Carbon 60 or C60: uses, benefits and recommendations

Do you know what carbon 60 is and what is it used for? Keep reading and we will tell you more about its applications and its possible beneficial effects for health.

Last update: August 16, 2021

Carbon 60 or C60, also known as activated carbon, has the appearance of a fine, black, odorless powder. This molecule is called this way due to the fact that it is composed of 60 carbon atoms.

It is part of the group of fullerenes, a name that is related to that of Richard Buckminster Fuller. This is due to the fact that the icosahedron shape that the compound adopts (similar to a soccer ball), bears similarity to the designs of this architect.

Particularly, carbon 60 is a derivative of natural carbon that is obtained by overheating. It was discovered in 1985 by chemists Kroto, Curl and Smalley, thanks to which they obtained the Nobel Prize. In recent years, interest has increased in studying the applications of carbon 60 in various fields, from industry and aesthetics to health.

What is and what properties does carbon 60 have?

Carbon is the essential element of life. All living beings, including humans, are composed of molecules and more molecules in which this compound predominates.

Now, carbon 60 is not natural, but created. Special laboratory conditions are required to do so. The graphite is subjected to a treatment with a high intensity electric current.

But nevertheless, forms of C60 have been found outside the laboratory. For example, in soot, although in small quantities, as well as from outer space.

So carbon 60 is not exactly the same substance that we find in the pieces of charcoal that we use to make a barbecue. It is a derivative that has some properties of the natural element, but with others added.

First of all, because of the way carbon atoms stick together, C60 easily interacts with free radicals in the environment where you are. Therefore, it is considered to have antioxidant properties.

On the other hand, its particular molecular structure allows it to bind with various compounds. Hence, C60 shows a high absorption capacity, which makes it ideal to help eliminate substances from the body.

How is carbon 60 used?

This compound used to treat overdose or poisoning. Emergency personnel administer activated charcoal mixed with water to give to drink to poisoned patients. Or it is inserted by probes.

Carbon 60 adheres to toxins, preventing them from being absorbed by the stomach. Then, since the digestive system cannot assimilate the carbon, the substances are eliminated from the body through the feces. For this to work, treatment with C60 should be applied no less than 3 hours after consuming the toxin, when it is still in the stomach.

However, C60 cannot bind to all kinds of substances. Those that are corrosive are excepted:

  • Gasoline and other petroleum derivatives.
  • Paint solvents.
  • Bleach and various cleaning products.
Paint solvents do not bind to Carbon 60, so it is not useful to treat poisoning from these synthetic substances.

Possible benefits of carbon 60

It is considered that, due to its properties to eliminate toxins and as an antioxidant, carbon 60 can be used to treat various conditions. In this sense, many and varied benefits are attributed to it.

Nowadays, carbon 60 supplements are sold and consumed and this compound is also included in various beauty and food products (such as organic olive oil). Next we will see what these benefits are.


C60 is claimed to be a potent oxidative stress reducer, even more effective than vitamin C. Indeed, in a laboratory study, antioxidant action was proven to protect against lung damage in mice treated with anticancer drugs.

Also, various investigations have found that carbon 60 doubles life expectancy in rats, attenuating the effects of oxidative stress. Evidence suggests that carbon 60 may influence telomere length.

In other research, the data obtained suggest that treatment with C60 could be a potential strategy to restore the sensitivity of drug-resistant leukemic cells.

Kidney function

By absorbing part of the toxins, carbon 60 would help the kidneys in the filtering process. In this order of ideas, in a laboratory study carried out with rats that presented induced chronic kidney disease, they received 4 grams per kilogram of weight per day of carbon 60. The results indicated that the alteration of uremia was attenuated.

In another similar study, in which rats with induced kidney failure were fed 20% charcoal, the animals also experienced improvements. Inflammation and damage to the kidneys was reduced.


It is thought that gases trapped in the intestine can pass into carbon 60 molecules to be neutralized, thus reducing flatulence. In a clinical study conducted with a small group of people, participants improved symptoms related to intestinal gas.

Likewise, in another study, after taking simethicone and carbon 3 times a day, the participants showed a reduction in abdominal pain due to gas.

Dental cleaning

Various dental hygiene products include carbon 60, as it has antifungal and antibacterial properties. This would contribute to the prevention of cavities.

However, in an article published in 2017 it was concluded that there is not enough clinical or laboratory evidence to affirm that charcoal is beneficial for oral health. Not even for teeth whitening.


C60 is claimed to increase chondrocyte production, promoting the regeneration of cartilage and the tissue that covers the ends of the bones. Research conducted in 2019 verified the effects of C60 on joint damage and inflammation. It was concluded that it may have a potential therapeutic application for osteoarthritis.

Skin care

Carbon 60 is considered can help remove chemicals and toxins from the skin. It would also prevent acne and promote collagen production, reducing UV damage. That is why soaps are made with activated carbon.

A randomized trial examined the effects of a C60 cream on wrinkles and skin roughness. But no significant differences were observed between the participants.

In another study, also related to skin care, researchers analyzed the effects of a 60 carbon facial gel applied 2 times a day. It was found that erythematous pustules decreased after treatment.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of this compound in regulating eczema in mice was explored. Evidence indicates that C60 restores the function of the skin barrier, making it an alternative for treating allergic and inflammatory diseases.

Muscular fatigue

In laboratory studies the effects of C60 on muscle fatigue and endurance in rats were explored. Reduction in the recovery time of the contraction force was observed, increasing active functioning before fatigue effects are noted.


Being considered an absorbent of toxins and bacteria, The use of carbon 60 has been proposed as a treatment for diarrhea. In this regard, a review found that this compound could prevent the body from absorbing pathogenic bacteria present in the digestive tract.

Dermal treatments with C60 are increasingly used in the world of beauty and personal care.

Carbon 60 dosage, risks and contraindications

There is no exact estimate of what the minimum amount should be in humans to take advantage of the benefits attributed to carbon 60. In the rodent studies the doses ranged between 0.4 and 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

On the other hand, results have been achieved on the skin with a C60 dose of 0.05%. Commercially available C60 organic olive oil has approximately 25 milligrams per ounce.

Regarding its toxicity, in most investigations it is concluded that the C60 it is not harmful to humans or animals, although more depth is required. However, it is not recommended for use in pregnant women or nursing children.

Except for headaches, no side effects are observed with carbon 60. Only one study found a slight increase in liver and spleen weights of the animals used for the experiment.

Only carbon 60 is tested for poisonings

Products with C60 are available over the counter and many people take supplements based on this compound in order to fight free radicals. But so far, the proven uses of carbon 60 are related to the treatment of poisonings.

Regarding the other benefits, research is taking place around the world. However, it is appropriate to clarify that many studies are done with cells in vitro or in animals. And even in the cases that have been studied with humans, they have been small groups.