Carbon-60, also known as C60, buckminsterfullerene, fullerene-60 or buckyball, is likely to be the most amazing chemistry discovery of the late 20th century. 1
Buckminsterfullerene: The Magic Carbon Molecule That Precedes Life On Earth!
This carbon molecule is theorized to have a practical use in everything, including rocket fuel, electronics and in creating super strong materials! Yet, arguably the most profound applications have been in the field of health.
Carbon-60 is a very complicated subject and there is a lot of public confusion about it. In an attempt to clarify what is currently known about this magic molecule, we have compiled this article which highlights its health benefits, side effects, sources and all you need to know about using it to optimize your well-being and performance!
What Is Carbon 60?
Carbon-60 is a member of the carbon family, alongside diamond and graphite, that was only discovered recently in 1985.
Its official name, Buckminsterfullerene, was an ode to Buckminster Fuller, a mathematician who designed geodesic dome structures similar to this compound.
Essentially a carbon-60 molecule is comprised of 60 carbon atoms which are arranged in a unique shape that can be thought of as a 'carbon cage'. This shape resembles that of a soccer ball, comprising of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. At the vertex of each shape is one carbon atom, with a double bond forming the edges. Another name for this unique structure is a truncated icosahedron.
This shape is what gives C60 all of it's amazing properties, including being resistant to radiation, chemical corrosion and breakage under high pressure. Metals and other substances can be placed inside the vacuum interiors of buckyballs, turning them into novel nano-transport vehicles or superconductors. They are small enough to move through cell membranes and sit between woven strands of DNA. 2
Carbon-60 also readily reacts with other substances and is able to easily combine with just about any compound to enhance its action.
Furthermore, C60 was found in deep space and stardust, as well as ancient mineral deposits and meteorites found on Earth, suggesting that it predates life on the planet.
All these aspects of fullerene 60 have made it the center of much research worldwide; however even after more than 30 years, scientists are only just beginning to scratch the tip of this iceberg!
12 Possible Health Benefits of Carbon 60
#1 May Increase Longevity
The Paris or Baati study is likely the most famous experiment performed using carbon-60. The findings reveal that this molecule is not only non-toxic but increases the lifespan of rats by 90%! 3
The results may partially be explained by other findings that show Carbon-60 as having a high affinity for both cellular and mitochondrial membranes. 4 It appears to help protect and support both of these structures, which are integral to the lifespan of our cells and ultimately us.
There are several studies proving that water-soluble C60 prevents mitochondrial dysfunction 5 , which promotes longevity, as well as optimal health and increased energy levels.
Further research is required before we can confirm it works the same way in humans, however Baati’s group findings and other similar data paves the way for further investigation into carbon-60’s anti-aging potential. These research findings also fall in line with many anecdotal reports of people who have used pure extracts of C60, stating that it makes them feel younger and more energetic.
#2 Scavenges Free Radicals
Ever since the first experiments were conducted on buckyballs, it was concluded that this molecule acts as a free radical sponge, mopping up any that it encounters. Amazingly, scientific data has revealed that carbon-60 has an antioxidant capacity several hundred times higher than other antioxidants! 6
What makes fullerene 60 even more amazing is its strong cage-like structure. The free radicals it mops up don't affect its shape or function, allowing for it to continuously deal with free radicals until it leaves the system (which has been shown in the Baati study to be 97 hours from the bloodstream of rats).
Unlike other antioxidants, which can bind to free radicals molecule-for-molecule, carbon-60 can accumulate dozens of them before it can no longer do so. For example, it has been reported that C60 can hold up to 34 methyl radicals at one time!
This combined with its ability to by-pass cellular membranes, including the blood-brain-barrier 7 , as well as its affinity for DNA, mitochondria and cellular membranes, place C60 within a league of its own. Moreover, once the free radicals have bound to it, they are 100% neutralized and do not interact with C60 or anything else along the way.
