I took anti-aging biohack supplements to live forever

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Hoping to find the fountain of youth at the bottom of a plastic bottle, grandmother Theresa Skrobanek dove headfirst into a sea of “longevity” supplements in late 2022. 

The 57-year-old wanted to live longer for her family and avoid the age-related illnesses that typically plague women over 50, such as breast cancer or heart disease.

But by April 2023, she found herself taking fistfuls of little capsules, including Metformin —  generally used to treat type 2 diabetes, a disease Skrobanek doesn’t have, the medication was instead prescribed by her doctor for its apparent anti-aging benefits. 

She also took over-the-counter substances like nicotinamide mononucleotide supplements, which are purported to boost energy and metabolism and reduce signs of aging. (NMN supplements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.) 

“I was getting headaches,” Skrobanek, a lifestyle podcaster from San Antonio, Texas, told The Post. “I felt super tired even though the pills were supposed to make me feel energized.”

Skrobanek was following the “live forever” lead of high-profile personalities like tech billionaire Bryan Johnson, 45, who avowedly chows down on 100 supplements a day and annually spends $2 million on outré experiments to restore his youth.

He and others have recently pushed the theory of extending one’s lifespan through “biohacking.” 

Former bio-hacking enthusiast and grandmother Theresa Skrobanek, 57, from San Antonio, Texas, has suffered severe side effects after taking popular anti-aging or "longevity" pills and supplements in an effort to increase her expected lifespan.
Former biohacking enthusiast Theresa Skrobanek has suffered severe side effects after taking popular anti-aging or “longevity” supplements: “I was getting headaches,” she told The Post. “I felt super tired even though the pills were supposed to make me feel energized.”
NY Post Composite

‘Taking 50, 100 or even 150 supplements every day for longevity is ridiculous unless you’ve done your research and know what’s best for you … Health span is way more important than lifespan.’

Joe Cohen, a 36-year-old biotech CEO from Brooklyn, told The Post

Within the fairly new fad, forever-young wannabes are exploiting their genetic material through a series of extreme measures — like scarfing down pills and adopting intense intermittent fasting schedules — in an effort to improve their bodies, minds and life expectancies. 

It’s a do-it-yourself aging-reversal trend that’s been hailed by big names like NFL star Tom Brady, 45, actress Brooke Burke, 51, and Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos, 59, for its life-enhancing potential. 

For her part, Skrobanek would pop at least 20 supplements every day, thinking the specialized elements laced within each pill would truly “add years” to her life.

That’s what the clamoring chorus line of anti-aging influencers and prominent scientists had promised on TikTok and YouTube. 

But instead of feeling younger via her daily dose of the supposed miracle pellets, Skrobanek just felt sick.

Stock image of dietary supplements.
Skrobanek began taking loads of longevity pills suggested to her by social media personalities, as well as her personal physician. “We’re all trying to find that fountain of youth, but … don’t rely on TikTok trends to be your doctor. A lot of it is misinformation based on pseudoscience,” Diana Rodriguez, Manhattan-based dietician, told The Post.
Getty Images

“I was constantly worried about the potential side effects of each supplement,” she continued, pointing to the whirlwind of contradicting studies and social media bulletins about the long- and short-term impact of the tabs. 

Headaches, drowsiness and anxiety are all potential side effects of Metformin, per the Mayo Clinic

And certain longevity products on the market, such as dietary supplements containing nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3 that’s been touted as having age-slowing properties, were linked to brain cancer in a January 2023 study by the University of Missouri.

“How do I know that taking these things won’t do damage to my kidneys or liver, or cause cancer in five to 10 years? Who really knows?” Skrobanek questioned. “Who do I trust?”

Theresa Skrobanek, 57, from San Antonio, Texas, suffered adverse side effects from anti-aging pills.
Grandmother Theresa Skrobanek, 57, began taking more than 20 longevity supplements a day, believing that the pills that were being promoted by social media influencers and celebrities would increase her lifespan.
Courtesy Thresea Skrobanek

Tech tycoon Bryan Johnson, 45, follows extreme bio-hacking rituals, including intermittent fasting, blood transfusions and erection tracking, which cost him over $2 million a year.
Johnson’s eccentric biohacking strategies, including ingesting 100 supplements on a daily basis and swapping blood with his teen son, have recently caused a viral stir online.
Bryan Johnson/Blueprint

“We’re all trying to find that fountain of youth, but … don’t rely on TikTok trends to be your doctor. A lot of it is misinformation based on pseudoscience.”

Diana Rodriguez, Manhattan-based dietician, told The Post.

The most zealous biohackers, like Johnson and real estate magnate Ari Rastegar, 41, have pushed their anti-aging experimentation to the max, undergoing scientifically unproven procedures like blood transfusion and stem cell infusions, respectively, in hopes of turning back the hands of time. 

And on TikTok, where the hashtag #BioHacking has garnered nearly 573 million views, proponents of the movement like Joe Cohen, 36, a biotech CEO and native of Brooklyn, brag about following life-elongating strategies like swallowing between 70 to 150 supplements each day.

However, Cohen told The Post that he doesn’t recommend his hardcore regimen to his followers. 

In fact, he says it’s dangerous for anyone to adhere to a pills program at the mere say-so of a trendsetter. 

Joe Cohen, 36, from Brooklyn, in a sea of his daily dietary supplements.
Joe Cohen, who takes 150 supplements a day, encourages others against taking tons of longevity pills just because they’re trending.
Joe Cohen

Instead, Cohen urges biohacking novices to first undergo a series of blood tests to determine their biological needs and deficiencies, extensively research any supplement’s benefits and side effects and only take what feels right. 

“Taking 50, 100 or even 150 supplements every day for longevity is ridiculous unless you’ve done your research and know what’s best for you,” said Cohen, who claims to have studied biohacking for two decades. 

To delay his own aging process, he takes rapamycin — an FDA-approved drug that a 2014 study found may support an increase in lifespan.

Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos, 59, in September 2018.
Bezos, who’s invested millions into a biotech company with the reported mission of eliminating the consequences of aging from the human experience, is suspected of transforming his physique through biohacking.
Getty Images

Tom Brady, 45, shirtless at the beach.
Tom Brady has been said to follow extreme dieting and fitness programs in order to biohack his body into a more youthful state.
Instagram/Tom Brady

But Cohen’s goal isn’t necessarily to live to age 150 — just to live healthily for as long as possible. 

“By understanding your physiology you can [take certain supplements] that will improve your energy, mood and chances of avoiding diseases that come with getting older,” he said. “Health span is way more important than lifespan.”

Manhattan-based dietician Diana Rodriguez agrees. However, she suggests that people eat their way toward long-lasting health, rather than search for it in a cluster of pills. 

“Using food as the first approach [towards evading life-threatening disease] is recommended,” Rodriguez, of New York City Nutrition, told The Post. “Eating nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and legumes, which are fortified with tons of vitamins and minerals, can be very beneficial.” 

Stock image of dietary supplement pills.
Nutrition experts say getting nutrients, vitamins and minerals from high-quality foods is a great way to enhance one’s health during the aging process.
Getty Images

Boosting her nutrient intake through organic whole foods is what Skrobanek began doing in June when she abandoned her supplements diet once and for all.

And she’s never felt better. 

“If living longer [by taking the supplements] meant I was going to have to live with those horrible side effects,” said Skrobanek, “I figured it’d be better to live a shorter but more quality life by eating right and working out.”

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