When Spanish explorer Ponce de León went looking for the Fountain of Youth, he probably didn't expect it to contain 5 percent alcohol, let alone that it would eventually be found in Japan. 

But according to claims made by the Japanese brewery Suntory, the Fountain of Youth can apparently be found in the form of beer, reports Popular Science. A new brew called "Precious" can make you younger and prettier with every sip, at least according to advertisements. And they don't mean because of beer goggles.

The beer contains collagen, a protein normally found in connective tissues that is believed by some to have anti-aging properties. The claims aren't entirely unfounded. Collagen levels decrease as we age, and the reduction of this protein can cause wrinkles to form. A 2014 study found that women who took 2.5 grams of a particular hydrolyzed collagen peptide (known as the brand name Verisol) once a day showed a 20 percent reduction in wrinkle depth around their eyes after eight weeks. Even so, most of the science on collagen is ambiguous at best.

Whether consuming collagen in the form of beer can make you look younger is certainly unproven, in spite of Suntory's claims. And there's more than enough reason to be skeptical. According to Gunma University nutrition scientist Kuniko Takahashi, “good protein contains sufficient amounts of all kinds of essential amino acids, and most animal protein falls into this category. Collagen is no better than average as a protein.”

Regardless of what the science says about collagen, however, the Japanese beauty industry has become nothing short of collagen-crazed. Many Japanese women believe that using collagen-rich supplements, powders and foods can make their wrinkles disappear, and the list of products that cater to this belief continues to grow. The fact that this fad has even reached into the world of beer is amusing, but hardly surprising. 

The official commercial for the beverage features model Anne Nakamura and comedian Ken Watanabe, who claims, “Guys can tell if a girl’s taking collagen or not!” You can watch the advertisement here:

So perhaps you no longer need good lighting to appear more attractive. You just need to get lit! If only it were truly that simple.

Related on MNN:

Bryan Nelson ( @@brynelson ) writes about everything from environmental problems here on Earth to big questions in space.

New Japanese beer claims to have anti-aging properties
Who knew the Fountain of Youth would turn out to be an alcoholic beverage?