This might be the only plus side to McDonald’s fries containing nearly 20 ingredients: One of those ingredients could be the key to a better head of hair. Japanese scientists believe they’ve found the cure for baldness, and (lucky us) it’s been furtively fed to Americans for years in baskets of McDonald’s fries.
The researchers found that the chemical, dimethylpolysiloxane, could actually help grow new hair follicles that could then be transplanted into mice. Some people experience baldness because their hair follicles have shrunk; new, larger follicles would be a major step towards future hair growth, essentially curing baldness.
According to the scientists, this discovery is “promising” for improving current techniques for hair regeneration.
One might think McDonald’s would be more psyched about sharing the use of this miracle ingredient with its customers. Currently, the fast food chain banishes all mention of the chemical to the bottom of their webpage (we had to really scour) in a very large paragraph with very tiny print. This clandestine clause is filled with caveats about their food production and ingredient lists.
It states, “Our fried menu items are cooked in a vegetable oil blend with citric acid added as a processing aid and dimethylpolysiloxane to reduce oil splatter when cooking.” In other words, dimethylpolysiloxane is a chemical added to McDonald’s oil before they cook their famous fries. The Daily Meal reached out to ask about their use of the ingredient, but McDonald’s declined to comment.
We suppose we’re lucky the chemical simply promotes hair growth and doesn’t promote the growth of, I don’t know, cancer or a few extra toes.
It’s worth noting that just because the fries contain this useful chemical doesn’t mean eating them is a good idea. Firstly, the follicle-growing chemical isn’t the only ingredient you’re consuming with your basket of fries.
Secondly, it’s quite a leap to assume that eating a ton of fries is an effective treatment for baldness. The mice being tested didn’t actually eat the chemical — for the purposes of the study, mice were injected with hair follicles created by using polydimethylsiloxane in a separate controlled environment.
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s famous fries have been fabled to have medicinal properties. A group of moms-to-be in England thought eating fries would get them pregnant — spoiler alert, they couldn’t do that, either. What they can do is add hundreds of calories to your greasy fast food meal.