Another research paper showed that a specific malonic acid form of C60 mimicked the action of SOD, facilitating the removal of superoxide, a harmful by-product produced by cells. This shows that scavenging free radicals is not Carbon-60's only means of acting as an antioxidant, but that it is capable of neutralizing pollutants via chemical reduction reactions too. 8
While the data appears to be promising, most of this research is still experimental and has only been conducted in test-tubes or on rats. More trials are required before we can verify the same effects in humans.
#3 May Promote Less Bodily Stiffness and Happier Joints
While more research is needed to prove it, carbon-60 appears to make our joints happier and promotes flexibility. In preliminary experiments carried out on both human cell cultures and rats, water-soluble C60 seemed to promote more flexibility and less stiffness in the joints. 9
Considering C60’s immune-supportive properties and antioxidant potential, the results also suggest that the substance may lend itself to graceful aging in terms of maintaining healthy joints and enhancing flexibility.
#4 Seems to Improve Immune Function
Aside from protecting mitochondria and cells from free radical damage, water-soluble C60 has been shown in animal studies to stimulate the immune system in several ways.
These include enhancing the production of immune cells such as lymphocytes (white blood cells) and their growth factors, effectively supporting the way the immune system works and giving it more fire power all in one go! 10
Thanks to the potent antioxidant ability of this miracle molecule, more preliminary studies reveal that it may also regulate immune function by helping to keep it more contained and working efficiently. 11 12 This may mean a great improvement in the quality of life for some, particularly during pollen season or when the immune system could use extra support.
Only time and more research will conclude whether C60 is truly capable of improving the immune system in humans too - however, given its small size, free radical scavenging potential and the current research, it seems like a plausible hypothesis at this point.
#5 Possibly Supports Brain Health
It is a fact that neurons die and get created everyday in a healthy individual. However, the death of too many neurons tends to promote a shorter memory span, difficulty with concentrating, and has a negative effect on brain health in general.
This is where buckyballs may be able to support brain health and help make you smarter! Preliminary test-tube evidence suggests that C60 may do so by possibly promoting less neurons to die off13 and helping to maintain strong, healthy neuronal growth14
For all we know, these results could be showing us that buckyballs possess great potential as a dietary supplement that keeps up with the times!
Modern food processing has changed quite a bit from the good old days, using chemicals that enhance the flavor of food, particularly junk food. Some of these chemicals have been noted in test-tube experiments to act like excitotoxins (such as MSG49, aspartame50 and glutamate51), which are known to promote neuron death in a dose-dependent manner. Therefore, consuming too many processed foods with excitotoxins in them may detract from our brain power over time. This is where more dietary support from natural supplements that contain C60 look promising as they may help to ward off any possible stupefying effects of eating junk food, but only time will tell.
Additional progressive test-tube studies have revealed that buckyballs may also be able to help keep our minds young and flexible by potentially promoting an environment that discourages aged (hardened-up) proteins to interfere with neuron function15 - an event that is more likely to happen as one grows older.
All the above results have so far only been reproduced in test-tube studies, nevertheless it reveals further ground-breaking insight into the antioxidant potential of buckyballs.
#6 May Help Maintain Strong Bones & Even Stronger Cartilage
In some of the animal studies quoted above, injected C60 proved to help maintain strong bones due to its high antioxidant potential.
Further data indicates that carbon-60 also appears to support cartilage in a similar fashion. In rabbits, water-soluble C60 helped to maintain strong cartilage that was slightly more resilient to the effects of aging than controls. 16
Judging from the current preliminary research, Carbon-60 in it's water-soluble form is looking like it could become a hot option in the future for anyone interested in aging with more grace!
#7 Promotes Cleanliness & Supports Good Hygiene
Keeping clean and maintaining proper hygiene are important, not only for our own sanity, but also for keeping the doctor at bay! Each time we scrub down with soap, wash our hair or brush our teeth, we are removing trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms. While the vast majority of these bacteria are typically friendly, a small proportion are not and these are precisely what hygiene helps to keep in check. Not to mention, much of our body odor and sometimes acne can be attributed to our micro-organisms or their by-products, both within our bodies or on the skin.
