Carbon 60 Fullerenes are a Longevity Gamechanger
Buckminster Fullerenes are sixty carbon atoms indestructibly arrayed in a soccer ball shape that holds the promise of increasing longevity by up to 90%.
It's often referred to affectionately as buckyballs but for the sake of brevity, I'll refer to it from here on as C60.
This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the studies are saying about C60 and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.
There are thousands of pieces of scientific research that have been done on this versatile molecule and 9 clinical trials which appear on Pubmed.
A landmark 2012 placebo controlled animal study out of the University of Paris found that it doubled the lifespans of the rats given C60 olive oil. This longevity effect is unequaled among longevity studies.
Our results show that while olive oil treatment can lead to an increase of 18% of lifespan of treated rats, C60-olive oil can increase it up to 90%, as compared to controls...
what is noteworthy is that at [month] 38 all C60-treated rats were still alive. Thus, based on previous investigations,C60 should be the most efﬁcient ever material for extending lifespan.
The study emphasized the importance of the dissolving it in olive oil
It is to be stressed that dissolved C60 appears hundred times more active than when it is in suspension...
The effect of pristine C60 on lifespan emphasizes the absence of chronic toxicity... These results of importance in the fields of medicine and toxicology should open the way for the many possible -and waited for- biomedical applications of C60 including cancer therapy, neurodegenerative disorders, and ageing.
There's significant interest among health enthusiasts in C60 and a significant body of animal and in vitro research on the stuff, you're welcome to conspiracy theorize as to why the institutions of science and medicine aren't more interested in conducting human clinical trials.
There's an entire forum on Longecity devoted to C60 discussion. In fact, you can thank the Biohackers on Longecity and elsewhere across the internet for self experimenting with C60 and establishing a crowdsourced corpus of statistically significant anecdotal evidence for its effects as an anti-aging agent and performance enhancing Nootropic.
Discovered in 1985 by five space exploration researchers at Rice University, they eventually received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery as it opened up the field of fullerene chemistry.
The iconic scientist Richard Buckminsterfuller was not amongst the team but they named it after him to honor his respected body of work which included designing the geodesic dome.
C60 Olive Oil
You can find C60 sold combined with a number of different types of oil; Avocado oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, etc. However, in the Paris study that doubled lifespans, they used pure, organic Tunisian olive oil. So I'd be a little skeptical of C60 products using other kinds of oil. Olive oil is pretty special stuff and there's no clinical evidence for the bioavailability of C60 in other kinds of oils.
According to some the taste in olive oil is not exactly pleasant with a little bit of a burning taste.
You wouldn't really want to use it the same way you use normal olive oil, cooking or dripping it on your salad. Just take 1-2 teaspoons daily of the stuff.
No sleep studies have been done evaluating its effect but some reports by long term users indicate that it may be a real sleep hack.
Some report that it increases the amount of sleep they get...
Yeah, I believe it may increase my sleep also. After 1.5 yrs of C60/EVOO daily without a break, my sleep has increased from a max of 6 hrs (often less) to now more commonly 7 hrs and I also find myself sneaking a couple hour nap in on the weekends as if I feel the need to "catch up".
A Danish biohacker reported
I never slept these monster 10-12 hours before. C60 also acutely makes me very relaxed, and if I take it with some food with dinner I could doze off like minutes after.
An American Biohacker explained
My personal experience is that the sleepiness from C60 is repair sleep. If you feel good when you wake up, it is most likely repair sleep. If you feel groggy and tired all day, it wasn't quality sleep. For many, many reasons, many modern humans are sleep deprived. This has to do with the room not getting dark enough (any light in the retina, even with closed eyes, will keep you from getting into a deep sleep). Electromagnetic pollution from cell phones and computers, not enough exercise and low quality diet are also reasons for not sleeping well. If C60 is helping you sleep deeply, you may need it and not even know that you you did.
More sleep is almost always a good thing. These sleepy biohackers seem to agree that sleep quality was better on C60. You'll have to evaluate how it affects your sleep. If C60 makes you drowsy use it in the evenings not in the morning with your coffee.
