowing sounds like a great thing, but what happened with the Horvath clock, and what is that?
The Horvath clock is the gold standard for epigenetic clocks. They can take a couple of drops of blood and tell you what is your real age is, which may or may not be your chronological age. Hundreds and hundreds of companies have submitted to be checked, and the thymus trial is the first thing that made a significant impact on the Horvath clock.
What was the effect on the actual clock?
In addition to thymal regeneration, the published report talks about a more than 2-year increase in life span as measured by the Horvath clock.
So, you became younger than when you started the trial?
Yes, it’s sort of like flying to Japan, you arrive before you leave. But the main point of this was not to change the epigenetic clock, it was about regrowing the thymus. We had no idea that would happen. It was a great surprise and a delightful one. From an immune system point of view, I gained 30 or 40 years. But the epigenetic clock is a larger whole body measure indicator of health. That is an amazing result.
Can anyone go to their doctor and get HGH like this?
It is very complex with all the monitoring and dosing. People may go out and do it, but I would not recommend it. You can’t really copy it because of the incredible amount of monitoring and expertise we had looking after us.
Just the idea of life extension is controversial. Should we do it? Aren’t there too many people already? We need to make room for the young…Personally, the idea of staying alive certainly seems better than the alternative.
Below are Paul’s thoughts on the subject:
“If someone has severely blocked-arteries, we encourage them to get a bypass operation. If they have cancer, we say things like “You can fight this” and we hope they go into remission. If their bypass surgery is successful or they “beat” cancer, we rejoice – and they live longer.”
“But if you say you want to live longer than the current expected lifespan, for some reason you sometimes need to defend yourself. Why is fighting cancer ok, but not wanting to die from cancer or anything else is bad? Do we need to limit the things that it is acceptable to not want to die from?”
“Life expectancy in 1850 was roughly half of what it is now. If people hadn’t pushed the limits of medical science since then, on average, nobody would be reading Ageist. Because you may feel that our current life span is “natural,” you are worried about over-population, lack of jobs, etc. – does that mean that it’s ok to rob future generations of the increased life spans that our ancestors gave us?”
“Yes, overpopulation is an issue – but the main problem is that 100,