Cameron Diaz: ‘Cells have their own sex & they react completely differently’

Cameron Diaz Signs Copies Of Her Book In NYC
Cameron Diaz has said a lot of well-meaning but arguably clueless things while promoting her new book, The Longevity Book. She’s made it to 43 without having any major health problems or experiencing peri-menopause, so of course she thinks you can stave off health issues by de-stressing, eating well and exercising. She thinks that life just gets better as you age and that you’re happiest at the end of it because you’ve truly learned not to give a sh*t, loss of significant others and dearest friends be damned. And of course she thinks that her relationship with Benji Madden is the best, most perfect thing after she’s been married for one year. I shouldn’t characterize her like that. The thing about Cameron is that she’s well-meaning and doesn’t seem as preachy as her fellow lifestyle celebrities, or at least not as preachy as Gwyneth Paltrow, although that’s a very high bar. So it’s not surprising that Cameron did a Q&A on Goop’s site:

What’s the secret to longevity?
Knowledge and acceptance.

Any research that you did for the book that blew your mind in particular?​
​That cells have their own sex—females have female cells, which are distinctly different from the male cells that males have, and they react completely differently from one another. And that the majority of medical research as been done on males, so most prescription pharmaceuticals are based on testing done on men.

Why do you think people are so afraid of aging?​​
They don’t understand what it is​; we only know it from what we see on the surface, not on a cellular level. All aging is a result of our trillions of cells aging, and once you understand the science, it gets way less scary.

In your mind, what are the factors that contribute to premature aging?​
Stress, inflammation, lack of movement, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, not ​being connected to the people you love.


That quote about cells having their own sex sounded wrong to me and was not easily googled so I contacted a scientist who has a PhD in biophysics and works in the pharmaceutical industry. He said that it’s true that male and female cells are different in some ways, but he emphasized that cell functions have much more in common. He also said that while it’s accurate that more drug testing is done on men, there’s a specific reason for that. “If you look at certain sex specific functions of the cells there might be differences, but for most of the physiology, male and female cells behave identically. It is true that there is more research done in males than females and that is because of the potential effects on fertility. In critical phases of drug testing, male and female subjects are included at an equal ratio.

My source also questioned Cameron’s background and wondered whether she understood what she was talking about, and if she had adequate scientific advisors on this book. Cameron’s co-writer was Sandra Bark, who also wrote a book with Kat Von D and has no scientific background as far as I can tell. These two surely did their research, but judging by some of the things Cameron has said on this book tour, her opinions on longevity are coming from a very specific place.

Cameron Diaz Signs Copies Of Her Book In NYC

photos credit: FameFlynet and Getty

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79 Responses to “Cameron Diaz: ‘Cells have their own sex & they react completely differently’”

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    • mia girl says:

      She’s talking all kinds of crap to get people to buy her book. But she is really pulling out the stops with this latest pseudo-science.

      Diaz gives a whole new meaning to
      the hard cell.

    • MP says:

      So people who die young are not knowledgeable or accepting? Go love yourself Cameron!

    • annaloo. says:

      These actresses need to STOP trying to validate their waning existences with pseudo science. They are not doctors, they are not scientists– they shouldn’t come from any position of authority on subjects regarding physiology, chemistry or biology.

      The wisest people in the world know what they don’t know, and admit it as so. I would not put any of these actors — and it always seems to be WOMEN which shames me and makes me angry – in this category.

      Gwyneth Paltrow, Jenny McCarthy, Cameron Diaz and anyone else like that– unless there is a PhD or an MD after your name STFU!

  1. here or there says:

    As a molecular biologist, I can tell you that she has no clue what she’s on about.

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Oh shut up. She is really on my last nerve. What in this world makes her think she is an authority on aging? She’s 43, and while that is probably considered ancient in Hollywood, it’s barely middle aged. She’s coming off as an idiot. Being pretty doesn’t make you an expert on life.

  3. Belle Epoch says:

    So… Men and women are different? Really?

    My money is on hormones, not on cellular activities. I hope her advice isn’t actually harmful, like Jenny McCarthy.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I guess she doesn’t realize that men make small amounts of estrogen and women make small amounts of testosterone.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        And not only that but the ratios of sex hormones shift as we get older, which is one reason why they say women get more forceful and men get more emotional (or something like that).

        So now all our cells are pink or blue? Give me a break. What about people like Caitlin Jenner – blue, then lilac, then pink? Diaz should have worked with Celebitchy’s source, who gave a far better, nuanced, science-based explanation.