Carbon-60 has been repeatedly investigated for its pro-cleanliness properties. Preliminary experiments so far revealed that in various forms, C60 may have great potential as a disinfectant, even in very small amounts 17. Beyond being able to potentially dispose of several types of bacteria and fungi, current data on the subject reveals that C60 may be able to clean away certain viruses as well - all of which could affect our overall hygiene. 18 19 20 21 Supplementing with lab-grade C60 may therefore have the potential to lessen cases of bad breath and maintain better body odor by supporting good hygiene and promoting both internal and external cleanliness.
#8 Might Help You Maintain an Even Waistline
Don't get too excited - there is no research as of yet that even hints towards buckyballs as a weight loss supplement. However, there have been several exciting studies revealing that these prehistoric compounds may discourage you from gaining more weight than you currently have right now.
With both human and mouse cell cultures, test-tube studies haveshown that both fat-soluble 22 and water-soluble 23 versions of carbon-60 may have the potential to help us maintain a regular weight by promoting an environment in which normal cells are less likely to turn into fat cells. More research is required before we can say for sure if it will be the same inside the body, however it looks promising for those of us who struggle to keep an even waistline!
#9 Might Be Useful As A Chemo Support Supplement
The evidence is not conclusive and scientists are still carrying out more trials on C60 to see whether it could work as a viable chemo support option, but the initial data looks promising. For starters, laboratory findings indicate that C60 may be able to support a micro-environment that does not allow for cells to grow in an uncontrolled or unbalanced way 24.
Furthermore, a growing body of evidence is suggesting that nutritional support may be of great benefit for chemotherapy patients as it appears to promote compliance to the therapy as well as offer potential immune support. 52 Due to the fact that buckyballs have a high antioxidant capacity, seem to also support immune function and appear to be safe 53 54 (if given in a pure form), it is plausible that they may be able to serve as a potent dietary support for chemotherapy patients in the future. Only time and more research will tell!
#10 Possible UV Protection
In lab experiments on cultured skin cells, it was proven that C60-infused ointment promoted strong youthful skin, helping it to shield itself from the damaging effects of UVA radiation 25 . The cream on it's own barely did anything against the radiation, but with the addition of C60, the skin cells in the test-tube were not nearly as sun-damaged as the control groups. In the same study, it was noted that the buckyballs never went deeper than the outer layer of the skin, remaining where they needed to be to protect the outermost layers.
In separate research using the same carbon-60-doped cream, it was shown that this magic molecule also has the potential to promote less free radical release in the skin 26 as a result of either UVA or UVB radiation 27 .
The results suggest that C60 can pass cellular walls right near the DNA without causing any damage to the skin, while simultaneously promoting its protection! When a comparison was carried out, Buckyballs remain to be superior to other creams claiming to do the same thing.
#11 Might Enhance Your Skincare Routine
Fullerene-60 has been extensively tested for use in skincare applications, especially when the news spread about it's potential UV-shielding properties.
In experimental rat trials, it was shown that C60 may promote better skin barrier function, especially when administered topically (as opposed to being injected into the skin). 28
When the barrier does not function properly, it gives dirt and other micro particles a chance to infiltrate the skin, which can irritate it, detract from our complexion and give rise to acne.
Speaking of acne, scientists observed that topical C60 supported those undergoing acne treatments by maintaining optimal skin function, helping to keep the skin hydrated and enhancing wound repair 29.
Interestingly, it was proven that lower concentrations of C60 permeated more deeply into the skin, while larger concentrations tended to hang out on the surface. 30
Larger concentrations were also more effective at promoting better skin barrier function, but just on the surface of the skin. This suggests that lower concentrations are better for supporting the deeper levels of the skin.
More evidence has also come to light to indicate that fullerene-60 may be able to keep our hair vibrant too! So far it was observed that this magic molecule has the potential to promote rapid hair growth in bald mice. 31
#12 Could Prove Helpful As A Support for Male Infertility Treatments
For those who are battling to conceive and who have been prescribed with fertility-enhancing treatments, Carbon-60 may lend a helping hand as a dietary support; especially for men who battle in the bedroom.
