Sneak Peek of Dr. Brendan McCarthy’s New Book: Chapter 8

We gave you all a very special sneak peek of chapter 2 from Dr. McCarthy’s soon to be completed debut book! And now we’re back with a very exclusive preview of chapter 8 from Dr. McCarthy’s book.

Chapter 8 is a callback to Julie and her story from chapter 2. In chapter 8 we see an alternate reality for Julie, one that sees her take control of her health. Chapter 8 shows us how empowering it is to become educated about your own body, and in a way that most doctors won’t help you achieve.

Dr. McCarthy details the steps a woman can take to become better acquainted with her own body. Let’s look at a bit of chapter 8 and see what we can learn from this version of Julie, who is in control of her health.

Chapter 8

Julie’s New Story 

Do you remember the story of Julie that I shared with you in chapter 2? Julie was lost and struggling after a lifetime of feeling ignored and dismissed by her doctor.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. After Julie learns the same information you have just learned, and understands her body and her mind, she has a new story. And the earlier she learns it, the faster her new story begins.

At age thirteen, Julie experiences irregular periods complicated by severe cramping. Julie’s mother and father—her healthcare advocates while she is a minor—seek out a physician experienced in treating young women her age. They find one who first works to discover the cause of hormone problems before prescribing birth control. Her doctor tells Julie that she was right to come in—this is not normal. He also informs her that it can be common to have symptoms like this if you have low progesterone, which is also common at her age.

Julie’s doctor runs a battery of labs to make sure that nothing more complicated is happening. When the labs confirm his suspicions, her doctor prescribes a course of low-dose natural progesterone. He re-tests her each month and keeps Julie on this therapy for a few months, until she begins to naturally generate her own progesterone. Then she is able to stop taking it because she no longer needs to—her body makes enough on its own.

When Julie enters college, she does so with a normal level of testosterone because she never took oral contraceptives. She finds that she doesn’t have the same weight gain that her classmates experience. With normal testosterone levels, Julie’s body responds to exercise with healthy muscle development and healthy fat metabolism.

When she has her children, Julie doesn’t suffer from post-partum depression. She knows that low progesterone can cause depression, and she is aware of how common it is for a woman to have lowered levels after birth. Her obstetrician follows her case, periodically testing her labs. When she does notice a deficiency, the doctor prescribes natural progesterone to maintain Julie’s neurological health.

Julie never needs to take an anti-depressant.

After her three children are born and before she goes back to work full-time, Julie consults her doctor regarding work-life balance. She and her husband create a healthy schedule that equally distributes the housework as well as the responsibility of parenting. With this balance, she is able to advance her career and feel fulfilled in her home life.

In her mid-thirties, Julie begins to feel some anxiety. Her physician affirms that this is possibly due to diminishing levels of progesterone, common for a woman in her age group. She is premenopausal, and her body is losing its ability to generate progesterone naturally. Once the level is confirmed, Julie is given a long-term protocol including prescribed progesterone and regular lab work. Her anxiety disappears.

Julie notices some weight gain when she is in her forties. Her physician runs a thorough exam of her thyroid and discovers she has a diminished amount of the active hormone T3. Julie is told this is a normal aspect of aging. Her physician prescribes her a very low dose of natural thyroid. Her weight normalizes within a few months. Julie sleeps well, has a healthy libido, and feels good. More importantly, her body feels right.

Now Julie is empowered to change her narrative.

She is ready to take her health into her own hands.


Visit Protea Glendale for Our Patented Nutritional Injection-Shot Bar

To all Protea patients — old, new and those who will join us soon — we invite you to come by our Glendale location to try out our intramuscular shot bar.

We have a slew of custom-created nutritional injections we developed specifically for our patients. We spent hours, days and weeks carefully crafting blends of vitamins and nutrients to address a variety of needs we regularly see in our patients.

At our Shot Bar, we offer nutritional injections that help aid weight-loss, enhance endurance and lower cholesterol. We also provide injections designed with women in mind. For example, our “Femshot” combines B-6, MIC and Methyl b-12 to enhance the healthy metabolism of estrogen in a woman’s body.

We also let our patients design their own shots to suit their needs. We’ll meet with you, speak with you and help you craft your very own nutritional injection based on your individual body.

Come by Protea Glendale, and pay our shot bar a visit. We are happy to help you live your healthiest life!

Sneak Peek of Dr. Brendan McCarthy’s New Book: Chapter 2

Dr. McCarthy has been up to something super secret, but very exciting! And we’re here to share some of it with you today. Dr. McCarthy has been working on his first ever book, and it is almost ready to see the light of day. But we wanted to get ahead of the curve and give you all a special preview of the book before it’s officially published and released.

This currently untitled project is slated to be released in early fall, so keep your eyes peeled for details regarding that. And we will also be throwing a celebratory launch party once the book is released!

Dr. McCarthy wrote this book to give power back to the patients — his patients and those who haven’t had the pleasure of being treated by Dr. McCarthy. Far too often women are treated poorly by the medical community. Appointments are quick, a bedside manner is nonexistent and symptoms are treated with hasty prescriptions.