  4. Catwoman says:

    She looks way older than 43 in these pics. Must be she’s got stress, poor nutrition, lack of movement and blah, blah, blah in her life.

  5. swak says:

    Now I’m confused, other than the X and Y-chromosome, what is the difference between a male cell and a female cell? I wish she would explain it.

  6. Karen says:

    I actually heard her say that in context as I had the TV on yesterday in the background. I rolled my eyes heavily at the male/female cells.

    BUT she followed it up by physiological (not cellular) differences between men/women. How women have smaller arteries and it’s relation to diagnosing heart disease, and how women experience different symptoms in a heart attack. Both true and women should know symptoms of heart disease that aren’t “typical” symptoms you’d think they are.

    • Wren says:

      She’s quite right about medical research being done on men and that our approach to medicine and physiology is based on the male body. We are discovering more and more that men and women are very different in certain ways and we cannot simply assume that what is true for men applies to women. For example, pain pathways are different between the sexes and pain management strategies used for men are not as effective for women.

      The cells thing, though, well, she’s kinda sorta not entirely wrong. Each one of our cells contains our entire genome, including the sex chromosomes, so in that since our cells have a sex. Cells from a woman will contain the XX of the female genome, while cells from a man will contain XY. There’s serveral fascinating differences this can cause in the body. One being chimerism, most obviously demonstrated in tortoiseshell cats.

      For someone who didn’t have the best education (which I’m assuming she didn’t because many actors don’t), I can see how learning this kind of stuff would seem amazing and worth sharing with the world, not realizing that most of us covered this in high school biology.

  7. lowercaselois says:

    The secret to longevity is to keep breathing and chocolate.

  8. Tessa says:

    Don’t these people have advisers?
    Utter nonsense.
    I don’t think she’s aged that well, she is fit but her skin looks like a rotisserie chicken

  9. sofie says:

    Why won’t these actresses get a clue & realise that for health & medicine people would rather take advice from people who are actually in the profession & not from an actress / wannabe guru.

  10. Miss Jupitero says:

    She has chipmunk cheeks. Fillers? So much for knowledge and acceptance.

  11. Alix says:

    I’m sorry, where did she say her medical degree was from?

  12. Kate says:

    Testing on men and precious few women is a real problem, she’s very right about that.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Or at least her writer had the good judgment to include that information.

      I’ve heard too many women (inc. myself) talk about how they’re “sensitive’ to medications, get more side effects etc. as if this is unique to their physiology. It’s not, it’s just that they’re prescribed at doses tested to have some kind of minimal but still clinically significant effect on a population twice the size.

  13. paolanqar says:

    Enough already.
    Enough with these celebrity quackers who want to lecture us on science and anatomy (or life in general) when they were doing this during their college years, while real doctors / scientist were in school learning real information on the matter.

  14. Lama Bean says:

    I swear from the title of this post she was suggesting that cells are getting it on and producing baby cells.

    Where is my mind?

  15. Lesley says:

    Her next book needs to be titled “what I thought I knew at 43″ because I will only look at her without side eye, if one day she admits that having a good outlook is not even close to all you need, to age easily. Ugh this woman…. I really believe all this bs comes from not having enough going on in her life, so the only thing she is focused on, is her getting older. We are ALL getting older, however we are busy with life, to much so, to focus on how our cells are getting older by the minute.

  16. Who ARE these people? says:

    “Stress, inflammation, lack of movement, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, not ​being connected to the people you love.”

    In other words, being paid less than men for the same or more/better work; precarious employment; lack of medical benefits; unequal treatment by the medical and scientific establishments; lack of control over reproductive choices; shortage of quality/affordable child care; working 2-3 shifts to manage paid employment and child/elder care; social isolation after you lose your social capital (fuckability/employability) plus earlier widowhood; caring for ailing parents with dementia/Parkinson’s/heart and lung disease; cheap bad groceries in poorer areas; Social Security disparities; greater victimization from childhood and adult abuse; no time for quality time just lots and lots of caregiving …

    In short, she’s written a well-meaning but very limited, in-the-bubble primer for her well-off Hollywood friends. You go girl.

  17. Jayna says:

    So why did she get filler before her media blitz if she’s not afraid of aging? LOL She already has cheeks, but it was enough put in that I noticed her face was a little different, or maybe it’s botox and her face is a little fuller from weight on her. I don’t know what it is, but I noticed it in some other photos from this week..

