McDonald’s Fries Could Help Cure Baldness

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For most of us, a trip to McDonald’s is a 3am necessity when the night out is winding down and we absolutely need some chicken nuggets.

McDonald’s is so popular, more than 68 million visitors grab a bite at outlets around the world, which is a staggering number, but it’s really not hard to understand when you think of the Big Macs or the fries.

The fries are undoubtedly the best fries of all the fast food chains, with the perfect amount of salt and a satisfying crunch which doesn’t go when dipped in ketchup, they’re just magnificent.

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But it turns out they might well have another benefit other than satisfying your greedy bellies – they might actually cure baldness.

Scientists have regrown hair in mice thanks to a ‘simple’ technique which uses human stem cells, according to the Daily Record.

The technique produced new follicles from the stem cells which were capable of producing luscious locks and within days the lab rodents reportedly had furry backs and scalps.

McDonalds Fries Could Help Cure Baldness 1574 HK Central McDonalds Lunch set receipt Dec 2010PeterLigerry/Wikimedia

The cells which fuel the development of functioning follicles are apparently referred to as the ‘Holy Grail’ of hair loss, and they have never been regenerated before.

And the secret ingredient which helped the scientists produce them en masse? Dimethylpolysiloxane, of course.

This is a chemical used in McDonald’s Fries, which is added to the food to prevent cooking oil from foaming. The reason it was so effective for the hair cells is that it allows oxygen to pass through it.

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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.

The cells which reproduce hair follicles have never been created in this way before, but the scientists are hopeful that this new breakthrough will help people suffering with hair loss troubles.

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Professor Fukuda said:

This simple method is very robust and promising. We hope this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia.

In fact, we have preliminary data that suggests human HFG formation using human keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells.

Basically, this means that his crack team of scientists mixed mouse skin cells with stem cells from mice and humans and provided them with the environment to turn into HFGs.

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Over the course of three days, the cells separated from each other and began exhibiting HFG features.

Professor Fukuda thinks that these cells still showed great promise.

He said:

These self-sorted hair follicle germs (ssHFGs) were shown to be capable of efficient hair-follicle and shaft generation upon injection into the backs of nude mice…

We demonstrated that the integrity of the oxygen supply through the bottom of the silicone chip was crucial to enabling both ssHFG formation and subsequent hair shaft generation.

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Okay, I probably only understood about 50 per cent of that but it sounds pretty legit, so all my bald friends out there – hold tight, a solution is coming, and it comes with McDonald’s branding on the front.