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Japan Has a Collagen-Infused Beer for Women, and It’s Called Precious

Japan Has a Collagen-Infused Beer for Women, and It’s Called Precious

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Drink your way to beauty! Or something

Unfortunately, beer is probably not the elixir of youth that you’re looking for, no matter how it makes you feel.

“Guys can tell if a girl's taking collagen or not” is the absurd pitch for a new, limited release collagen-infused beer that’s been introduced in Hokkaido, Japan.

From brewing and distilling company Suntory, Precious beer was introduced to the market on in early April, and the light beer contains 5 percent alcohol by volume and two grams of collagen, the main structural protein in your connective tissue that gives your skin its elasticity.

In the silly and sexist commercial below, you can get a sense of the way Suntory is trying to sell the promise of beauty with beer, even if you don’t speak Japanese.

We would like to point out that the general premise of this commercial might be less irritating if it were pitched to men, too, who presumably also want to hold onto their youthful good looks.

Collagen is one of the most abundant substances in the human body. It is a type of protein that makes up about a third of all the protein in your body.

It is found especially in the bones, skin, muscles, and tendons but can also be found in the internal organs, since some types of collagen hold together connective tissue in these areas. Without collagen, all the “parts” in your body would be swishing around pell-mell (not a good visual at all).

In other words, collagen “keeps it all together” and provides a sturdy structure. If your collagen production is healthy and balanced, it keeps your joints, skin, and other parts flexible too.

Another important thing to understand about collagen is that there are over two dozen kinds. In general, however, there are three basic types: I, II, and III. As you shall see, each type of collagen is beneficial for your health in its own unique way.

25 Things to Know Before Shopping at Aldi

Aldi, a budget grocery store with European roots, is disrupting the industry. Its streamlined shopping experience and cost-saving measures translate into big price reductions on common items. The Aldi shopping experience, however, can be unfamiliar and even intimidating to novices. Here is everything you need to know about Aldi and what to expect when shopping there, as well as some details to help understand its corporate culture.

Aldi Is Conquering Europe

Aldi has roots dating back to 1913 in Germany but has expanded into a global juggernaut that now beats budget and premium chains alike in all corners of Europe. The chain was opening a new U.K. location nearly weekly last year and maintains a presence in Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain. In the East, Aldi has locations in Poland, Slovenia, and Hungary.

Aldi Is Really Two Companies

In 1960 the chain split into Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd when the brothers who owned it fought over whether to sell cigarettes. They carved the world up into regions peacefully, but the Albrecht family's younger generation has been known to feud.

Aldi Is On The March In America

In 1976, Aldi opened its first United States location in Iowa. Today, there are 1,600 Aldi stores in 35 states serving 40 million customers. The company recently opened 34 stores in Southern California and announced plans for a massive, nationwide, $3 billion expansion that includes 650 new stores. By 2018, Aldi expects to maintain more than 2,000 U.S. stores serving 45 million people.

Aldi Owns Trader Joes

America is the only place the two Aldi companies compete: Aldi Süd owns Aldi-branded stores here Aldi Nord bought the Trader Joe's chain in 1979, when it had only 18 stores, and now has 461 stores in 41 states and Washington, D.C.

Aldi Is Getting A Major Makeover

In February 2017, Aldi announced it would spend $1.6 billion to modernize and upgrade 1,300 U.S. locations by 2020. Renovations include the introduction of green building materials and systems, including LED lighting and energy-efficient refrigeration. There are also plans to improve building aesthetics with natural lighting and open ceilings.

Aldi Newbies: Don't Expect To See Many Familiar Logos

More than 90 percent of everything sold in Aldi stores is packaged under the Aldi brand. Though the name may be unfamiliar, what it sells is created by some of the largest U.S. food producers. This streamlined supply chain, according to Aldi, allows strict quality standards at a much lower cost.

Shopping At Aldi Could Save Big Bucks

Aldi claims that by switching from national brands for weekly necessities such as meat, bread, and produce, customers can save as much as half off their grocery bills. How? Aldi avoids hidden costs such as marketing and advertising that other stores pass on to customers.

Walmart Is Taking Notice

Retail king Walmart recently launched a price war designed to slow Aldi's momentum and reclaim coveted discount shoppers. According to Reuters, Walmart is leaning on suppliers and manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble to lower prices by 15 percent. Who will emerge victorious is yet to be seen, but shoppers are the clear winners.