  18. Dunne says:

    She’s 43. A book about longevity would mean a lot more coming from someone like Jane Fonda. I’d read that… (She may already have a book like that out. In which case, I’ll read that)

  19. Birds of a Feather says:

    This is that kind of a book that ends up in the used book stores around me and is thrown to the back of the store on the 1 dollar cart.

  20. islandwalker says:

    I repeat what I said in her last post, dumb as a cork.

  21. Meg D says:

    Diaz is a complete idiot, but just to say, the part about drugs being tested primarily on men is absolutely valid. I recently completed my a PhD in something related to neuro-psychiatry and gender bias is a huge issue in the field of mental health care treatment (and my own personal obsession and area of research).

    Some of the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs have literally never been tested on women, despite the fact they are primarily prescribed to women. And this is an area of medicine where sex does play a major role. Not in some wacky “male cells and female cells” way, but because men and women have different sex hormones and there is a relationship between oestrogen levels (and the way those hormones fluctuate during the month) and certain illnesses. My PhD was looking into the relationship between oestrogen levels and certain neurotransmitters associated with depression disorders, especially with regard to the enteric nervous system. Obviously there are illnesses like PND/PPD that can only affect women.

    I’m not defending her because what she said is just silly, but your source is simply not being accurate. I’m sure in their field, in 2016, they practice an equal gender ratio in pharmaceutical testing. There are certainly plenty of areas of the pharmaceutical industry that do (albeit it’s industry up to its neck in pretty grey ethical issues and CoI issues). But there are still drugs on the market that were only tested on men prior to FDA approval and real damage has been done because of it.

  22. Miss S says:

    If she got together with a scientist specialized in the aging process and wrote this book with her “wisdom” being supported by science evidence this could’ve been an interesting book. But shelling a book just because she is a healthy 40 something actress with good genes and then using bad or incomplete science to justify her ideas about aging seems really wrong to me, it just perpetuates ignorance.

  23. Ginger says:

    Wow! Does she even talk about genetics? It’s like a lottery in my family. My brother got the high cholesterol. I got the blood clotting disorder. My mother was saddled with arthritis and chronic pain. All things passed down to us genetically. Age is only the onset, nothing else. We are all otherwise healthy adults who eat well and exercise. Cameron must realize she’s painting a pretty broad picture here.

  24. Giddy says:

    She was on Fallon this week and excitedly discussing her book. Jimmy Fallon is a good friend of hers, so he was raving about the book and all the very important information in it. She thanked him and said she hoped it would be adopted as a textbook in schools! I laughed so hard I woke up my poor husband.

  25. Tourmaline says:

    She needs to drink a big glass of SHUT UP.

  26. shannon says:

    I don’t want to hear about longevity from a 43 year old. Now, if she was 80, hadn’t had any “work” done, I might give it a look see.

  27. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    Here’s my theory: actors spend their entire careers doing “crash courses” in “learning” how to act like doctors, politicians, etc. Eventually they forget they have only a superficial understanding of whatever it is and decide they can become experts in anything relatively quickly. These books make a lot more sense if you realise she’s (and those like her are) not an expert, she’s just playing one.

  28. Pandy says:

    Well, I’m thinking her cells have given in to aging. She looked hideous in those outdoor pix the other day! ?Without makeup, she looks like a cross dresser. So, go fix your own cells and then get back to us Cammie.

  29. Liz says:

    Cameron looks beautiful. She’s gained some weight but still looks great! That could be why her cheeks appear fuller. Anyway, she’s well intentioned and harmless, unless she’s recommending specific medical treatment.

  30. BobaFelt says:

    why would anyone buy a book about aging from her? She appears to be aging terribly due to her lifestyle, i.e. smoking and sun exposure.

  31. Rae says:

    Is it just me or are those shoes horrible? I’m so distracted by their ugly I can’t even start contemplating the vapid pseudoscience …

  32. What's inside says:

    She is hormonal complete with puffiness from the medications for IVF. Probably thought it was a great idea to write a book about what she is feeling and make a few bucks in the process.

  33. anna says:

    I dont understand with the sea of information on the internet (from general not so accurate blogs to accredited medical sites) why does she think she is revealing something new in a book?

  34. Mollie says:

    Ok, Cam, that does it. I have had enough of your advice. Particularly when you preach about women significantly older than yourself, and how they feel in their stage of life.