About 30 years ago, scientists discovered a third type of carbon molecule. Since carbon makes organic molecules, which are basic building blocks for life
, this was an incredibly exciting discovery. And now new studies on these special carbon molecules are finding that they might have some pretty impressive health benefits as well.
A Little History
For years, chemists thought there were only two basic forms of carbon. Diamond (with carbon atoms arranged in pyramids) and graphite (with sheets of carbon atoms arranged in hexagons). Then in 1985, two chemists accidentally discovered carbon atoms arranging themselves in ball-shaped clusters. These clusters turned out to be a new type of carbon molecule.
By the early 1990s scientists widely acknowledged three main forms of carbon: diamond, graphite, and buckminsterfullerene. Also called buckyballs, carbon-60, or c60, this spectacular molecule looks very much like a soccer ball. It consists of 60 carbon atoms arranged in the shape of a hollow sphere.
Popular Science ran "Buckyballs: The Magic Molecule
" as their cover story in August 1991. This article stated that the unique attributes of c60 "have scientists and engineers already speculating about microscopic ball bearings, new cancer treatments, lightweight batteries, powerful rocket fuels, and the infinite possibilities in plastics and other organic compounds that have carbon atoms as their backbones."
As research continued, scientists discovered that buckyballs "exhibit the same wave-particle quantum duality as photons of light, are superconducting, and can be fashioned into single-molecule transistors." They also "have biological properties. Studies have shown them to be potent antioxidants that can cross the cell membrane" (quotes from "Do Buckyballs Extend Lifespan?
"). They also discovered that c60 occurs naturally at the site of lightning strikes.
Buckyballs And You
In 2012, a team of scientists in France led by Fathi Moussa claimed they found that administering c60 to Wistar rats in the lab nearly doubled the rats' lifespans. This study alone isn't enough for for us to say that c60 could increase human lifespans, but it's certainly an interesting idea. The increased lifespan could be due to antioxidant properties found in buckyballs, or to something else entirely.
Even though we're not sure yet how c60 might affect human aging, you can still take advantage of the antioxidant properties. Crucial FOUR's activated coconut charcoal
contains more c60 than any other type of charcoal you can buy. The only way to get charcoal with a higher c60 content would be to harvest it from a tree that's been struck by lightning. This type of charcoal has powerful detoxing properties, so it's still healthy for you even if it turns out c60 doesn't have anti-aging benefits. You can pick some up in the Crucial FOUR store