They’re salty, crunchy, delicious, and simply irresistible. Yes, we’re talking about McDonald’s fries. Whether you indulge in fast food weekly or keep it for special occasions, there’s no denying this deep fried treat is infinitely better than the oven-fried potatoes you’re making at home.
Now, some folks are looking at this fried favorite in a whole new light. It seems a chemical added to McDonald’s fries may help stop balding. Here’s what science is finding regarding fries and their potential cure for baldness.
1. What’s in McDonald’s fries, anyway?
Your homemade fries may not be as delicious — but they certainly don’t have 20 ingredients, either. The Daily Meal says the fast food giant coats their potatoes in a combination of oils and “natural beef flavor” (sorry, vegans). The fries are sprinkled with salt, sugar, and preservatives to keep the potatoes from browning during the cooking process, too.
The potatoes are fried in oil, of course, but there are additional preservatives added into the oil mixture as well. And one of these preservatives may hold the secret to preventing hair loss.
2. The secret’s in the silicone added to the fries
Newsweek notes the chemical dimethylpolysiloxane may cure baldness. Oddly enough, it’s typically added to the fries to prevent the cooking oil from frothing.
According to the study, scientists used the chemical to create hair follicle germs, which research shows can really help with hair loss. They then inserted the newly-made germs into the backs of mice in the hopes that the hair would regenerate where they were placed.
3. It works on mice — but will it work on humans?
The good news is within days of inserting the hair follicle germs, the researchers saw promising results. Black hair was growing on the mice where the germs were placed, Newsweek reports. Professor Junji Fukuda who worked with the research team suggests these findings may also be key to solving the issue of male-pattern baldness.
“This simple method is very robust and promising,” Fukuda says. So don’t be too surprised if you see this method transferred to humans in the future.
4. Not worried about balding? Some women also believe fries can help you get pregnant
Fast food can alter your body in plenty of ways — but this has to be the strangest claim yet. Munchies notes one survey conducted by Channel Mum surveyed 1,500 mothers in the U.K., most of whom were 35 or under. The survey found 3% of these moms believe eating McDonald’s fries directly after sex leads to a higher chance of getting pregnant.
There’s no science to back this one up, however. You’re better off eating the fries for the balding rather than fertility.
5. This strange ingredient found in fries is linked to DNA damage
While many ingredients in fast food clearly aren’t doing your body any favors, others may be more harmful than you think. Care2 explains one preservative known as TBHQ has been linked to asthma, disrupted hormones, and even DNA damage. And that magical chemical that can help with balding is also used in caulking and sealants.
Chemicals aside, the fries also contain plenty of artery-clogging trans fats and way too many calories. Keep this in mind before your next stop through the drive-thru.
6. Fast food may have one health benefit, however
Junk food gets a bad rap overall, but there’s a potential positive effect of fast food you may not know about. Prevention explains adding a fat source to vegetables, like olive oil, boosts your body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins include A, D, E, and K. Given this knowledge, some researchers suspect fried veggies (like potatoes) may be pretty nutritious after all.
There’s one caveat, though — the veggies have to be fried in a healthy oil. And other fried favorites like chicken, shrimp, or cheese probably don’t have many (if any) health benefits at all.
7. Should you start eating more fries? The answer is probably no
If fast food can potentially help with balding and gaining more nutrients, should you head to McDonald’sregularly? The answer is still a solid no. Though it’s cheap and convenient, Eat This, Not That! explains fried foods are full of empty calories that can lead to weight gain. And because the food is also low in nutritional value, you won’t feel satisfied for very long. You can also expect issues with your digestion, skin, and an increased risk for various diseases.