Wednesday, April 18, 2012


In an article that brought back memories of headlines blaring that practically everything caused cancer when fed to lab rats in sufficient doses, usually measured in pounds or gallons per day, here's one in which the more or less expected result was neatly turned on its head.

Instead of dying of horrible malignancies within days of starting a regimen of a daily dose of carbon, the lab rats actually doubled their expected lifespans. This is attributable to a couple of things. First the carbon was in the form of the C-60 molecular form, popularly known as "Buckyballs". Secondly, the buckyballs were delivered in the heart-healthy Mediterranean form also known as swimming in olive oil.

The dose:
“Here we show that oral administration of C60 dissolved in olive oil (0.8 mg/ml) at reiterated doses (1.7 mg/kg of body weight) to rats not only does not entail chronic toxicity,” they write “but it almost doubles their lifespan.”
Let's see, given a male lab rat of some 500g, this works out to about 1 ml of "black oil" per rat, per day. For a typical human, me for example, of 77 kg, that's 154ml of this glop every morning with breakfast. Mama mia! Thassa lotta olive oil! You might live twice as long, but I know where you'd be spending all that extra time.

Of course it's also easier to get humans to ingest generous doses of stuff they would not normally overindulge in if you just package it in a gelatin capsule and suggest they wash it down with a Martini, so there's hope for this yet.

At the bottom of the page at the link, there's an ad for buckyballs. They are, alas, a large plastic assemblage suitable for science lectures, and for most people, inedible, even after several Martinis.


Brad K. said...

This report kind of begs a question -- Did different doses have different results?

I noticed that oiled rats (fed non-bucky'd olive oil) lived longer than those that got none. (25 months lifespan to 22 months for non-oiled rats).

I know that for draft horses with a condition called EPSM, equine polysaccharide storage myopathy, therapy is a diet change, to replace grains with 2 c./1,000 lbs of bodyweight in vegetable oil. Common oils used are corn, soy, and canola, with little discernible difference in results.

The oil is easily digested calories, and carries certain oil-dissolved vitamins. It is indigestible mineral oil that slicks up the lower tract.

I wonder if the longer-lived rats passed any longevity onto their offspring? Were the fertility cycles affected?

Was the extension of life the hanging on of the last, lingering month for an extra year, was maturity delayed an extra year, or was there actual increase of the quality of life of the mature period of life?

I wonder.

SES Research sells Bucky-balls (buckminsterfullerene, or fullerene for short)

Billll said...

Oiling your innards certainly has known beneficial effects. Most rats likely get their kibble as either dry rat chow in the lab or relatively fresh garbage in the alley. The beneficial effects of the oil in the garbage is probably offset by the rest of the lifestyle which drives a short life expectancy anyway. Still if you can have your life extenders prepared by an Italian chef, that's certainly a bonus.

Cincinnatus said...

Derek Lowe at his blog has some issues with this study. Suspicious mistakes.

Billll said...

I saw that. Not a complete deal breaker, but unusually sloppy.