A Washington University School of Medicine 2008 animal study noted that it mitigated cognitive decline in aged mammals:
Treated mice also exhibited improved performance on the Morris water maze learning and memory task. This is to our knowledge the first demonstration that an administered antioxidant with mitochondrial activity and nervous system penetration not only increases lifespan, but rescues age-related cognitive impairment in mammals.
On Longecity especially you can find an abundance of anecdotal evidence for a subtle Nootropic effect. Razor444 reported:
The main effect is an increase in the ability to perceive abstraction. The abstract becomes tangible. For example, an idea in mathematics is almost as real as the wall in front of me. It's subjective, and probably nigh on impossible to measure—but I consider it noteworthy!
Personally when I take C60oo I have a strange tingling sensation around my head, the same kind of tingling when you take a strong nootropic. I did notice a better brain function, my logical performance was very obviously increased.
A commenter on SelfHacked.com reported
I have been taking C60 now for a month, noticed a good change in energy. I just lately stopped taking it and now feeling the loss of energy. Going to give it a try again...
35% of C60 users on Longecity reported that it improved their concentration.
Mechanism of Action
It's a Super antioxidant, like more common antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Selenium), it scavenges toxic free radicals but it stands out as a notable anti-aging innovation because it selectively scavenges the reactive oxygen species that do the most damage to us as opposed to just working by osmosis like a normal antioxidant.
I'll quote from the ProjectAvalon.net forums where the two theorized mechanisms of C60 are summarized:
(1) C60 remains in the lipid bilayers of the cells and mitochondria, doing its ROS-neutralizing work for weeks or months. Lipofullerenes could act as super-antioxidants on the cellular level, where they remain for a very long time, since they are not “used up” when they act as antioxidants, and they are constantly recycled in the cell.
(2) The C60 physically rejuvenates organisms on the cellular level, for example by DNA demethylation or by otherwise reversing cellular damage on the molecular level. Interestingly, the size of the Buckyball C60 molecule is such that it fits exactly inside the “minor groove” DNA winding and it indeed binds to it, protecting it against Methyl groups that degrade and neutralize the DNA
Russian and American scientists identify it as a Mitochondrial antioxidant:
Novel mechanism of antioxidant activity of buckminsterfullerene C60 based on protons absorbing and mild uncoupling of mitochondrial respiration and phosphorylation was postulated. In the present study we confirm this hypothesis using computer modeling based on Density Functional Theory. Fullerene's geroprotective activity is sufficiently higher than those of the most powerful reactive oxygen species scavengers. We propose here that C60 has an ability to acquire positive charge by absorbing inside several protons and this complex could penetrate into mitochondria.
A bunch of places around the internet you can find vendors of C60 claiming that it is 172 times stronger than Vitamin C, I thought this was quite impressive so I scoured the internet for scientific paper validating this and I couldn't find any. I think this originates from a press release from about a Japanese C60 beauty cream (yours for only $180!) It is a very effective antioxidant but I'm not sure about the 172 times claim.
To quote the research scientist and carbon engineer Bob Greska:
"[C60] doesn't cure anything. It just removes the free radicals that inhibit your body from healing itself."
The 2012 study pointed out its effect on oxidative stress
The effects of C60-olive oil solutions in an experimental model of CCl4 intoxication in rat strongly suggest that the effect on lifespan is mainly due to the attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress.
- C60 crosses the blood brain barrier
- C-60 is a toxin sponge — Particularly of Mercury, from a 2014 study: These results suggest that C60 may be useful in capturing soluble mercury and thus reducing mercury biotoxicity.
- It's a telomere hack — Anti-aging scientists seem to agree that telomere length has everything to do with longevity. Anecdotally at least, it lengthens telomeres.
Stem Cell Hack
According to the Stem Cell Theory of Aging the division and replacement of Stem Cells underlies the aging process, from wikipedia:
The number of stem cells in young people is very much higher than older people and this cause a better and more efficient replacement mechanism in the young contrary to the old. In other words, aging is not a matter of the increase of damage, but a matter of failure to replace it due to decreased number of stem cells. Stem cells decrease in number and tend to lose the ability to differentiate into progenies or lymphoid lineages and myeloid lineages.
An informed biohacker wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Stem Cell division relies on mitochondrial function. Thus, C60 increases the pool of stem cells.
In the Paris study, the rats that received C60 did NOT develop cancer tumors that aging rats usually die of.
