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Can eating McDonald’s French fries cure baldness? It seems far-fetched, but Japanese scientists said a chemical used to prepare the fast-food giant’s fries may restore hair for those experiencing hair loss, Newsweek reported.
A stem cell research team from Yokohama National University used dimethylpolysiloxane, the silicone added to McDonald’s fries, to regrow hair on mice, Newsweek reported. The scientists said that preliminary tests showed that the chemical was likely to be successful on humans, too.
The study was released in the Biomaterials journal on Feb. 1. Scientists were able to produce “hair follicle germs” (HFG) in mass quantities. The use of dimethylpolysiloxane, which is used by McDonald’s to stop cooking oil from frothing, was crucial to the advancement, scientists said.
“The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for the culture vessel,” Junji Fukuda of Yokohama National University said in the study. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of (the) culture vessel, and it worked very well.”
The scientists transplanted HFG chips onto the bodies of mice, and within days, Fukuda said, the animals were growing new black hair in the transplanted area, Newsweek reported.
"This simple method is very robust and promising,” Fukuda said in the study. “We hope this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). In fact, we have preliminary data that suggests human HFG formation using human keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells."
McDonald’s officials have not commented on the study, Newsweek reported.