McDonald’s french fries may not be the healthiest meal to consume, but the greasy food has an ingredient that could have a significant medical impact, according to a study.
Japanese scientists at Yokohama National University used a chemical called dimethylpolysiloxane, which is found in silicone that’s added to oil to cook fries, to regrow hair on mice, according to the study released Thursday in the Biomaterials journal.
Dimethylpolysiloxane is used in fry oil to keep it from bubbling over, FOX News reported.
The scientists used the chemical to mass produce HFGs (Hair Follicle Germs), which were then transplanted into the bald mice’s backs, the study says. The technique created thousands of HFGs simultaneously, Newsweek reported, the first time the germs have been produced this way.
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The mice began sprouting fur within days, The Evening Standard reported.
Researchers say the chemical was effective in encouraging hair growth because oxygen easily passes through it, The Evening Standard said. The oxygen helped enable “both HFG formation and subsequent hair shaft generation,” professor Junji Fukuda told The Mirror.
But the chemical doesn’t trigger hair growth on its own, Business Insider reported. So adding more McDonald’s fries to your diet is unlikely to make your hair grow, the publication says.
HFGs are considered crucial to hair-loss research, Newsweek reported.
“We hope this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness),” said Fukuda, who helped write the study, according to a press release.
In 2016, the U.S. hair loss treatment manufacturing industry was worth $6 billion, Newsweek reported, including companies that produced oral and topical treatments for hair restoration.