You'll Pay A Quarter For A Cart, But Get It Back

At most grocery stores, paid employees spend hours corralling stray shopping carts. Aldi: reduces labor costs by keeping its carts in one place To use one, you pay a quarter when you return it, you get the quarter back.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)

Aldi discovered another opportunity for savings at the checkout line. As part of its simplified approach, Aldi doesn't give away bags. Shoppers bring their own or buy an Aldi reusable bags. The money saved on plastic and paper bags goes toward lower price tags on Aldi products.

Don't Wait For The Bagger (He's Not Coming)

The Aldi model is all about trimming the fat to create savings, and a big part of that comes from lean staffing. Just like there's no shopping cart chaser, there's no grocery bagger. Shoppers bag their own groceries.

Aldi Doesn't Compete On Hours

Competitors are likely open earlier and later than Aldi -- by design. Aldi's lean business model dictates that the store opens only during peak shopping hours. Depending on location, doors are likely to open at 9 a.m. and close within a maximum of 12 hours.

Leave The Coupons At Home

Aldi occasionally issues regional coupons or coupons associated with grand openings. Other than that, don't bother looking -- the focus is on keeping costs low by simplifying operations, and since Aldi negotiates for the lowest possible prices, it does not honor coupons for the few national brands in the store.

Wednesdays And Saturdays Are Special At Aldi

Aldi may not offer coupons, but it does have "Special Buys" every Wednesday and Saturday featuring items from among all store goods, from electronics and clothing to furniture and garden equipment. All Special Buys come with a 60-day refund policy.

Look For Random Deals Called 'Aldi Finds'

Similar to Special Buys is "Aldi Finds" -- spur-of-the-moment deals on premium food and household items that don't last long. Past Aldi Finds have included German specialty items, a Belgian waffle iron, Thai food, and seasonal holiday fare.

Shopping At Aldi Is Faster

Veteran Aldi shoppers know the brand is packaged with several barcodes just so cashiers don't have to spend precious seconds searching for one -- just to speed up the shopping experience. That's also why, in addition to being smaller and easier to navigate than large grocery chains, every store has the same layout.

Aldi Sells Beer And Good Wine

Aldi touts partnerships with winemakers around the world and boasts at least 20 award-winning wines, which it sells in select locations. The company also sells beer, including a Beer of the Month, at certain locations. A store locator makes it easy to filter results to find out if one's nearby.

Aldi Is On A Health Kick

Aldi has created a team of nutrition experts called the Advisory Council to make healthy eating suggestions to customers. It has also removed harmful oils, synthetic colors, and MSG from all products in the Aldi brand line, expanded offerings of organic produce, and installed checkouts without sugary snacks displayed.

Aldi Has A Brand Just For The Health Conscious

Aldi markets its Simply Nature brand for what it lacks: Every item in the line is made without anything on a list of more than 125 additives such as monosodium glutamate and dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (and other things with really long names). The line, which includes everything from cereal to salad, has no artificial ingredients or preservatives.

Aldi Has A Brand Just For The Gluten Sensitive

Aldi's LiveGFree product line is for those going gluten-free. The line includes snacks and sweets, frozen foods, pantry items, broth, produce, and chips. Customers can also find gluten-free recipes on the Aldi website.

Aldi Has A Brand Just For Babies

Aldi's website lists a whole bunch of scary average costs for essential products for babies and young children. Aldi says that by buying diapers, wipes, and formula from its Little Journey baby product line, mom and dad can expect to save as much as 50 percent -- or $1,200 a year -- with no sacrifice in quality.

There Are Few Surprises At The Register

Aldi prides itself on industry innovation, but doesn't stray too far when it comes to payment. It accepts all major credit cards, cash, most debit cards and EBT. Neither WIC nor checks -- which can slow down checkout -- are accepted.

Aldi Doesn't Guarantee. It Double Guarantees.

Aldi insists that its products meet or exceed the quality and flavor of national brands and backs that with a Double Guarantee. If shoppers don't like something they bought, it can be brought back to be replaced -- and their money refunded.

The Founders Shared Shoppers' Frugality

The late founders Theo and Karl Albrecht were cheap themselves, not just refusing to pay to advertise their stores, but using pencils down to the nub and even arguing for a tax deduction on the ransom paid to get Theo back from kidnappers. But some of the younger generation of Albrechts gets $28 million annually from a family trust, Bloomberg News says.

Aldi Is Hiring

Aldi employs more than 24,000 people across the United States and is looking for help to fuel its expansion. Employee hierarchy is simple, and the company vows to pay industry-leading wages and compensate employees with full benefits packages that include retirement plans and insurance.