This book is designed to educate and empower the reader. Read below to see a preview of chapter two from Dr. McCarthty’s soon to be released book!

Chapter 2

Julie’s Story

I want to share with you the story of a woman named Julie.

It begins at age thirteen, when Julie experiences her first period. Her menstrual cycle is compli- cated and irregular, with cramping over the first few days. Her mother assures her this is normal, but when Julie begins missing a day of school every month, her parents take her to see the family doctor. “These symptoms are normal for a girl your age,” he tells her, and prescribes oral contra- ceptive pills for the cramps. Julie’s parents assume that their doctor would warn them of any sig- nificant side effects, and they fill the prescription.

By college, Julie no longer has difficult periods, but she feels as if she has to be very strict with her diet to prevent weight gain. When Julie brings this up at the campus clinic, the nurse assures her that the weight gain has nothing to do with the birth control pills. “Just exercise more and eat less,” advises the nurse.

Julie graduates, begins her career, and at twenty-six, she meets a guy and falls in love. They get married. Two years later, she stops her birth control. By age twenty-nine, she conceives her first child.

Julie experiences post-partum depression. When she reports this to her OB, he prescribes her Zoloft for six months.

Over the next four years, Julie has two more children. After each childbirth, she experiences some depression and uses Zoloft.

Her anxiety comes back and won’t be ignored. Her regular doctor prescribes Xanax.

By thirty-five, Julie stops taking Zoloft, gets back on birth control, and goes back to work. She works harder than ever before. Every morning, Julie wakes up early to exercise, then gets the kids up and ready for school and sees them out the door. She puts in a full day at the office, then shuttles the kids to after-school activities before coming home to supervise homework while making dinner. After dinner, she cleans the kitchen, puts the kids to bed, and folds laundry while watching TV. Then she falls into bed and gets up early to start all over again.

Since college, Julie has worked hard to keep her weight in the healthy range. This all changes in her forties, when she gains fifteen pounds. Her routine of careful diet and regular exercise no longer works for her. She restricts her diet to 1,000 calories per day and trains for and completes several marathons. But Julie still can’t keep her weight under control.

Additionally, Julie now begins experiencing insomnia, low libido, fatigue, and depression. Her physician listens to the list of symptoms, runs a battery of tests, and tells her she is “fine.” He prescribes Ambien for sleep, recommends going back on Zoloft, and renews her prescription for Xanax. “Don’t forget that you need to eat less and exercise more,” he reminds her. He also im- plies that if she lost weight, her libido would return.

Julie wants to ask, “What happened to my body? What happened to my zest, my happiness? Why do I need all these medications—and then when I take them, I still don’t feel right?”

Could there have been another way? she wonders.

The Owner’s Manual

Julie is an amalgam of many patients I have seen, and her story is a universal and depressing one. As you read through the rest of this book, see if you recognize Julie—or yourself. Her plight oc- curs because, too often, doctors only focus on a patient’s symptoms. They don’t apply them- selves to the question of why she has those symptoms to begin with.

This is where we step in.

We are going to break this cycle. And it begins by understanding what is happening in your body and mind, and taking charge of both.

You may be asking yourself, “Why is this so important? I’ve lived in this body all my life. Don’t I know everything I really need to know about it, by now?”

Think of the information in this chapter as the owner’s manual to your body.

When you learn how to drive, you are taught the basics of a car and how it works. You need to know where the engine is, that it has brakes, and how the steering wheel controls the four tires. After that, you learn about which gasoline to put in it and why. You learn about oil and how it keeps the engine running. You may even choose to discover more about the finer systems that work within your vehicle.

And just as you need this information before you get behind the wheel, you also need to know the basics of your body and its functions.

This information orients you within the systems of your body. With that understanding, you also take control of your mind and your ability to do something when one of those systems misfires.

You take your car to a mechanic for tune-ups. Similarly, you see your doctor to keep everything running smoothly in your body. As most women have experienced, Mechanics are not always acting in a woman’s best interest. In the case of Julie, neither were her doctors.

Once you understand the different pieces and how they work together, you can make educated decisions about your health. You can have effective conversations with your doctor to help you get everything back in balance.

You are empowered to take control of your body, your mind, and your life.

In this chapter, we will cover the physical parts of your body, including your brain, and how they work. We’ll also break down twelve of the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect your body and mind the most.



The Cost of Crash Diets – An In-Depth Examination of the hCG Very Low Calorie Diet

It’s summer. And society is screaming at you about “beach bodies!” And maybe you’re genuinely, and dangerously, overweight — and you do really need to shed pounds. Regardless of your circumstances, trendy and flashy crash diets are — sadly — always “in style,” but never any good.

And one trendy crash-diet that has been really influencing people lately (and for a long time too) is the hCG VLCD, or: human chorionic gonadotropin very low calorie diet. hCG is made by the placenta during pregnancy — and as this diet dictates, you get injected with hCG. The “very low calorie diet” portion of the process means you have a daily limit of 500 kcal (kilocalories).

