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How does C60 work as an antioxidant?

The Buckyball molecule is an electron reservoir

Free radicals are molecules that have one or more electrons too few or too many, and they will damage any biological molecule they come in contact with. The Buckminsterfullerene C60 molecule can accept several electrons in case of a free radical with an electron surplus, and donate several electrons in case of a free radical with an electron deficit. C60 thus is an incredibly effective antioxidant, not in the least because it does not get degraded or unstable by accepting or donating electrons. The olive oil of the lipofullerene C60 binds the C60 into the cell layers, also those of the mitochondria, the energy factories in the cell. Hence the cells and mitochondria get an integrated nano-scale antioxidant system implanted into their cell walls. This is totally unique. No antioxidant supplement can be reused indefinitely. No antioxidant supplement can both accept and donate electrons, let alone multiple electrons. No antioxidant supplement sits for weeks in the lipid bilayers, exactly where it is needed the most. Except C60, which can do all these things.

One way C60 functions as an antioxidant, is to neutralize reactive Oxygen species (ROS) by accepting an electron from them. The unique aspect of C60 is that accepting an electron does not alter the structure of the C60 molecule, effectively infinitely recycling it. C60 can accept or donate many electrons (it works as an electron reservoir), so it is an incredibly powerful antioxidant in the cell walls (270 x better than vit. C, even disregarding the recycling effect!), constantly neutralizing damaging free radicals that reach the cells or mitochondria. How this works in detail has been explained by forum members of Longecity:


d4shing @ Longecity.org:

ROS is an unpaired electron. If it sticks to something else that absorbs and distributes the “extra” electron, it is neutralized.

See the below for how it works with compounds like c60:


niner @ Longecity.org:

Let’s look at the example of superoxide,  .O2-, since it’s the most common case.  The way I wrote it with a period in front of the O means that there’s an unpaired electron on the molecule, the 2 means there are two oxygen atoms, and the “-” means it has a net charge of minus one.  The enzyme manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) catalyzes two different reactions, shown here.  In the first one, an electron is accepted from superoxide, resulting in the charge on the manganese atom being decreased by one, and producing a molecule of ordinary oxygen.  In the second reaction, the manganese atom gives up its extra electron to the superoxide, which reacts with two protons from the surrounding water to produce a molecule of hydrogen peroxide.

  • Mn3+-SOD + .O2 → Mn2+-SOD + O2
  • Mn2+-SOD + .O2 + 2H+ → Mn3+-SOD + H2O2.

In the case of c60, this dismutation reaction would look like this:

  • C60 + .O2 → .C60- + O2
  • .C60- + .O2 + 2H+ → C60 + H2O2.


C60 can also work as an antioxidant by donating excess electrons again to free radicals:


In short, the Buckminsterfullerene C60 molecule is a “superantioxidant”, capable of neutralizing molecules that damage our cells and DNA by either accepting electrons or donating many electrons simultaneously, and not even be damaged by that process. These two properties are unique by themselves, but on top of that comes the fact that C60 connected with lipid chains (a lipofullerene) gets recycled in the cell so that the beneficial effects persist for weeks after having take a single large dose, or all day when taking a small dose.

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