A 2014 Serbian paper discussed the anti-cancer potential of it as a reactive oxygen species (ROS) modulator:
One of the biologically most relevant features of C60 is the ability to quench various free radicals, behaving as a "free radical sponge".
A recent European study proved C60's ability to induce apoptosis of leukemic cells in combination with LED-mediated photodynamic cancer therapy.
A 2017 Chinese study noted that it mitigated the toxicity of chemotherapy:
Chemotherapy as a conventional cancer treatment suffers from critical systemic side effects, which is generally considered as the consequence of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Fullerenes have been widely studied for their excellent performance in radicals scavenging. In the present study, we report a solid-liquid reaction to synthesize fullerenols and their application as ROS scavengers in chemotherapy protection.
A 2014 study out of the Joint Ukrainian-German Center on Nanobiotechnology in Kyiv, Ukraine evaluated it in combination with the cancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox)
[C60] in tumor-bearing animals resulted in tumor growth inhibition, prolongation of life, metastasis inhibition, and increased number of apoptotic tumor cells... C60 fullerene demonstrated a protective effect against superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase inhibition induced by Dox-dependent oxidative insult in the liver and heart.
A few Youtube videos and blogs about C60 incorrectly state that it has not to date been used in human trials. It has actually been used in two clinical studies...
A 2010 Japanese study of 23 women noted fewer wrinkles after about 8 weeks of use
Highly purified and organic solvent-free fullerene-C60 was dissolved... in squalane prepared from olive oil... [C60] cream enhanced the skin moisture and the anti-wrinkle formation. [C60] cream that was applied on a face twice daily was not effective at 4th week, but significantly more effective than the placebo at 8th week (p < 0.05) without severe side effects... We suggest that [C60] could be used as an active ingredient for wrinkle-care cosmetics.
A second 2011 Japanese study evaluated its effect on treating acne
Oxidative stress plays a major role in acne formation, suggesting that oxygen radical scavengers are potential therapeutic agents. Fullerene is a spherical carbon molecule with strong radical sponge activity; therefore, we studied the effectiveness of fullerene gel in treating acne vulgaris... the fullerene gel may help in controlling acne vulgaris with skin care benefit. Fullerenes, spherical carbon cages with strong oxygen radical scavenging, with formulated into a gel and used to successfully treat acne vulgaris, an inflammatory disease associated oxidative stress.
This is quite different from other Nootropics in that it's a medium-term biohack, don't expect this to energize you in the morning as caffeine or Adaptogens do.
According to one diet hacker it increases hunger and desire to eat but not necessarily causes weight gain:
I eat a very disciplined diet and maintain a very disciplined weight/body fat%....and when I started C60, I initially experienced increased hunger which I had difficulty controlling...but, being able to control the increased hunger, my weight has dropped an average of >2 lbs in 2 weeks...And I weigh every morning and my weight doesn't fluctuate much...so it was definitely noticeable...for what's its worth).
On Longecity a large C60 survey has been answered by a statistically significant >100 biohackers who have used C60
- 75% of users agreed that they had a positive experience with C60 in olive oil. 20% had a neutral experience.
- 49% said it made them feel younger.
- 46% agreed that I have really much more overall energy during the day
- 58% agreed I would say C60 and Olive Oil solution has worked for me and has given me health benefits.
- 91% of users agreed that they would continue using the stuff.
Some other anecdotal effects attributed to C60 from around the internet
- Protects against poison oak
- Mitigates negative reactions to MSG
- Mitigation or elimination of chronic pain
- Restores hair to a more youthful state
- Improves eyesight
- Enhances libido
In 2017 Eastern European researchers collaborated on a study which identified C60 as a promising therapeutic agent for mitigating muscle fatigue and enhancing muscle endurance.
[C60] leads to reduction in the recovery time of the muscle contraction force and to increase in the time of active muscle functioning before appearance of steady fatigue effects. Therefore, it is possible that [C60] affects the prooxidant-antioxidant muscle tissue homeostasis, subsequently increasing muscle endurance.
The use of [C60], even at a low therapeutic dose... leads to a reduction in the recovery time of the muscle contraction force (after its complete exhaustion state) on the one hand, and an increase in the time of the muscle active work (endurance) until fatigue development on the other.
