French scientists in an experiment on rats are supposed to have determined that a relatively easy to produce substance called Buckminsterfullerine (commonly known as buckyballs) when added to the diet of rats may nearly double their life expectancy. Per the article:
In a clinical trial, scientists at Université Paris Sud in France fed three groups of rats different substances. The first group was a control, the second was fed olive oil, and the third was given a mixture of olive oil and Buckminsterfullerine. The control group had a lifespan of only 22 months, and the olive oil group lived a median of 26 months. But the group that was fed the mixture? The results were quite surprising to researchers, who were performing the test to determine the toxicity of Buckminsterfullerine — rats in group three lived an astonishing 42 months. According to the research published in the April 10 edition of Biomaterials, Buckminsterfullerine — affectionately nicknamed buckyballs — works by reducing the oxidative stress that causes aging.
Very interesting, John, and thanks. I was under the impression that the association of oxidative stress to aging, and the assumed benefits of antioxidants, was still in question. Oxidative stress: Less harmful than suspected? This evidence weighs on the pro-antixoidant side, if they're sure this is the mechanism.
Maybe the buckyballs are in some way extending the functionality of the telomeres at the end of the chromosomes. For some time it has been known that doing this can extend life expectancy and even reverse aging to some extent in mice.
As always, the research on mice sounds great until you come to the "gotcha". Oh yeah, cancer.
Is there nothing buckminsterfullerenes can't do?
I hope the findings apply to us and that we don't have to wait our average life expectancy to experimentally find out.