There’s been a lot of talk recently about McDonald’s fries and their help in curing hair loss. So what is the real truth?
Researchers at Japan's Yokohama National University found a chemical used in McDonald’s fries can be used as a base to grow hair follicles on mice. Within days their test subjects had furry backs and scalps. They cultivated 5,000 hair follicle germs (HFG's) simultaneously - these are the reproductive source of hair follicles. Previous techniques had only managed to cultivate 50 hair follicle germs at a time so this is quite a break through! The HGF's were then used to successfully regenerate hair follicles that were transplanted onto the backs of mice.
The chemical dimethylpolysiloxane makes it safer to heat oil by stopping it from foaming and it proved effective in the experiment because it also allows oxygen to pass through it easily. In other words, the chemical helped the process, but did not spark a growth spurt of hair on its own accord. Preliminary experiments suggest the ground breaking therapy may also work in people.
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. This simple method is very robust and promising. We hope this technique will improve regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia.’
Although researchers note more studies are required, the findings could lead to a potential strategy for hair regeneration. The hair loss industry has boomed by around 50 per cent over the last decade and is now worth an estimated £2 billion a year.
As there is no cure for baldness for the moment and there is no testing on humans, there’s no significant proof that it will work to cure hair loss on humans. History has seen successful clinical trials in mice that have failed in becoming a successful treatment in humans.
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