McDonald’s “world famous french fries” may be the cure for more than just hunger.
A Japanese stem cell research team may have found a way to eliminate baldness by using an ingredient in McDonald’s french fries.
The scientists from Yokohama National University discovered the chemical dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone used in McDonald’s fry oil to prevent splashing, can be used to mass produce hair follicles on mice.
The “simple method” has proved widely successful in creating “hair follicle germs” (HFG), or cells that help grow hair follicles, according to the study.
The research team credits the use of dimethylpolysiloxane in the ground-breaking experiment that has resulted in thousands of simultaneous hair follicle germs.
“The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for the culture vessel,” Professor Junji Fukuda said in the study. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well.”
Once the HGFs were transplanted into the backs of the mice, new black hairs began to sprout in those areas.
The technique created “5,000 HFGs simultaneously, and report[ed] new hair growth from the HFGs after transplantation into mice,” the study said.
Though the method has only been used in mice, the team feels the technique will be able to be used on humans with similarly impressive results.
"This simple method is very robust and promising,” Fukuda said. “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."