What exactly is a C60 supplement? First off, C60 is the most phenomenal new supplement ingredient I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty cool stuff.
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C60 itself seems like an oddity as a nutritional supplement ingredient. It’s a pure carbon crystal made of 60 carbon atoms. Nothing else – just carbon. (Like diamonds.)
Plants don’t make it. Animals don’t make it. Ditto for all of life, for that matter.
It’s such an odd structure that, when its existence was first predicted on theoretical grounds in 1970, nobody believed it. The prediction wasn’t confirmed until 1985, when it was discovered in ‘carbon black’ – i.e., soot.
Since then nearly 8,000 research articles have been published on it, as listed in a search on PubMed. Most have appeared since 2005.
Now here’s the surprise.
The C60 Supplement Surprise
How can a polymer made of 60 carbon atoms – and nothing else – even exist?
A clue comes from its alternate names: fullerene, buckminsterfullerene, buckyballs.
C60 crystallizes into the shape of a geodesic dome, which provides it great stability even though its only ingredient is carbon.
Thus, the names are in honor of Buckminster Fuller, the American architect who popularized geodesic domes.
Thus, we have the term ‘C60 fullerene supplement’.
The big surprise, however, is the biological effects of C60.
Let’s start looking into them with a couple of quotes from a supplier of C60 products. The company is C60 Purple Power™, which offers a number of C60 supplements for people and pets.
As stated on their website, two fundamental activities of C60 underlie virtually all of its health benefits.
- Scavenges free radicals
- Believed to be the most powerful antioxidant known
Seems to me I’ve seen these features also attributed to countless other nutritional ingredients. Meaning, just making those claims fails to impress me.
However, what does impress me is the research backing up those activities.
In other words, what might be the health benefits of C60 based on scientific research?
Now we’re getting somewhere.
C60 Health Benefits in Brief
Adding ‘health’ to a search for C60 on PubMed narrows the list down to 275 articles. Substituting ‘supplement’ instead of ‘health’ drops it to 23.
These search results tell me three things:
- C60 has attracted a lot of interest since it was first discovered
- Research interest in its health applications is still at the beginning
- Creating supplements out of it is very, very new
In spite of the narrowed list of research on its health benefits, we already know C60 can help with the following:
- Viral infections
- Stimulating immunity
- Radiation damage
- Oxidative stress
- Boosting brain activity
- Amyloid plaque buildup in the brain
- Boosting brain activity
- Hair growth
- Skin vitality
- Nail health
- Supports athletic performance
- Boosts immunity, especially against cancer
*Those Lucky Mice!
Scientists don’t generally live long enough to do experimental research on longevity in their fellow humans. That’s why short-lived lab animals are so popular for studying factors affecting lifespan.
In this case, the choice is mice. Even though studies are still new on C60 and longevity, some of the early studies show promise.
So it’s been good for those lucky mice. Not yet sure how well it applies to humans longevity. Stay tuned!
C60 Health Research Resources
Most of the studies so far involve either cell cultures or lab animals. Some are beginning to appear based on human subjects.
Rather than review the whole body of research, I’m going to point the seriously interested to a healthy list of sample studies. I’ve included this list at the end of this post, with links to each reference.
It could be fascinating reading for you. A bit detailed and jargony – yet fascinating nonetheless.
Now how about the best suggestions for how C60 can benefit your health…
C60 Health Benefits in Detail
The following summarizes what that body of research is telling us.
BENEFITS FOR SKINCARE
This avenue of research shows the most promise. C60 promotes smooth, youthful skin. It may protect against sunburn. It also seems to help with acne.
The two best supported uses as an anti-inflammatory include reducing eczema and reducing inflammation in joints.
In general, reducing inflammation is a good strategy for increasing lifespan. So far studies on mice have shown promise in this area.
This benefit arises from C60’s ability to boost in metabolism in mitochondria. It works in part by stifling the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (aka, ROS) that slow energy production.
It’s almost a given that enhancing energy metabolism in mitochondria will help with weight loss. It’s another benefit to C60’s anti-inflammatory activities. After all, obesity is an inflammatory disorder.
In addition, C60 also helps stop the formation of fat cells.
A 2017 study shows great promise in protecting the brain against the buildup of amyloid plaque. This is the plaque that characterizes Alzheimer’s Disease.
Interestingly, two carbon crystals combine to cause cancer cells to self-destruct. These are C60 and diamond powder.
(I haven’t yet seen a credible supplement made with diamond powder. C60 is still the best bet for carbon crystals.)
Another 2017 study, this time in rats, showed the animals to need less post-exercise recovery time and had more endurance.
C60 shows activity in protecting against the effects of non-native electromagnetic radiation (nnEMFs). This primarily includes microwaves and millimeter waves in use for high-speed communications systems (e.g., your home wi-fi).
Are there C60 Side Effects?
Current research clearly shows that pristine C60 has no acute or sub-acute toxicity at high doses in a large variety of living organisms, including humans.
The one concern that keeps popping up involves C60 preparations in olive oil. Specifically, the mixture becomes toxic when exposed to light, especially UV light. This isn’t a problem if the preparations are kept in dark brown bottles to keep out light.
It’s also not a problem when C60 is dissolved in less reactive oils, such as coconut oil.
How to Use C60
Research suggests oil-soluble C60 supplements to be more effective than water-soluble products. Thus, commercial products are usually dissolved in different oils – olive, coconut, and avocado being the most common sources.
Personally I favor coconut oil because it has a unique healing profile due to its medium-chain fats. Sometimes the medium-chain fats are concentrated from whole coconut oil and labeled ‘MCT’ oil (i.e., ‘medium-chain triglycerides’).
Examples of such products, made by the aforementioned C60 Purple Power™ are available on Amazon. One example is the C60 Purple Power Organic MCT Coconut Oil, Organic Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil, 99.99% Pure C60 Carbon Fullerenes here.
Note its dark bottle to protect against influence from light (although it’s not such an issue with MCT oil).
The other quality control features I think are also important include its organic certification, its solvent-free production, its quality certification by third-party testing labs, and its high concentration (99.95% to 99.99% pure C60).
C60 – Supplement Wave of the Future?
As I said right at the top, C60 is the most phenomenal new supplement ingredient I’ve ever seen.
Even though I’m an herb guy, I can see the potential for this non-botanical product to be a wonderful addition to the cornucopia of supplements out there.
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All the best in natural health,
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