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Food & Drink

Can chemical in McDonald's fries help cure baldness? New study says maybe

Mary Pickels
| Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, 1:36 p.m.
McDonald's french fries
McDonald's french fries

A published report from a Japanese university says an ingredient McDonald's uses on its french fries helps grow hair follicles on mice. The study has men both scoffing — and hoping, if jokingly.

According to the Yokohama National University study , a key ingredient for generating hair and hair follicle cells on mice is the chemical dimethylpolysiloxane, which McDonald's uses in its oil to prevent splashing.

While not advocating increased consumption of the Golden Arches' fries, scientists involved in the study have discovered that the silicone can be used for mass production of hair follicles — at least on mice.

According to McDondald's nutritional information , "Our fried menu items are cooked in a vegetable oil blend with citric acid added as a processing aid and dimethylpolysiloxane to reduce oil splatter when cooking."

Comedian Billy Gardell seems suspicious, commenting on the WDVE Morning Show that, "If that were true, I'd look like the Geico caveman."

Gardell's not the only dubious one.

Others immediately found the funny in the potential fries' cure.

One saw some ominous implications for women.

Some appeared to be giving the idea some serious thought.

And some may wonder if their lustrous locks are a result of a fondness for fries.

"This simple method is very robust and promising," Professor Junji Fukuda says 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."

Others questioned the use of time and energy on even making the link between the ingredient and baldness.

And one wonders if our commander in chief's self-proclaimed fondness for fast food and a wondrous head of hair may something in common.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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