An American biohacker reported its effect on stamina
My limit on some exercises in previous years was about 20 reps. 30 or more is not a problem now. After about 10 days of C60 I began to exercise regularly after about 18 months hiatus.
In a Longecity poll 66% of respondents reported that it improved physical stamina (better condition, more muscle strength, faster recovery after endurance):
The Paris study notes that it powerfully protects the liver
Pathological examinations show that even at very low doses, 500 times lower than that used previously, C60-olive oil solutions effectively protects the livers against CCl4 toxicity. These results are in agreement with those reported for very low doses of water solution of hydrated C60 fullerene in other experimental models.
This makes it a great idea for anyone really concerned with keeping their liver happy and functional. And of course, makes it a great boozing biohack!
A 2014 paper delved deeply into the potential orthopedic applications for treating conditions like chronic back pain:
Taken together, C60 and derivatives have great potentials to serve as ROS scavenger and inflammation reliever for radiculopathy and low back pain treatment.
C60 and derivatives have shown successful applications in intensive biomedical research due to their unparalleled physical and chemical properties.
Several biohackers have reported that it aids in recovery from injury
SEPTEMBER 28, 2017: My shoulder was especially irritated and achey, even creeping into my neck... I found that the Carbon 60 package was waiting for me on the table. I decided that I would dose it immediately, and dispassionately, as I had read many accounts of possible placebo effect... I consider this to be an incredible recovery for an injury that usually requires 8-12 weeks for a full recovery... Just when I was ready to write off C60 as placebo, I had a four-day streak of incredible performance and feeling in my body during exercise, what feels like more rapid recoveries, and a general feeling of euphoria.
I'm similar -- I've got some injuries, when I take C60, they go away. "Go away" meaning the pain diminishes.
A Hair Hack
Turnbuckle on Longecity reported
When I first tried C60 in 2012 I noted hair regrowth that filled in a bald spot to about 50% of the density of the rest of my hair. This faded slowly over a period of a year, and while there was some variability over the succeeding years... but are now increasing again, and the bald spot is filling in.
I can’t say for certain which is more responsible, as I did both oral and topical.
One guy reported that on C60 an eyebrow hair grew all the way down to his mouth!
a very long eyebrow hair, a hair that almost reached my mouth... these few super long eyebrow hairs seemed to turn up overnight.
You can buy raw powdered C60 and make your own super antioxidizing concoction. You might be able to save yourself some money in the long term by DYing your own C60 if you're going to be taking the stuff for years but this inadvisable unless you're a highly competent lay-chemist; it's probably better to leave the formulation to the professionals. C60 should be dissolved in a centrifuge. Do you have a centrifuge? What you definitely wouldn't want to do is buy some powdered C60 and then pick up some olive oil from the grocery store and mix them. The majority of the olive oil that you find at a grocery store is far from pure olive oil; often it's diluted with cheaper, toxic oils that will mitigate the upsides of the C60.
As soon as you start Googling C60 you'll find that it typifies the unregulated wild wild west nature of the supplement space online. This is why I'd urge you only buy from a vendor that provides a 3rd party certificate of analysis with a spectroscopy report. The only vendor I'm aware of that meets this high standard is C60Supply.com.
- It can be used to create super strong Nanotubes, so if you hope to be able to shoot spider webs out of your hands like Spiderman C60 has potential!
- Popular Science suggested it could be used in futuristic Robocop-esque body armor, The lattice of carbon atoms is 200 times stronger and six times lighter than steel.
- Interestingly, it's the largest molecule observed to exhibit wave–particle duality; perhaps you've seen viral Youtube videos about the observer effect where atomic particles eerily change their behavior depending on if they are being observed by researchers. This certainly adds to the mystique surrounding C60.
C60 is not limited to appearing naturally on planet earth. Space.com reported:
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, a space-based infrared observatory, spotted the buckyballs around the double-star system XX Ophiuchi. The light emitted by the carbon spheres is different than that seen in the gaseous form of buckyballs previously seen in space, allowing scientists to conclude that Spitzer had detected the material in its solid form, researchers said.
According to one very thorough biohacker on Longecity Stearic Acid enhances C60's beneficial effect on our stem cells This Stem Cell Renewal and Mitochondrial Biogenesis protocol is prescribed...
