Hair Growth, McDonald's Fries and Dimethylpolysiloxane

How a laboratory chemical caught the attention of the media

It's quite interesting that an important study from Japan will likely go down in history as the McDonald's French Fry study. All thanks to a chemical known as dimethylpolysiloxane (DMPS).

Dimethylpolysiloxane (DMPS) is a key ingredient used in deep frying.  It prevents oils from foaming up and therefore reduces burn injuries in workers. It also plays an important role as an antioxidant in the process. Interestingly, DMPS is also used in the research laboratory - in tissue culture. This comes about because of its ability to help oxygen diffuse.  And so when cells in culture are mixed together and need to grow, DMPS is sometimes used by scientists to ensure oxygen gets to the cells. 


A New Study Makes use of DMPS

A new study from Japan make use of DMPS to help early staged hair follicle cells come together to form tiny balls of cells known as hair follicle germs (HFGs).  In fact, DMPS was found to be critical to helping create these HFGs - and in only 3 days.  Hair follicle germs were shown to grow hair when injected into mice. 


When the media takes it just a bit too far

Junji Fukuda, Professor at Yokohama National University in Japan is to be congratulated for the brilliant study. The study brings hope that the tissue culture system this research group created could help created thousand and thousands of hair follicle germs for injection into human scalps in the very near future. Whether these future cell models make use of DMPS will await further testing. 

The study has caught the attention of the media. Headlines around the world all make use of some reference to the McDonald's restaurant chain at their use of DMPS.  Headlines such as the following are unfortunate as they misrepresent what the study was all about:

Scientists Think McDonald's Fries can Reverse Balding

Ingredients in McDonal's Fries Cited to Cure Baldness

McDonald's Fries Cure Baldness



This is an important study. If the bizarre spin on McDonald's fries has given this study more attention, then I am certainly pleased. My worry is that somehow the message of the study was missed altogether and countless numbers of people are enjoying their french fries with a new found hope. I was happy to be interviewed today by Global news about the story and hope that the story gives this incredible research a more accurate light:

Study suggests a chemical found in McDonald’s fries could cure baldness. Is it true?

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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