Study: Chemical used in McDonald’s french fries could cure baldness

DES PLAINES, IL - FEBRUARY 15: French fries sit on a table at a McDonald's restaurant February 15, 2006 in Des Plaines, Illinois. McDonald's announced February 13 that their french fries contain potential allergens from both wheat and dairy ingredients used to add flavor. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(WTNH) — Japanese scientists say that a possible cure for baldness may lie within a chemical used in McDonald’s french fries.

Researchers at Yokohama National University experimented with a new method to regrow hair on mice using the chemical Dimethylpolysiloxane; which is a silicone additive in McDonald’s fries that is used to stop cooking oil from frothing over. Scientists believe from their preliminary tests on mice that the process will be successful when transferred to human skin cells.

The study outlines that Yokohama University scientists have developed a method for mass preparation of cellular aggregates, also known as ‘hair follicle germs (HFGs)’, that may lead to a new treatment for hair loss.

“The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for culture vessel,” says the corresponding author Junji Fukuda, Professor, Yokohama National University. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well.”

The new technique yielded 5,000 HFGs simultaneously. The research team then seeded the prepared HFGs from an HFG chip, a fabricated, approximately 300-microwell array, onto the mouse’s body.

“These self-sorted hair follicle germs were shown to be capable of efficient hair-follicle and shaft generation upon injection into the backs of nude mice,” Fukuda said.

If successful on human skin cells, this process could revolutionize the hair loss treatment industry, a multi-billion dollar business.

McDonald’s has yet to comment on the release of the study.

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