Further Confirming Data on the Failure of Fullerenes in Olive Oil to Extend Life in Rodents

The years of work that went into investigating the effects of fullerenes (spherical assemblies of carbon molecules, specifically C60 in this case) on life span in rodents are an example of the waste that can occur following the publication of a badly designed study that produces misleading data. The original 2012 study that led to the claim that supplementation with fullerenes dissolved in olive oil increases rat life span was carried out using only a small number of animals and was published in a journal that did not specialize in aging research. This is perhaps because the size of the life span extension claimed was large enough that it would be have been rejected by reviewers familiar with past results. It is too large to be taken at face value without resulting from a much larger and more rigorous study.

Later work showed that fullerenes in oil are in fact quite toxic unless very carefully manufactured, a hurdle requiring some years to pass, and not accounted for at all in the original paper. When tested robustly, using non-toxic formulations, fullerenes in olive oil were found to fail to extend rodent life span. The original study did not control for calorie intake, and so may have been reporting a disguised calorie restriction effect, or simply the result of an artifact of poor study design and execution.

We might then look at today's paper by a different group, in which the authors suggest that the problem is that olive oil on its own is quite harmful to rodent life span, while putting fullerenes into the olive oil counteracts some of these effects. The mechanisms of interest here revolve around oxidation of the lipid molecules in oils, as oxidized and otherwise altered lipids are harmful to cells, versus the sizable antioxidant capacities of fullerenes. At this point there is still at least one next step to conduct, which is to run life span studies based on delivery of water-soluble fullerenes without involving olive oil. This sort of approach has been tested in a preliminary way by a few groups for their ability to assist in control of localized inflammation, but not extensively.

Given the poor performance of systemic antioxidants to date in extending life in animal models, versus benefits for some types of antioxidant shown in inflammatory conditions, I wouldn't expect much to result from this work. The only antioxidant compounds that have produced increased life span are those that specifically target the mitochondria (such as MitoQ, SkQ1, and so forth), and even there the gains in life span in short-lived species are modest at best. These compounds have so far found their greatest success in localized treatment of inflammatory conditions, such as those of the eye.

Effect of long-term treatment with C60 fullerenes on the lifespan and health status of CBA/Ca mice

Several studies claimed C60 fullerenes as a prospective geroprotector drug due to their ability to capture free radicals effectively and caused a profound interest in C60 in life extension communities. Multiple additives are already sold for human consumption despite a small body of evidence supporting the beneficial effects of fullerenes on the lifespan. In order to test the effect of C60 fullerenes on lifespan and healthspan, we administered C60 fullerenes dissolved in virgin olive oil orally to 10-12 months old CBA/Ca mice of both genders for seven months and assessed their survival.

To uncover C60 and virgin olive effects, we established two control groups: mice treated with virgin olive oil and mice treated with drinking water. To measure healthspan, we conducted daily monitoring of health condition and lethality and monthly bodyweight measurements. We also assessed physical activity, glucose metabolism, and hematological parameters every three months.

We did not observe health deterioration in the animals treated with C60 compared with the control groups. Treatment of mice with C60 fullerenes resulted in an increased lifespan of males and females compared with the olive oil-treated animals. The lifespan of C60-treated mice was similar to the mice treated with water. These results suggest that the lifespan-extending effect in C60-treated mice appears due to the protective effect of fullerenes in opposition to the negative effect of olive oil in CBA/Ca mice.


Full study behind a paywall. So, that's that.

Posted by: Eighthman at April 24th, 2021 7:36 AM

Exactly as I predicted. Dangerous to self experiment with that.

Posted by: Norse at April 24th, 2021 8:42 AM

Did the ITP ever report back on the MitoQ lifespan study?

Posted by: Mark at April 25th, 2021 9:59 AM

There is a protocol involving the use of C60 over on the Longecity forums that is quite effective. However, that protocol uses a lot more than C60 and it involves sequential timing. I've not tried it myself. But I have done the mitochondrial fission/fusion protocol from the same individual, with positive results. I plan to repeat with the new version of the latter this summer.

Posted by: Abelard Lindsey at April 25th, 2021 10:16 AM

If C60 triggers stem cells, there may be a problem with using to the point of exhaustion, without balance.

Posted by: Eighthman at April 26th, 2021 9:05 PM

That's why "Turnbuckle" recommends using it judiciously and only if you are actually geriatric. His protocol will work much better with a DIY version of cellular reprogramming (so as to replenish those stem cell populations), I will not do his C60 protocol anytime soon (I don't need it). I will do his mitochondrial fission/fusion protocol this summer.

Posted by: Abelard Lindsey at April 26th, 2021 9:22 PM

Today I've learned that 'olive oil on its own is quite harmful to rodent life span'.
But... but... olive oil is promoted everywhere as very healthy, a superfood, even?!

Posted by: Jones at April 27th, 2021 7:04 AM

If olive oil is so poisonous to rodents, then that's all the more reason the original study must have been wrong, since they used olive oil too! (How extraordinary C60 must've been to double life expectancy while overcoming the poison of EVOO...) This also struggles to explain why Grohn et al 2020 found such closely overlapping survival curves if you want to claim both that C60s are powerfully protective (more than doubling life expectancy) but also EVOO so poisonous as to explain away contrary results. Much simpler explanation: these new results are garbage too.

Posted by: gwern at April 28th, 2021 8:11 PM

For the correct preparation of C60EVOO, the following must be observed:

1. Stirring should be done WITHOUT ACCESS OF OXYGEN AND LIGHT (even red). Otherwise, TOXIC EPOXIES will form in the oil. It turns out OIL with EPOXY GROUPS. The container for cooking must be completely opaque, there must be nitrogen inside the flask. On the surface of fullerenes, heterogeneous catalysis of C = C bonds occurs with the participation of oxygen dissolved in oil.

2. The degree of crystallinity of C60 should be 99.5% (99.0% has more impurities, 99.9% dissolves worse due to the high degree of crystallinity). An ordered molecular lattice makes it impossible to effectively dissolve fullerenes.

3. You need to know how much antioxidants (oleorupein and hydroxytyrosol) were in the olive oil that the researchers used. If they take oil that is low in these antioxidants, the results will be different. C60 is thought to facilitate the delivery of antioxidants to mitochondria.

4. It is necessary to stir the C60 in EVOO for 2 weeks until the correct color (dissolution) is achieved.

And, MOST IMPORTANT: you must use NOT MICE, BUT RATS! Rats are closer to humans in terms of their functions, and MICE ABOVE POLYPHENOLS!

This research is FAKE!

Posted by: Evgeniy at May 18th, 2021 3:15 AM

Batti et al. also ananlized water feeded rats, which lived solely 38 monts, olive oil feeded rats lived 58 months maximally and C60 in olive oil feeded rats lived 66 months at best. So olive oil increased lifespan too, no doubt! Considering average lifetime the last two groups are more distant. Sample size is apparently 25 in each group! It is not so small and statistical differences can be identified from this size! Experiments should be repeated looking for an exact preparation protocol that does not lead to toxicity of any kind, ex. by light induction!

Posted by: Tereza at June 20th, 2021 5:06 PM
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