In preliminary studies involving male rats, fullerene C60 appeared to support overall genital function, enhance sex drive, boost testosterone levels, increase the rate of sperm production and promote the production of robust sperm cells 32. More research is still required before this can be truly confirmed as true for humans too.
C60 Side Effects or Contraindications
- Possible Minor Eye Irritation of 100% C60 Solution
In one study, pure carbon-60 induced very slight eye irritation, which caused the eyes of rabbits to turn red one hour after administration. Within 24 hours, the redness was gone. It did not damage the eyes of the rabbits or cause any other problems. C60 also did not burn or irritate the skin around the eyes. 33
- A Colloidal C60 Suspension is Toxic
If pure carbon-60 is taken and mixed into the water without proper diffusion, it forms a suspension, which creates a variety of new molecules such as Nano-C60. This is not the same as the C60 molecules which are proven to have the miraculous health benefits above. Those forms of fullerene have been properly dissolved in a solution using specific scientific techniques - these are known as soluble forms of C60.
- Cationic vs Anionic C60
It was found that all cationic or positively charged derivatives of carbon-60 are toxic, acting as free radicals, while anionic or negatively charged derivatives of C60 act as antioxidants. 35 This largely depends once again on how the carbon-60 was extracted and what it is combined with.
- Never Expose C60 To Light
When carbon-60 in solution is exposed to either light or high temperatures, it starts to oxidize, becoming highly unstable and toxic. This is especially true of buckyballs found in oil solutions or other mediums that start to degrade with light or heat. Hydrated water-soluble C60 does not share these properties however, being stable whether exposed to light or heat.
The researchers explain that this is only the pure form of carbon-60 and that no other research has been carried out on C60 derivatives to assess eye or skin safety. Current data suggests that if you combined this molecule with something that is harmful, such as ammonia, one would likely receive all the negative effects of the ammonia - the same can be said in reverse of substance combinations that are beneficial!
Instead, Nano-C60 was proven to be toxic 34 , acting as a potent free radical itself and attacking cellular membranes. However, the same research shows that it does not penetrate to the DNA of the cells and if an antioxidant is added, such as Vitamin C, the damage is completely reversed.
Sources of C60: Where or How Can I Get More Carbon 60?
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Carbon-60 is found prolifically throughout nature in minute quantities. Every time you set fire to something, such as matches or a candle, you are releasing many carbon molecules into the atmosphere, including buckyballs.
Aside from combustion, let's take a look at other sources of C60:
Synthetically Derived Laboratory-Grade C60
So far there are commercially available preparations of buckminsterfullerene available as supplements or for chemists to use in multiple other applications.
To extract the actual C60, the most common method used is a modified version of the first time C60 was made in large amounts by Kratschmer and Huffman in 1989.
This involves two graphite rods suspended in a gas, such as helium, at a high pressure. When a high voltage is run through the rods and they are made to touch, the carbon in the rods vaporize, turning into clouds of soot - which is essentially a bunch of carbon clusters.
Once Carbon-60 has been extracted from this mixture, it is then either tested in its pure form or mixed into some kind of solution. Scientists have discovered that they can mix this fullerene into almost any medium.
Due to the complexity of this compound, one ought to be careful when selecting a synthetically-derived source of C60. There is a big difference between the properties of dissolved C60 and suspended C60 - one should always opt for dissolved C60 or soluble C60.
There are two main synthetic sources:
Since the Baati study, most manufacturers of oil-soluble Carbon-60 use the method he used to make it. The process involves stirring a 99.98% pure Carbon-60 in olive oil for two weeks in the dark, without exposure to light, heat or oxygen. Following this, the mixture is centrifuged before being filtered through an incredibly fine sieve to remove any suspended particles.
The leading manufacturer of C60 in the world is SES Research Inc. It is and American company based in Houston, TX.
If you are looking for Carbon 60 Olive Oil from trusted source then check their latest VitalC product.
