The recent report by Moussa et al has taken the Internet by sensation. They showed rather convincingly that chronic daily oral consumption of C60 fullerene by Wistar rats almost doubled both mean and maximal lifespan compared to control.
The oldest lived rat in the C60 group actually lived to 66 months which appears to be a record.
C60 is commonly known as a buckyball and is a pure carbon molecule with 60 atoms arranged into a spherical shape. This remarkable compound wasn’t discovered until 1985. It is often ascribed almost magical properties.
One of those biological properties it possesses is the fact that it is an extremely potent antioxidant. Since oxidative stress and damage underlies the aging process it isnt surprising to imagine that C60 could help reduce aging.
This study was done to prove C60 had no toxicity and to prove that it was absorbed into the bloodstream. The molecule can pass through the cell membrane and therefore could be expected to have intracellular effects, critical to reduce aging.
This remarkable and tantalizing data clearly needs to be replicated, both in rats and other species.
I notified Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, one of the world’s leading longevity expert in the nematode C Elegans, about these findings. ”Very interesting,” she replied. I further suggested she immediately undertake this experiment in her lab, feeding C60 to C Elegans. ”That’s a good idea,” she replied. Lets hope she takes me up on it.
I was also able to contact Dr. Fathi Moussa, lead author of the Buckyball study. I aksed if he planned to repeat the study. “Yes we plan to repeat the study in larger groups,” he replied.
One commentator, Reason of Fightaging.org questioned whether the C60 group was accidentally calorically restricted. ”No, the animals were not calorically restricted,” replied Moussa. “Their growth was not
significantly different from that of the control animals.”
C60 is actually available for around $40 per gram, and can even be purchased mixed into an anti-aging skin cream. In theory, a bold person could begin taking it as a supplement now.
Since he saw its effects firsthand, I aksed Dr Moussa if he started to take it. ”No,” he said. ”I do not consume C60 at this time.”