- Leucine — 5-10 g
- Curcumin phytosome — .5-1 g
- Threonine — 10 g
- PQQ — 20mg
- Liposomal glutathione — 1 g
- C60 — 3 mg (in Olive or MCT oil)
More about the protocol...
- Stearic acid has little taste. Eating it raw is useless.
- I've found that ten grams of food grade is sufficient. I've typically used 10-12.
- I suggest you put the stearic acid into brownies. I've given the recipe in at least 2 updates.
- The "purity" of stearic acid is almost meaningless, as has been previously discussed. Stearic acid you can buy retail is a triglyceride with 40-60% stearic and the balance palmitic acid. Doesn't matter if it is technical, food or USP grades, it will still have the palmitic acid.
- I don't recommend more than a dozen treatments or so initially. I did a lot more than that, but I didn't see any advantage.
- If you don't use C60 in a mito fusion state, you could deplete your stem cell pools rather than increase them.
- Removing senescent cells is the other half of the coin. You can't lower epigenetic age much without getting rid of them.
- Avoid telomerase supplements, as telomerase allows old cells to become older before senescence. I added that in early on and then took it out when I realized it was a mistake.
Usage & Dosage
A very meticulous biohacker used C60 for over a year, recorded a number of observations and made good recommendations...
- It's really important to consume it in fresh olive oil. Don't purchase C60 unless they tell you the harvest date of the olives.
- If you have an adverse reaction to C60 that probably has something to do with bad olive oil.
- Stale C60 or olive oil will result in adverse effects.
The majority of Biohackers that use it, use it daily.
Most Biohackers use between 1 milligram - 2 milligrams daily
A woman who used it to cure macular degeneration consumed a small 60-milliliter bottle (40 milligrams of C60) of the stuff every Sunday, over a 24 hour period.
Many take it on an empty stomach but there doesn't seem to be a consensus as to whether this is better than taking it with food or whatever liquid cocktail of health supplements that you like to blend.
Some rub it into their skin to treat wrinkles.
In a survey of over a hundred C60 users 59% reported no side effects. A minority reported side effects such as pain, headache, dizziness, etc
C60 has a detoxification effect that can trigger a Herxheimer Reaction — When your body detoxes it kills a lot of bacteria that may release a lot of toxins which may result in some unpleasant temporary symptoms;
- Hot and cold sweats
If you're in bad general health your body is probably rife with toxins and you may find the first few days or week of C60 unpleasant. This can be mitigated by taking steps to detox before using C60...
- Fasting; 12-16 hour intermittent daily fasting in combination with longer 2-4 day fasts.
- Taking other more mild antioxidants like Vitamin C.
- Eating a lot of antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries or grapes.
- Drinking lots of water or tea.
- Doing coffee enemas.
- Don't take it with Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Risk Grade: B
- Unfortunately, C60 has not yet been evaluated in human anti-aging or performance enhancement trials. Taking it you need to place some faith in the animal studies, the subjective experiences of its many users and the self-experimentation reports from the biohacker community on Longecity
- The 2012 study pointed out that it several independent research groups showed that C60 has no acute or sub-acute toxicity in various experimental models. Remarkably there was no determinable LD50 dosage; this means the dose required to kill a rat. You don't need to give a rat very much caffeine for example before it will drop dead, for example. In the case of C60, there was no LD50 dosage, the rats could consume extreme amounts of the stuff without fatal toxicity occurring. This is not the case with numerous Nootropics and anti-aging supplements and is very encouraging for risk-averse biohackers.
- Dr. Fathi Moussa, the lead researcher of the Paris study confidently expressed that raw C60 itself is totally non-toxic.
- It reduces blood pressure.
The important thing to understand when researching C60 that it's a quintessential research chemical, it lacks rigorous human clinical trials evaluating its anti-aging effects. Generally, I urge skepticism of research chemicals, I usually recommend that biohackers first use Mitochondrial support supplements, Adaptogenic herbs or well-researched Nootropics like the Racetams but C60 really stands out among research chemicals because of its virtually non-existent toxicity. The research done at labs and universities around the world that has been done makes me confident that there's no significant downside to the stuff and the anecdotal evidence is abundant indicating that it could be a real longevity gamechanger.