It's not just Japan, either. In Malaysia, the Bone & Pot steamboat restaurant (Yau Guat Hei), sells a signature dish called "Collagen Soup," using cubes of collagen jelly shipped from Japan, which the business claims is perfect for "beauty & confidence."
Collagen is a fibrous protein that makes up part of the connective tissues in our bodies. The body needs collagen as it helps with skin elasticity and for "looking youthful." However, as we get older, the production of collagen in the body slows down.
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But can ingesting collagen really be that good for you?
In 2006, Naoya Matsuda of the Hirosaki University School of Medicine and others published a paper on the "effects of ingestion of collagen peptide," which suggested that ingestion of collagen peptide could improve "the mechanical strength of the skin" and reduce skin injury; however further research was needed.
However, sufficient evidence to demonstrate that ingesting collagen is beneficial has yet to be seen. Many have come forward saying that eating collagen will not have any skin benefit, including the British Skin Foundation. In 2011, scientists came out and said that collagen creams were a waste of money, when it comes to reducing the appearance of wrinkles.