To stay young, Japan's ageing population is eating a diet rich in collagen.
From winter hot pots and pigs trotters to sweets, jams and noodles, Japanese women are munching on an array of menus, which are being promoted as rich in collagen.
"Beauty" restaurants across the country are serving collagen hot pots in which lumps of the translucent tasteless protein are blended into a medley of vegetables, meat or fish.
Dishes that are naturally rich in collagen are becoming increasing popular and are appearing on menus as anti-ageing specials.
However, Kuniko Takahashi, a nutrition scientist at Gunma University debunks the myth that eating collagen is no more effective an anti-ageing method than consuming any other protein-rich food.
"Good protein contains sufficient amounts of all kinds of essential amino acids, and most animal protein falls into this category," the Telegraph quoted Professor Takahashi as writing in her latest book "Tabemono Joho Uso Honto" [Truth and Falsehood of Food Information].
"Collagen is no better than average as a protein," she added.
According to reports, the sales of collagen hot pots - known as "nabe" have been sold more than double their initial target since last November.