Andrew Lisa worked on this story. Read more of his stories here.

Follicular Phase: Days 6&ndash14

Between the end of your period and about three days before ovulation, estrogen levels spike, which means you&rsquoll have more energy to work out and recover faster. Woo! &ldquoEstrogen is associated with feeling happy, engaged, and strong,&rdquo says Bruinvels.

Now's the time to up your training intensity.

If you feel next-level amazing, make the most of it by continuing to lean in to strength training, plus sprints and intense workouts. Now&rsquos the time to bust out that jump rope or join a boot camp class and really push!

Semiotics of Ageing in Advertising

We can also map the meaning that is present in how we talk about the process ageing through the discourse of advertising.

The metaphor of the battle against aging indicates that there are two main discourses:

  1. Defensive positioning – where ageing is framed as being natural, that you can protect against.
  2. Offensive positioning – where the battle is to eradicate signs of ageing, with promises of rejuvenation.

Nathalie Atkinson: With so much pressure to look younger, why is the topic still taboo?

This article was published more than 6 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.

One of the most striking images in Terry Gilliam's 1985 dystopian sci-fi masterpiece Brazil is of Ida (Katherine Helmond) nonchalantly chatting with her son while undergoing the latest ministrations of her plastic surgeon, who pulls, warps and stretches the prosthetic skin on the actress's face like plasticine. "I'll make you 20 years younger," he enthuses. "They won't know you when I've finished with you!" Ida is obsessed with the latest trends and cosmetics and candid about her surgical interventions, but also utterly oblivious to how extreme the effect is. Science fiction – emphasis on the fiction – has long served as an interesting lens on our preoccupations and, in Brazil's case, it's a gruesomely fascinating one on the psychology around vanity and cosmetic enhancement. Thirty years later, we now have a different commentary, again thanks to sci-fi – the romantic drama The Age of Adaline, in theatres April 24, in which a young woman (Blake Lively) suddenly becomes immortal and ceases to visibly age, her looks frozen at 29.

The movie's premise is improbable, not because of the impossible logic, or even the idea that Adaline is a reluctant ingenue Highlander who considers her eternal youth a curse. Instead, the most challenging suspension of disbelief the film posits is that if anyone noticed that this woman-of-a-certain-age's looks are stuck on permanent pause, that they would dare remark on it at all. (Only one person in the film speaks up, and Adaline laughs her off, attributing the fresh face to a new cream from Paris made from the royal jelly of the queen bee – then promptly moves away and changes her identity.) That plot twist rings true, because while cosmetic intervention abounds in North America, it's not something we often dare discuss. There's pressure and manipulation from all sides to look young, yet it's a giant game of pretend when older people actually do.

In reading the obituaries of Dr. Fredric Brandt, the cosmetic dermatologist who died in early April, the ongoing taboo-acknowledging was noticeable: industry contacts, friends and a few famous clients like Kelly Ripa and Ellen Barkin happily stepped forward to eulogize him, but many more very famous, rumoured celebrity client friends were conspicuously silent. It's this sort of vacuum of hypocritical silence that has created a nasty call-out culture that only worsens the problem.

Story continues below advertisement

Elsewhere, like South Korea, there's even more pressure to look young, but it's coupled with much less stigma. Inspired by the stars of K-pop (the country's trend-driven electronic-dance-music genre), women visit the so-called Beauty Belt, the cosmetic surgery neighbourhood in the showy, upmarket Gangnam district of Seoul. Doctors are touted as "beauty designers" and the Korea Tourism Organization markets their cosmetic-procedure expertise to international clients. K-Pop stars and civilians alike are honest about the eyelid interventions and facial contouring (shaving bones) they seek.

With apologies to the Japanese whisky commercial Bill Murray filmed in 2003 in Lost in Translation, a new product tag line could be "for wrinkle-relaxing times, make it Suntory time." Since Suntory's in the booze and not the beauty biz, the Japanese brand has produced an alternative supplement product called Precious, a new collagen-infused beer marketed at age-defying women. Aside from beer goggles, the only way a pint is going to help is if someone throws it in your face – though presumably, their follow-up will be collagin cocktails.