Does this sound dangerous yet?

The traditional hCG VLCD is a 26-day process that involves 23 injections. In fact, quotes Dr. Simeons (the inventor of the hCG diet), “Patients who need to lose 15 pounds or, 7 kilos or less require 26 days treatment with 23 daily injections.”

But some simple research of published studies quickly shows you how detrimental this is to your health. Let’s start with the hormonal component of this diet: human chorionic gonadotropin injections.

The Food and Drug Administration warns that hCG does not aid in weight loss, and has issued joint warning letters to firms marketing hCG for weight loss. Injecting hCG as part of a weight loss treatment is not an approved usage by the FDA. In fact, the FDA attaches a warning label to approved hCG products stating, “There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”

Furthermore, hCG is a hormone, and interfering with your hormonal balance without careful supervision and testing can have consequences. hCG injections have been associated with headaches, blood clots, leg cramps, temporary hair thinning, constipation, and breast tenderness.

Now that we’ve addressed the dangerous and recklessly false promises of hCG, with help from the FDA, let’s dig into some scientific studies for some hard facts on how starvation diets will harm you.

Which brings us to the 500 calories a day part of the diet. Eating only 500 kcal a day is a starvation diet. There are no two ways around it.

Here’s one major problem: starvation diets can result in diabetes. Let’s look at a study that was published in 1996. Michael Koffler and Eldad S. Kisch examined seven initially obese individuals. All seven participants underwent “a strenuous weight-reduction program” involving severe calorie reduction and “developed diabetes mellitus: non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in five cases and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in two cases” (Koffler M, Kisch ES. J Diabetes Complications. 1996 Mar-Apr;10(2):109-12).

Starvation diets can even result in sudden death in obese patients. The abstract of a 1992 study states, “A major concern with the use of starvation or semistarvation diets for weight reduction in severely obese people has been the reports of sudden death due to ventricular arrhythmias” (Fisler, Janis S. “Cardiac effects of starvation and semistarvation diets: safety and mechanisms of action.” Am J C/in Nuir 1992:56:2305-45).

Finally a 1987 study conducted by Barrows and Snook on the effects of a very low calorie diet; this study concerned a 420 kcal/day diet — only an 80 kcal difference between this study and our hCG VLCD crash diet in question. The study’s abstract states, “A 4-6 mo study was conducted to examine effects of a very-low-calorie, high-protein diet and realimentation on energy expenditure, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and serum thyroid hormones of obese women aged 30-54 yr. Fifteen healthy women, greater than or equal to 126% ideal body weight, were placed on the diet (420 kcal/day) and lost an average of 1.1 kg/wk until a predetermined goal weight was attained.” As the study ended, it was found that “T3 values remained significantly below pre-study values” (Barrows K, Snook JT Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Feb;45(2):391-8).

Ok, there’s a lot there. The takeaway is: the study was 4-6 months, the participants were 15 healthy yet obese women aged 35-54, and they were placed on a restrictive 420 kcal/day diet. And, “T3 values remained significantly below pre-study values.” But what does that mean in simple terms? Well, low T3 is commonly seen as an indicator of starvation or hypothyroidism — and guess what… A common and major symptom of hypothyroidism is unexplained weight gain. This is all a big and technical way of saying: a severe crash diet will actually cause you to gain weight in the long run.

So here we are in 2017, still discussing hCG and the very low calorie diet. People still believe this is a safe way to lose weight. But our secondary research has shown that there is a history of scientific studies that show the dangers of hCG and the very low calorie diet. And to be clear, just some of those dangers are: symptoms associated with hypothyroidism (like a poorly functioning metabolism), diabetes and even death.

Those are just a few (very serious) examples of why we don’t take diets lightly at Protea. Our mission hinges on helping you live a healthy and happy life — and health and happiness don’t come from quick fixes in a syringe… or from starving yourself.

Everyone’s path to their healthiest self is different. That’s why we take the time to deeply and thoroughly examine our patients. We run extensive labwork, and we talk with you. We use hard data, as well as insight gained from speaking with you, to determine how we can help you enhance your life — with an actual lifestyle change. And with that lifestyle change, that we discover together, you will find your version of success.


Works Cited:

  • Medication Health Fraud – Questions and Answers on HCG Products for Weight Loss Center for Drug Evaluation and Research –
  • “How to Do the hCG Diet – Original Diet hCG” Dr. Simeons’s hCG Diet WebMaster,
  • Koffler M, Kisch ES. “Starvation diet and very-low-calorie diets may induce insulin resistance and overt diabetes mellitus.” J Diabetes Complications. 1996 Mar-Apr;10(2):109-12,
  • Fisler, Janis S. “Cardiac effects of starvation and semistarvation diets: safety and mechanisms of action.” Am J C/in Nuir 1992:56:2305-45,
  • Barrows K, Snook JT. “Effect of a high-protein, very-low-calorie diet on resting metabolism, thyroid hormones, and energy expenditure of obese middle-aged women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Feb;45(2):391-8,