Real-estate tycoon Ari Rastegar, who turned 39 last month, is blessed with boyish good looks, an adoring family and millions upon millions of dollars.
He also claims he has the biological age of a 5-year-old.
The real-life Peter Pan, included in the 2021 Power 100, a list of the most powerful commercial real-estate players put out by the Commercial Observer on Monday, claims his rivals are left in the dust thanks to extreme, trendy practices such as stem-cell therapy and meditation inside a hyperbaric chamber.
“I always joke that, apart from my baby daughter, I’m the youngest Rastegar,” the fast-talking CEO told The Post. “I think my lifestyle and health give me the competitive edge.”
Rastegar has visited a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, three times over the past 18 months for stem-cell infusions, a controversial, scientifically unproven procedure not authorized in the US.
The treatment, costing up to $7,000 a pop, involves extracting small amounts of blood and “spinning” it in a centrifuge to separate the red and white blood cells and the platelet-rich plasma. Then the concentrated substance, full of health-boosting platelets, is reintroduced into the body intravenously. A similar Food and Drug Administration-approved method is used to treat injuries such as damaged cartilage and some forms of cancer.
“They inject between 15 million and 100 million stem cells directly into the vein for overall health and wellness,” explained Rastegar who, unlike some devotees, receives his own stem cells rather than those from the harvested umbilical cords of newborns.
During his routine trips — which have been less frequent due to the pandemic — the medical tourist is escorted over the Mexican border by a private security guard. Soon afterward, he arrives safely at the “beautiful, very high-touch” Tijuana facility.
“It’s bish bash, get what you need in 15 minutes, and then you’re back in the car,” said Rastegar, who later recuperates in his luxury San Diego, Calif., hotel ahead of a flight home to his native Austin, Texas.
He believes the benefits of stem cell treatment include improved sleep quality, better cardiovascular function and increased mental clarity.
“I’m in the best shape of my life,” said the former Wall Streeter, who has financial interests in Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel and the Surf Lodge in Montauk.
“But it’s not a vanity or egotistical thing. I’m in risk management and it’s an investment in my health,” he said.
As for Rastegar’s biological age versus his real age, his recent low score was calculated following blood tests to measure the length of his telomeres. These specialized nucleoprotein structures act as caps on the end of chromosomes that protect DNA. It is now generally accepted that longer telomeres correspond to a younger biological age.
Quantifying the cellular age of your body is particularly popular among so-called bio-hackers, health fanatics who commonly work in Silicon Valley. Such individuals were lampooned in the hit HBO series of the same name, which aired from 2014 to 2019.
Rastegar remains unabashed. He doesn’t see himself as a “narcissist who wants to live forever.” In fact, the dad with 9 percent body fat occasionally strays from his customary diet of cold water fish and vegetable smoothies washed down with 125 vitamin pills every day. “I’ll eat pizza with my kids on weekends and I love a good cheeseburger,” he said. “But 90 percent of the time, I’m living healthfully.”
His other notable habits include meditating for 70 minutes three times a week in the hyperbaric chamber. This practice of breathing almost pure oxygen in a confined space is designed to improve blood and tissue quality. The late Michael Jackson reportedly slept in a hyperbaric “coffin” similar to the space used by Rastegar.
Among the more conventional practices employed by the entrepreneur are near-daily workouts with a personal trainer and regularly wearing orange lens glasses to lower blue light intake from his cellphone.
Meanwhile, he keeps his mind focused by playing affirmative statements recorded by celebrity life coach Lauren Zander (her clients also include the actor Hugh Jackman) and watching a virtual vision board featuring images of different goals.
A proud workaholic, Rastegar claims to survive on just four hours’ sleep, much like former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died in 2013 at the age of 87.
“Margaret was an unbelievable human being in so many ways,” said Rastegar, an admirer. But, unlike Thatcher — at least as far as we know — he snoozes every night on a specialized mattress fitted with a “chilly technology” machine. The effect is an “optimal sleeping temperature” of 68 degrees.
“My wife likes it warmer so her side of the bed is set to 72 degrees,” he said, referring to his wife of nine years, Kellie, 35.
His family — including kids Victoria, 8, Kingston, 5, and Bella, 1 — are the key motivators behind his quest for longevity, he said.
“I’m following this lifestyle to be a better husband, father and investor,” concluded the self-made man. “I’m not looking for any kind of health award.
“The day I am no longer able to contribute and add value to my family, customers and humanity — whatever you want to call it — is the day I’m ready to go.”