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A Health Warning About C60

This is a health warning. TL;DR, many C60 products may be unsafe for consumption as a result of toxic degradation products.



C60, buckminsterfullerene, or 'bucky balls' as they are affectionately known in the nanomaterials community are spherical* nanoparticles of carbon which have recently come into their own as a complementary medicine. While some evidence suggests they may have beneficial antioxidant effects in aged animals, this evidence is for laboratory-grade, correctly stored (kept dark) C60, and not commercially available products. C60 which has been exposed to light photo-degrades into C60 derived epoxides and ketones, open-cage structures, fragments and other functionalised derivatives, with an environmental half life of as little as 19 hours (dependent on substrate). This means that under the right conditions, 19 hours of exposure to ambient light will break-down half of the stored C60 into these products. Mice dosed with 4mg/kg body weight of C60 solution which had been exposed to light for 4 or more days presented with enlarged organs, intestinal problems (scar-tissue adhesions and dilation) and fibrin formation (indicative of clotting) within 14 days as a result of these toxic breakdown products of C60.


Granted, 4mg/kg body weight is a large dose to be administering at once. However, C60 is bio-accumulative, meaning it is readily stored in the body's tissues and so the continuously active dose an individual is exposed to will build over time if they were to take it repeatedly (e.g. every day). C60 and its derivatives are able to be stored and remain active in the liver for potentially up to a year, with a biological half life around 45 days (extrapolated), and no C60 is detectable as being excreted via urine. As such, someone taking a small amount each day could reach a dangerously high concentration of toxic breakdown products in their liver over the course of a few weeks or months, if the rate of intake is greater than the rate of elimination. By comparison, EGCG (an antioxidant from green tea) has an elimination half life of about 1 hour, so is almost completely eliminated from the body after a few hours, and is able to be eliminated in urine. EGCG is a small, uneven-surfaced molecule, meaning it is able to be picked up by various metabolic enzymes and broken down efficiently. By comparison, C60 is a very large round molecule and so doesn't have any easily grabbable segments. As such, the primary mode of degradation of C60 by the body is assumed to be by the immune system, where neutrophils use myloperoxidase enzymes to generate 'biological bleach' (hypochlorous acid) which chips away at the C60 molecules much more slowly.


Unfortunately, most consumers are unable to replicate ideal storage conditions for C60 at their homes, as these conditions require complete darkness and an atmosphere of pure nitrogen or vacuum. It is unlikely most manufacturers stick to these conditions either, with many posting images on social media of their manufacturing setup including beakers and flasks of C60 solution sitting in broad daylight. With evidence to suggest strong bio-accumulative potential, instability in ambient light and toxicity of resultant breakdown products, C60 products are a potential health concern outside of the much more heavily regulated medical industry.


No products at Biodome or The Protein Factory contain C60. After having done the research into this new and potentially dangerous health trend, we decided to share our findings for the safety of the community. We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously and focus on only providing safe, efficacious and compliant products. We utilise only food-approved ingredients with sufficient evidence to demonstrate safety and efficacy and test all raw materials in-house using Raman spectroscopy and often externally using HPLC.


*C60 molecules are technically a truncated icosahedral shape, like a molecular soccer ball