A chemical used in McDonalds fries might just cure baldness

A new cure for baldness could have been found which uses a chemical found in McDonalds’ fries [Photo: Getty]
A new cure for baldness could have been found which uses a chemical found in McDonalds’ fries [Photo: Getty]

What is it about bonkers news stories today?

This morning we brought you news of Doritos plans to launch ‘lady-friendly’ crisps, which are less crunchy and messy.

And now there’s apparently a new cure for baldness in the offing thanks to, wait for it, a chemical used in McDonalds’ fries.

Scientists in Japan have managed to regrow hair on mice thanks to a simple technique using human stem cells, which generated fresh follicles capable of sprouting new hairs.

After observing the mice with their newly fury backs and scalps within just a couple of days, researchers believe it is possible the same technique could work in people.

The Japanese research team had their scientific breakthrough after managing to produce ‘hair follicle germs’ (HFGs), which fuel follicle development, in their lab for the very first time.

Turns out the secret was to use dimethylpolysiloxane, the same chemical that’s found in McDonalds’ fries – which is added for safety reasons to prevent cooking oil from foaming.

Speaking about the breakthrough Professor Junji Fukuda of Yokohama National University, said: “The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for the culture vessel.

“We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well.”

Billons of pounds are spent on hair loss treatment each year, but hair follicles have never been created in this way before.

“This simple method is very robust and promising,” Fukuda continued.

“We hope this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness).”

Spending on hair loss is astronomical [Photo: Getty]
Spending on hair loss is astronomical [Photo: Getty]

According to recent statistics male pattern baldness affects around half of all men and is the most common type of hair loss.

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery estimates that 40% of men will experience noticeable hair loss by the age of thirty five.

But women suffer from hair loss too. Around 1 in 5 women in the UK aged over 25 are currently experiencing hair loss or thinning according to a study commissioned by Philip Kingsley, and a further 9% of the 2,000 women questioned, have previously been affected.

And spending on a hair loss cure for both men and women is off the scale. World Health Organisation figures put the spending on hair loss at £1.4 billion.

So surely the fries are worth a go?

OK so we may not fully understand the science behind it all, but if there’s an excuse to eat more Maccy Ds, then we’re in.

Just hope it doesn’t mean we’ll get hairier in places we’d rather not get hairier in.

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