Carbon-60 in this context binds to the fat particles in the oil, becoming a lipofullerene. The quality will depend on what oil was used as well as the conditions maintained to make it.
It was found that exposure to light is a huge problem in commercially available oil-soluble C60 36 , resulting in a plethora of toxic by-products.The oil used can also be a problem, as if the oil is not a good quality it could already be degraded due to overheating during manufacture or exposure to light. While many people already consume this type of oil, it would react with C60 and become far worse.
To ensure the best quality, it is best to source your carbon-60 directly from a lab or opt for a more natural source.
Until relatively recently, it was noted that carbon-60 cannot be dissolved in water without oxidizing and forming unstable by-products.
However, a bunch of geniuses at the Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds managed to find a way, calling their water-soluble C60: Hydrated C60 or C60 HyFn. 37 They found a very clever method for placing carbon-60 molecules inside multiple "shells" of structured or ordered water particles, which do not appear to react with C60 and are quite similar in shape.
This water-soluble version of C60 is by far more stable than any other version and its structure is not easily destroyed - not even by boiling the water!
As you may have noticed, the bulk of health research in this article has been carried out on this stable water-soluble version of buckminsterfullerene. This is the best form of commercially available C60 as of yet; but beware of imposters who are using highly reactive and dangerous solutions where C60 is merely suspended in water.
Soot or Charcoal
Soot and charcoal contain little to no Carbon-60, as well as a multitude of other carbon molecules, some of which are not the safest to consume.
When comparing carbon-60 vs activated charcoal, it is clear that pure C60 wins hands down. Medicinal activated charcoal can be good for detoxing your system, but it passes through without being absorbed and one stands the risk of ingesting unwanted versions of carbon (such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, which are essentially the carcinogenic compounds in petroleum).
This is certainly not the same as fullerene 60 which likely gets absorbed via the digestive tract and works its way through your body, mopping up free radicals as it goes along!
When cane sugar ferments, it creates blackstrap molasses which eventually becomes rum if left for long enough.
Blackstrap molasses contains minute amounts of the magical molecule carbon-60 (not sure about the rum though!) as well as a few good trace minerals and nutrients. These include potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, copper, selenium and B vitamins.
Molasses may be a great sugar substitute for those with diabetes, as it contains the above nutrients and only has a glycemic load of 55.
While this is a good way to add a little more C60 into your diet, it's probably not enough to experience all the amazing health benefits spoken of above.
Shilajit is a mind-blowing all-natural complex of over 80 trace minerals, fulvic acid and humic substances. It is the end product of millions of years of decomposing plant matter and has been proven to hold a wealth of health benefits, which have been documented by Ayurvedic practitioners for more than 3000 years.
Aside from fulvic minerals, DBPs (dibenzo-alpha-pyrones) and DCPs (dibenzo-alpha-pyrone chromoproteins) are some of the main constituents of Shilajit46 that confer antioxidant support and energy boosting effects. They make up ±10-30% of Shilajit's total composition,47 depending on where it is sourced and how it is processed.
DBPs act as electron reservoirs and when near mitochondria, they supply them with more electrons at a faster speed, which provides the cell with enormous amounts of energy. This in turn helps the cell to function more efficiently, live for longer and give a higher output - which translates as doing the same thing for us. DBPs have also been shown to preserve the body's natural antioxidants, such as co-enzyme Q10. 39
While further research is still required, the nature of both molecules suggests that this combination may yield one of the most potent antioxidants known to mankind! Not to mention, when paired with the fulvic acid inside Shilajit, it will be able to easily penetrate cell walls and inner cell membranes.
Fulvic acid selectively takes out pollutants and administers trace minerals to where they need to go to replenish the cell; while DBPs and buckyballs work together synergistically to correct the mitochondria, protect the cell membranes and DNA, as well as mop up free radicals.
Pure Shilajit does not undergo any processing, aside from a minor purification process. It is an amazing natural compound which has every right to be exalted as it is in Ayurveda.
This is definitely the best carbon-60 supplement available, as long as you can source it from a supplier that does not heat it or expose it to chemicals.
