The hair loss study that made news
In case you missed it, there’s been a lot of hype this week with a new study emerging to spark fresh hope for those ever-receding hairlines. There have been a number of articles published that claim an ingredient, nay, chemical, found in McDonald’s fries can stimulate hair regrowth. While it is yet to be applied to human subjects, a study has been conducted by Japanese scientists who have used dimethylpolysiloxane (also found in McDonald’s French fries) to uncover “a promising strategy” for future hair growth treatments. So does this mean we should all be racing towards the nearest drive-thru? Well, not so fast…
First of all, let’s take a look into how these new developments came about. In layman’s terms, scientists used dimethylpolysiloxane (amongst other elements) to create hair follicles in vitro which they then implanted onto the backs of bald mice, generating new hair growth. There is potential that this methodology could be applied to humans to tackle conditions such as androgenic alopecia, aka pattern baldness. Many men and women who experience pattern baldness notice a significant shedding of hair and even identify increased areas of short, wispy strands where their previous thick, dark hair once stood. This research could hopefully bring new life to those bare patches, implanting new hair follicles into patients’ scalps that can regrow their once-youthful luscious locks.
Image: Yokohama National University
Dimethylpolysiloxane is a silicon-based substance, which as McDonald’s explains, is added to their cooking oils in order to prevent the oil from foaming up and burning their staff while deep-frying. While this chemical was used by the Japanese scientists to stimulate the growth of new hair follicles in their labs, a direct link between the presence of dimethylpolysiloxane in McDonald’s fries and human hair regrowth is yet to be made. Furthermore, it would be my duty, as a nutritionist, to clarify that any possible benefit to be gained from consuming McDonalds fries (and really, I mean any) would be immeasurably outweighed by the harm that the other 18 ingredients in those golden fries could do.
So, before you go stocking up on McDonalds, it’s probably best to leave hair regrowth management to the professionals. And until this new treatment becomes available for human use, I’d suggest you continue on with eating a balanced, wholefood diet so that you can help your body help you!