I’m really excited to write this blog post because LipoFullerene is a new topic that I just recently learned about on an episode of Bulletproof Radio. It is a pretty complex topic, so I am going to try to simplify things as much as possible so that you can get a basic understanding of LipoFullerene and its many benefits.
What is LipoFullerene?
To explain what LipoFullerene is and the benefits it provides, it’s imperative to first understand fullerenes and Carbon60 (C60). The fullerenes are a family of carbon allotropes composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube.1 There are a variety of different fullerenes, but the most famous is Carbon 60 (C60). C60 has technically been around since the big bang, although it was just recently discovered by scientists in 1985. C60 can be found in nature in very small quantities. For instance, it has been found in the discharge caused from where lightning strikes the ground or a dead tree. It has also been collected from meteorite samples.2
Similar to how a diamond is comprised of carbon atoms that are arranged tetrahedrally, C60 is comprised of 60 carbon atoms which are arranged in a unique shape that can be thought of as a 'carbon cage'. Another name for this unique structure is a truncated icosahedron.2 The official name of C60 is Buckminsterfullerene (also referred to as ‘buckyballs’). It was named after Buckminster Fuller, a mathematician who designed geodesic dome structures similar to this compound.2 The shape of C60 is what gives this molecule it’s impressive benefits.
LipoFullerene is a synthetic source of C60 that involves mixing C60 with oil. C60 binds to the fat particles in the oil, becoming a LipoFullerene. Olive oil has typically been the oil of choice to mix with the C60 molecules, however, according to Dave’s podcast interview with Ian Mitchell, vice president of Research at C360 Health, C60 molecules are now being mixed with various types of oils. As always, the quality of the oil matters!
What are the benefits of LipoFullerene?
Now that you have a basic understanding of what LipoFullerene is, let’s discuss what researchers have discovered about the benefits of LipoFullerene.
1. Healthier skin
In case you didn’t know, I am a contributing writer for The Derm Review. I write product reviews and evaluate the efficacy of ingredients every single day, so I am always excited to learn about ingredients that are clinically proven to benefit the skin. It turns out that LipoFullerene has been shown in many different studies to provide numerous benefits to the skin.
LipoFullerene has anti-aging, anti- wrinkle, anti-pollution, skin brightening/lightening, hair growth-stimulation, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, and pore tightening efficacy.3 LipoFullerene has also been shown to have a protective effect against the sun’s UVA rays.4 These benefits are due to LipoFullerene’s potent antioxidant activity and ability to scavenge free radicals. Free radicals are the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Free radicals have also been associated with skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, cancer, and more.
LipoFullerene gives a smooth texture to the formula and provides excellent moisturizing properties since the C60 molecule is combined with squalane. Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that mimics squalene (note the e) that is naturally found within the skin, resulting in softer and better hydrated skin. In rat models of dermatitis, it was shown that C60 reduced inflammation and promoted better skin barrier function.2 A strong, intact barrier protects the skin from environmental pollutants, irritants, and toxins, and also prevents evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture.
2. Free radical scavenger
The C60 molecule is a very potent antioxidant. In fact, it has been reported that this molecule has an antioxidant capacity several hundred times higher than other antioxidants!2 The cage-like structure of C60 enables it to accumulate dozens of free radicals before it can no longer do so, unlike other antioxidants which typically bind to free radicals molecule-for-molecule. Furthermore, once the free radicals have bound to it, they are 100% neutralized and do not interact with C60 or anything else.2
3. Reduces inflammation
According to Dave’s podcast interview with Ian Mitchell, tests using a LipoFullerene formula for dogs found that the formula had a 223% increase in effectiveness for reducing inflammation. Mitchell explained that LipoFullerene worked on the cytokines IL-6 and IL-8, which are both inflammatory mediators in the body. It also makes sense that LipoFullerene can reduce inflammation based on its ability to scavenge free radicals so effectively.
4. Increase longevity
This is perhaps the most exciting benefit of LipoFullerene. A 2012 study published in Biomaterials found that C60 increases the lifespan of rats by 90%.5 The study reports, “The effects of C(60)-olive oil solutions in an experimental model of CCl(4) intoxication in rat strongly suggest that the effect on lifespan is mainly due to the attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress.”5 Plus, C60 has a high affinity for both cellular and mitochondrial membranes and helps protect both of these integral structures from free radical damage.2 There is also a lot of research being conducted on the use of LipoFullerene in cancer patients as an anti-metastatic therapeutic.
These are just a few of the many benefits of LipoFullerene and C60. In addition, there is a water-soluble version of C60 called Hydrated C60 that is very stable and is also being studied for its numerous health benefits.
As you can see, LipoFullerene is a pretty amazing molecule! I’m very excited to continue to learn more about the benefits of LipoFullerene and how this molecule can be used to improve cellular health, reduce inflammation, increase longevity, and more.
J Photochem Photobiol B. 2010 Jan 21;98(1):99-105
Biomaterials. 2012 Jun;33(19):4936-46.