That frank and open, if optimistic, faith in a product that sounds borrowed from science fiction brought to mind something Linda Rodin joked about with me last year during an interview. "One day you'll be able to go into [American drugstore chain] Duane Reed and buy a can like Elnett [hairspray] but it will be facelift and you'll spray it on like a spray-on tan and you'll look 20," the stylist and natural skin-care brand founder, 67, said. Rodin also freely admitted that she had tried facial fillers and Fraxel laser treatments, but decided that route wasn't for her, though she doesn't judge those who do dabble – she's merely adamant about not being fraudulent either way. "I'd rather tell the truth, even if it's the worst, rather than get caught in a lie," she said. The pressure to be secretive about cosmetic intervention is as much a symptom of a culture gone wrong as the pressure to look preternaturally young is. Whether it's an extreme makeover or discreet tweaks, that reality is still staring us in the face.

Take a virtual tour inside Akai:

1 / 5 Interior of Akai in Dallas on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Rose Baca/Staff Photographer) (Rose Baca / Staff Photographer)

2 / 5 The Tokyo Smoke with green tea infused Suntory Whisky Toki, Averna Amaro, Domain de Canton ginger liqueur, plum bitters, Peychaud's bitters, jasmine tea smoked and Luxardo cherry photographed at speakeasy Akai in Dallas on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Rose Baca/Staff Photographer) (Rose Baca / Staff Photographer)

3 / 5 Entrance to Akai speakeasy in Dallas on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Rose Baca/Staff Photographer) (Rose Baca / Staff Photographer)

4 / 5 Interior of Akai in Dallas on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Rose Baca/Staff Photographer) (Rose Baca / Staff Photographer)

5 / 5 Interior of Akai in Dallas on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Rose Baca/Staff Photographer) (Rose Baca / Staff Photographer)

The cocktail menu, made by Stephen "Scuba" Underhill, includes "fun, refreshing drinks," Babb notes. "And if people care" — and they do — "many will be light on calories." Signature drinks will include a green-tea-infused whisky drink called Tokyo Smoke and a cucumber sake and vodka cocktail called Precious Jade.

The Last Samurai is Underhill's favorite, one that might bite back a little: It's a soju cocktail made with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, green chartreuse, wasabi, lime juice and a Luxardo cherry.

The bar will also have a Japanese highball machine, a fancy bar tool that's starting to become available at bars in Texas. At Akai, bartenders plan to use Japanese whisky in the machine, which mixes super-carbonated water in cocktails.

What Weird Fast Food Combination Are You?

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

New Japanese Beer Claims To Make Your Skin Glow

For Americans, collagen tends to mean one thing: an injectable substance used to make our most famous stars look even better. But in Japan, collagen isn’t injected – it’s consumed – and a Japanese beer maker is trying to capitalize on that. PopSci reports on a new beer, made by Suntory, the Japanese alcohol megabrand, [&hellip]

For Americans, collagen tends to mean one thing: an injectable substance used to make our most famous stars look even better. But in Japan, collagen isn’t injected – it’s consumed – and a Japanese beer maker is trying to capitalize on that.

PopSci reports on a new beer, made by Suntory, the Japanese alcohol megabrand, to be called “Precious.” The beer will have two grams of collagen per can.

Collagen is a protein found in abundance in our bodies, a structural element that makes up connective tissue. You can find collagen in your skin, your tendons, your teeth, and even your blood. It can be synthesized from other animals, especially cattle, and we have come up with a remarkable number of ways to use the stuff: versions of it become gelatin, found in Jell-O it’s used for sausage casings it’s used in cosmetic surgery, both for lip injections and for treatment of severe burns.

In Japan, though, it’s believed that drinking collagen can keep skin, especially women’s skin, taut and youthful, as well as provide other health benefits. Some health claims are somewhat dubious. Proponents often state that it has a positive effect on joint health, but a 2011 study found that ingesting collagen is of little benefit to joints. But a 2014 study found that collagen does have a distinct, noticeable improvement on “skin elasticity level,” which is sort of a creepy way to put it, but sure! For what it’s worth, the women in that 2014 study took either 2.5 or 5 grams of collagen per week, so the amount of collagen in Suntory’s new beer seems to be right on target.

So, drink a couple beers per week, and keep your skin looking fine! At least, that’s what we assume the ad above, for the beer, is saying.

Why you should forget ‘nutraceuticals’ and focus on a healthy diet instead

Probiotic burritos and collagen beers are just two of the more unlikely ‘miracle foods’ to emerge in recent years. The food industry says nutraceuticals are the key to transforming our health – but the truth is far murkier

Nutraceuticals … do they work? Photograph: Guardian

Nutraceuticals … do they work? Photograph: Guardian

Last modified on Thu 2 Aug 2018 19.39 BST

T here’s no evidence that the father of modern medicine Hippocrates ever said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Some debate whether he’d even have agreed with the sentiment. Nevertheless that Facebook-friendly quote has become the motto for a whole industry of what’s become known as “functional foods” or “nutraceuticals”.

