Unsaturated lipids when exposed to air at room temperature undergo a slow autoxidation. When fullerene C(60) was dissolved in selected lipids (ethyl oleate, ethyl linoleate, linseed oil and castor oil) the spectrophotometric analysis shows that the oxidation is concentrated to C(60) which is converted to an epoxide C(60)O. Thus, fullerene C(60) displays antioxidant activity not only when dissolved in unsaturated lipids but also, more generally, when dissolved in unsaturated solvents subjected to autoxidation like, for example, in cyclohexene. The behaviour of C(60) in ethyl oleate has been compared with that of the known antioxidant TMPPD (N,N',N,N,'-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine) in ethyl oleate. The mechanism of the antioxidant action of C(60) in lipids has been proposed. The kinetics of C(60) oxidation in lipids was determined spectrophotometrically both at room temperature in the dark and under UV irradiation. The oxidized products derived from C(60) photo-oxidation in lipids have been identified.
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