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C60 in olive oil causes light-dependent toxicity and does not extend lifespan in mice

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C60 is a potent antioxidant that has been reported to substantially extend the lifespan of rodents when formulated in olive oil (C60-OO) or extra virgin olive oil (C60-EVOO). Despite there being no regulated form of C60-OO, people have begun obtaining it from online sources and dosing it to themselves or their pets, presumably with the assumption of safety and efficacy. In this study, we obtain C60-OO from a sample of online vendors, and find marked discrepancies in appearance, impurity profile, concentration, and activity relative to pristine C60-OO formulated in-house. We additionally find that pristine C60-OO causes no acute toxicity in a rodent model but does form toxic species that can cause significant morbidity and mortality in mice in under 2 weeks when exposed to light levels consistent with ambient light. Intraperitoneal injections of C60-OO did not affect the lifespan of CB6F1 female mice. Finally, we conduct a lifespan and health span study in males and females C57BL/6 J mice comparing oral treatment with pristine C60-EVOO and EVOO alone versus untreated controls. We failed to observe significant lifespan and health span benefits of C60-EVOO or EVOO supplementation compared to untreated controls, both starting the treatment in adult or old age. Our results call into question the biological benefit of C60-OO in aging.

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The authors would like to thank SUNY ESF for support in the use of their facilities and Onondaga Community College (OCC) for the lending of equipment. This work was funded under a sponsored research agreement from BioSenex, Ltd., by Ricerca Corrente funding from Italian Ministry of Health to IRCCS INRCA, as well as through generous grants from and the Methuselah Foundation.

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Correspondence to Marco Malavolta.

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The animal procedures followed the 2010/63/EU directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and were approved by the Ethic Committee on Animal Use of INRCA.

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Grohn, K.J., Moyer, B.S., Wortel, D.C. et al. C60 in olive oil causes light-dependent toxicity and does not extend lifespan in mice. GeroScience 43, 579–591 (2021).

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