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Vegan over Viagra: How James Cameron ate his way to a better sex life

By Andie Huber ; Updated May 05, 2018

James Cameron made a titanic claim that eating a vegan diet has had some unexpected below-the-belt benefits. Namely, he says, he has better erections because of his plant-heavy diet, which has everyone wondering: Can this be true?

Cameron thinks it is — so much so that he has executive-produced a new documentary called “The Game Changers” that sets out to debunk the machismo myths surrounding meat consumption. The film explores the concept that elite athletes can optimize their performance both on and off the field by cutting meat from their diets.

The film may be onto something. For one thing, there is evidence that meat proteins increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. And, according to Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist and author of “The With or Without Meat Cookbook,” “There does seem to be an association between poor cardiovascular health in men and erectile dysfunction (ED). Regularly eating vegetables and nuts has been associated with reduced risk of ED,” explains Newgent. “So following a plant-based eating plan is a good thing for guys concerned about ED, including following a plant-forward Mediterranean-style diet or a vegan diet.”

Cameron, who went vegan in 2012 and is a longtime environmental advocate, made sure the film included more than just personal testimony from elite athletes around the world. He tapped experts like Dr. Kim Williams, who is president of the American College of Cardiology, and Dr. Aaron Spitz, lead delegate of the American Urology Association and author of “The Penis Book,” to help with the scientific research.

And while it may be widely known that a vegan-based diet can help prevent, treat or reverse some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, can it also improve or even reverse erectile function?

To test this theory, according to Deadline, the film included several NFL athletes in an experiment that showed how vegan meals had a positive impact on “blood flow to the male sex organ.” But they didn’t stop there. The film also creates a stir when, according to the Toronto Star, “It shows three men in a clinical test conducted by urologist Dr. Aaron Spitz, which indicates that they had much better erections after consuming plant-based meals than after meat-based ones. The men wore special devices to monitor penile length and girth.” Cameron told the paper, “I call it the ‘peter meter’ scene.”

Jeffrey Loh-Doyle, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of California, isn’t surprised by the claims made by Dr. Aaron Spitz or the University of South Carolina in the film. “I would not be surprised if in the future more studies validate these findings,” he says. And the professor concurs that erectile dysfunction can be an early indicator of underlying cardiovascular disease. “By applying the same suggestions to improve cardiovascular health, patients can potentially see an improvement in their sexual function,” he says.

“In my practice, I have seen a positive connection between an overall healthy lifestyle and penile function.” To maximize his patient’s chances of maintaining or restoring penile function, Loh-Doyle recommends a heart-healthy lifestyle to his patients that includes cardio, blood pressure control and dietary changes like decreasing salt and meat and minimizing cholesterol.

Cameron and his wife, Suzy, knew there was one way to get men to consider changing their meat-eating habits, and that’s letting them know it can affect their sex lives. He told Deadline, “Suzy and I both encouraged the [filmmakers] to talk about sex because…. What’s the point of being a big, strong masculine guy if you can’t do anything [in bed]…. Everything else looks big and strong, but that muscle’s not working. I thought, ‘All right, if you really want to get people to change you got to tackle this subject.’” He adds, “I’d love to put Viagra out of business just by spreading the word on plant-based eating.”

Read more: 9 Healthy Nuts That May Help You Live Longer

What Do YOU Think?

Would you give up meat for a better sex life? Let us know in the comments below!

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