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Shungite & Marcial Waters
Shungite is a special mineral that consists of 80% carbon - and as you might guess, a fraction of that carbon consists of carbon-60, alongside other fullerene molecules. 40 The largest deposit in the world of this carbon-based mineral is found in Russia, near a town called Shunga - hence the name Shungite.
It's theorized that Shungite is over 2 billion years old and that this deposit may have formed there due to a meteorite collision. Under high heat, pressure and with certain atmospheric gases, large amounts of carbon molecules such as C60 could have formed.
While one can't go and eat Shungite by the mouthful to dose up on Carbon-60, one can visit this mineral deposit near the town Shunga. There is a hot spring there called 'Marcial Waters' where the spring waters flow right through some of the mineral deposits, theoretically enriching it with the healing potential of carbon-60 and more. 41
Bathing in the Shungite-rich hot springs in Russia, one may experience a few of the health benefits mentioned above. Yet, the effects are said not to last very long after the event. Furthermore, the amount of carbon-60 found in shungite is limited to a very small, trace amount.
Star Dust, Meteorites or Lightning Discharges
Carbon-60 has been found in the discharge caused from where lightning strikes the ground or a dead tree. It has also been collected from meteorite samples and is even found when star dust is analyzed. This all contributes to the idea that buckyballs far predate life on Earth and are possibly a primordial constituent of the universe and creation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buckminsterfullerene
Is it safe to take while pregnant or before having a baby?
There is not any research relating to taking carbon-60 while pregnant, breast-feeding or just before conception, therefore it is best not to do so.
There have been two experiments on lactating and pregnant rats which reveal that C60 passes right through the placenta as well as into breast milk 42 43 . Unfortunately, these experiments had used forms of carbon-60 which were bound to either radioactive carbon-14 or toxic polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) 44 , both of which cause severe damage alone and even more damage when combined with C60.
Can I water my plants with hydrated C60?
Interestingly while humans and animals seem to benefit immensely from non-oxidized versions of this amazing molecule, plants suffer from it. In studies where plants were watered with hydrated C60, their roots showed retarded growth which corresponded with abnormal auxin (plant growth hormone) distribution in them. 45 More research will have to be conducted to see if other forms of Carbon-60 are suitable for plants.
Can I use it on my pets?
When it comes to pristine C60 that has been dissolved properly in oil or hydrated C60, there have been many positive experiments done on animals of all kinds. A lot of people also have reported that when they gave it to their dogs, their animal companions appeared to become younger and have more energy. Some dogs over the age of 9 even went back into heat and veterinarians of these dogs has said that it's like they are 3-5 years old again. If you plan to give this to your pets, make sure you give them a much lesser dose that corresponds to their body weight.
Is Carbon-60 a carbon isotope?
Carbon-60 is a fullerene, which is a family of carbon allotropes or different forms of carbon. Isotopes are not the same as allotropes, as carbon isotopes contain the same amount of protons but differing amounts of neutrons in their atoms. Carbon-60 is a molecule that consists of 60 carbon atoms.
Is C60 radioactive?
No, but it is possible to make it radioactive by combining it with carbon-14, which is a radioactive isotope of carbon. One could also possibly substitute one or more carbon atoms in C60 with radioactive atoms.
What color should C60 look like in a solution?
In it’s base state, C60 crystals are black. However, when suspended properly in a solution using careful laboratory techniques, the end result should be transparent. If solvents were used in making the C60 solution, it will turn magenta, purple-pink or a slightly darker color due to the oil. Solvents can react with the C60, causing it to become toxic. Also be wary of black oil solutions, as this may also contain other impure forms of carbon. In hydrated C60, the color of the water remains the same.
What's the difference between research-grade and industrial Carbon-60?
Research-grade C60 is manufactured in a lab, whereas industrial C60 is not. Industrial C60 is commonly what is sold commercially. Make sure to get research-grade C60 as the industrial version tends to be fraught with many harmful by-products - or better yet, get some Shilajit!