By now most people are aware of the cholesterol-fighting stanols and sterols that are added to margarines and yoghurts, plus the omega-3, the “friendly bacteria” that, according to their manufacturers, can do everything from make us cleverer to boost our immune system. In the last five years, though, two seemingly contradictory movements have swept through the functional food industry. One is that ever more nutraceuticals have emerged. Everything from beer laced with collagen (it’s supposed to be good for your skin) to burritos with added probiotics. Yet, at the same time, European food authorities have restricted the claims that manufacturers are allowed to make. Do any of these so-called miracle foods, then, actually work?

“Nutraceuticals is a marketing term but there are undoubtedly foods with active effects,” says the British Dietetics Association’s Duane Mellor. “You only have to look at coffee, with caffeine, which has a very obvious effect. There’s good evidence that stanols reduce cholesterol and you can get far more of it when it’s added to margarine than you would from food.”

Japan, where the probiotic drink Yakult was invented in 1935, is regarded as the homeland of nutraceuticals. Thanks to a lighter legislative touch than in Europe it’s also relatively easy for food manufacturers to claim special powers for their products. It’s in Japan that you can buy a beer called “Precious”, which is laced with two grammes of collagen and marketed to women as a beauty treatment with the slogan: “Guys can tell if a girl is taking collagen.”

“I don’t think collagen beer would meet the standards required by the FSA (Food Standards Agency)!” says Dr Mellor. “The trouble is it’s a long way from your gut to your skin. Collagen is a protein and the enzymes in your gut are going to break it down.” Nutritional therapist Lucy Patterson is equally dubious about the idea of drinking yourself beautiful. “I use collagen mostly for gut health,” she says, “but you’re better off adding it to smoothies and shakes rather than alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating and a toxin in other ways so it’s not the best thing for your skin.”

In Japan you can also buy a fizzy drink, Mets Cola, which contains added indigestible dextrin which is supposed to stop you absorbing fat. Mellor argues that many of these products, even if they do what they say, merely have a “health halo”. Selling an unhealthy product such as cola for its supposed health-benefits might do more harm than good.

Patterson, though, thinks there is something to be said for products such as the burrito with probiotics. “Probiotics often have a tangy, pickly flavour,” she says, “which can be strange if you’re not used to it. Anything that encourages people to eat it is a good thing.” But only if probiotics actually work. In 2010 probiotic market leader Danone withdrew its claims that Actimel and Activia boost the immune system and aid digestive health, after EU scientists disputed the claims. The NHS in the UK accepts that probiotics might have benefits for treating diarrhoea and digestive problems but not much more.

Proponents, meanwhile, continue to claim much more impressive effects. Most recently a study suggested that consumption of fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and pickles, can reduce social anxiety in young people. “It is likely that the probiotics in the fermented foods are favourably changing the environment in the gut, and changes in the gut in turn influence social anxiety,” said the author of the study, Professor Matthew Hilimire. The standard of proof required in the EU, however, is higher than that provided by individual research papers. “To be accepted, the product has to contain a molecule that’s been proven to work, proof of cause and effect and success in clinical trials,” says Dr Mellor. But he says that his own research into the alleged mood-boosting effects of chocolate is a good example of why it’s hard to make definitive claims about specific, targeted health-benefits of food. “There is some evidence that polyphenols, which can be found in chocolate, may improve mood,” he says. “but it didn’t work in my study. When I gave people chocolate their anxiety levels went down, but that was because I was giving them bags of chocolate, which is a nice thing to do.”

Clearly “nutraceuticals” can work, in some circumstances, for some people. Explaining why they work, though, is extremely difficult. Even omega-3, although generally accepted to be an important nutrient, has its limitations according to Dr Mellor. The much publicised research into its effects on children’s concentration is still heavily debated.

“There have been some successful trials but is it the omega-3 itself that has the effect?” he says. “There’s evidence that sitting down for a social meal and having a healthy diet works better.”

One reason that food is not really like medicine, then, is because there’s more to eating than just its chemical effects. “We need to go back to a traditional family meal,” says Dr Mellor. “It might not sound very exciting but we’ve lost the social aspect of food. That’s just as important. We’ve pinned too much on functional foods.”