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Chemical in McDonald's fries promotes hair growth in lab mice

French fry chemical tested for hair growth
French fry chemical tested for hair growth 01:12

McDonald's (MCD) french fries include an ingredient that could pave the way toward a cure for baldness. But that doesn't mean those concerned about receding hair lines should make a run to the Golden Arches.

Researchers at Japan's Yokohama National University found that a chemical McDonald's uses in its fries can be used as a base to grow hair follicles on mice. 

In a news release, the scientists said a formula using oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane helped them grow hair on the backs and scalps of rodents.

The findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Biomaterials, involved using dimethylpolysiloxane in a formula to ready 5,000 hair follicle germs, which "were shown to be capable of efficient hair-follicle and shaft generation upon intracutaneous transplantation into the backs of nude mice." 

In other words, the chemical helped the process, but in and of itself did not spark a growth spurt of hair.

According to McDonald's, dimethylpolysiloxane is an agent used in very small doses to prevent foaming of the oil in which the chain fries Chicken McNuggets, fish and french fries.

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