Low-Carb Diet is Dangerous and Directly Causes AFib, PVCs, Heart Arrhythmia

You know what kind of doctors increase my blood pressure? The ones who don’t know basic biochemistry and don’t care to help. And those who do both at the same time, they really get my blood to boil. In general, people who do a substandard job at whatever their profession is, really tick me off. So now that it’s out of my system, let’s have at the low-carb diet and how it might kill you. In this post I will only stick to the effect of the low-carb diet has on the heart rhythm. As you can easily appreciate, a heart not beating properly is a problem, regardless of what your doctor might think or tell you.

The low-carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet, has been associated with heart palpitations, including premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). Research has shown that reducing carbohydrate intake can increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common heart rhythm disorder. Studies have indicated that individuals with a low proportion of daily calories from carbohydrates are more likely to develop AFib, which can lead to palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, and other serious cardiovascular issues.

The link between low-carb diets and heart arrhythmias like PVCs is attributed to various factors. One reason is the potential increase in inflammation due to reduced consumption of vegetables, fruits, and grains known to reduce inflammation. Additionally, the shift towards higher protein and fat intake in place of carbohydrates may lead to oxidative stress, which has also been associated with arrhythmias.

That’s the common stuff that is regurgitated all over the internet in medical publications and you might even have a physician who actually read this much, even though it’s unlikely. Most likely, your physician has little to no knowledge about the low-carb diet, especially not in-depth knowledge.

Because in order to have in-depth knowledge about anything, you must also “live it”, participate, experiment, hands-on, yourself, not just observe and regurgitate what others said. If you had the luxury of going to college, and you are honest with yourself, you will quickly agree when I say that college, from the bachelor’s all the way to the doctor’s degree, is just a massive regurgitation exercise. If you dare to open you mouth and spit out a new idea, you will quickly feel the detrimental effects. But that’s really a story for another post. At this point I want to highlight how the cluelessness and carelessness of your doctor might accelerate or otherwise cause an early death, and that is by either recommending you the low-carb diet or by not recognizing that your low-carb diet is harming you big time.

Many serious problems start very small. If you are drifting off the highway at a very small angle, it’s very simple to steer back on to the right path. In the case of the low-carb diet, you might get certain symptoms that aren’t a medical emergency; however, your body is trying to warn you. The worst thing you could do is ignore it. And even worse, is to believe your doctor telling you “it’s nothing to worry about…it’s benign”. No it’s not!

I agree with and experienced many of the benefits of the low-carb diet. I also believe that a “lower-carb diet” is useful, especially if you were on a high, highly-refined carb diet before. However, every good thing can be overdone and low-carb diet is no exception. The goal of the low-carb diet is among other things to lessen the body’s secretion of insulin. Insulin is responsible for gaining weight since it causes cells to absorb glucose. I am not a physician but I believe most people know this. Isn’t it a good thing to reduce insulin, then?

I mean, it sounds great. Let’s reduce the need for insulin and we’ll stay slim forever. You try it and: it works! However, you will pay the bill later and I will show you one way that is potentially deadly. I figured this out after being on the low-carb diet for more than a year. I started getting premature ventricular contractions and didn’t know where they came from. Neither did I figure out what was going on, nor two physicians and two cardiologists. Not even the internet!

But after researching and experimenting a lot for over two years I found my cure: Low-carb directly causes potassium deficiency that cannot be fixed by simply increasing potassium! Why is that a problem? Because potassium is extremely important for the heart and many other things. Again, someone who should know biochemistry, such as your typical physician, should immediately be able to spot the problem. The problem with the entire corrupt medical establishment is that people who are good with logic, the thinkers, the “health tinkerers”, people with empathy and brains, they are all barred from the medicine profession. It appears, to me at least, today’s physicians know little about biochemistry and care even less about it. They are highly trained pharmaceutical salespeople who want to support the pharmaceutical industry, insurances, and their profession. Patients aren’t even on the list.

So, when you have a potassium problem, it doesn’t always show properly on the blood work. You might get symptoms and your blood level is “fine”. Fine means, it is in the reference range, which is just a range of potassium measured in everyone, including sick people. What’s the point of a reference range, then? Also, the blood level of potassium (and magnesium and other minerals relevant to heart health) doesn’t reflect what is really going on inside your body. The cells might still be deficient. That’s why your heart is having “hiccups” to tell you “hey, dumb-@ss, wake up and do something”.

Afib (atrial fibrillation) and PVCs are similar in some ways and may have the same origins: electrolyte imbalance. How do you get electrolyte imbalance? One way is too much stress, too much alcohol, too much caffeine, drinking reverse osmosis water, and many other things, including being on a low-carb diet!

My story in a few sentences: I developed PVCs that wouldn’t stop, no matter what, ever. Let me tell you, no assurance from no doctor will help you calm down when your heart beats so hard that you feel it in your neck 5-6 times a minute, around the clock! That’s all a bunch of B.S. It’s not benign at all. Fact is it causes changes in the heart muscle that I could identify in three echocardiograms years apart.

So I tried a lot of things. I tried everything under the sun, a lot of things helped but no permanent fix. Then, I read about Vitamin B5 pantethine and lecithin and how a doctor had success treating patients with PVCs and Afib. I tried it and got very hungry but I saw improvements. Then I got even more hungry. I suspect the B5 really lowers blood sugar a lot. But the PVCs were getting much less frequent, going from many per minute down to one per 5 minutes. I was onto something. Then I got so hungry I said, forget this low-carb and eat carbs to fill up. Then magically the PVCs stopped! And they stayed away for many months.

At some point I gained too many pounds as you may expect. In the beginning I was gaining over a pound per day. I was dehydrated obviously, without knowing it. I already knew about potassium and I was taking it along with magnesium but it didn’t get rid of the PVCs. Because the weight gain was becoming an issue, I went back on the  low-carb, thinking that the B5 was likely what had fixed my PVCs. Fact is, it’s more complicated than that.

After losing more weight again on the low-carb diet, one day after drinking three glasses of red wine, boom, really bad PVCs are coming back! Luckily I now have magnesium taureate always around so I can stop it within an hour. But it scared me because of the sudden onset and the not too distant memory of the last 15 month long episode. “Not again!”

So to cut the story short I managed to stop the PVCs again, start them again on purpose, to prove my point, and stop them again. Now I have 100% confidence in what’s going on, because I was able to experimentally prove it, not universally but as far as my body is concerned. It turns out, it’s not something unique to my body.

The article Comparison of Insulin Action on Glucose versus Potassium Uptake in Humans clearly states an interesting experiment:
Rats fed a high-fat diet developed slower uptake of glucose and potassium, creating an apparent view of concordant regulation. However, the high-fat diet resulted in a dramatically lower potassium ingestion, which is likely the reason for the reduction of cellular potassium buffering.”

Our study confirms that insulin independently regulates glucose and potassium uptake into cells

Let me also quote the words of Doctor Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future: “Do you know what this means?”. This means exactly what I experienced: the rats fed low-carb did not absorb potassium because they didn’t have enough insulin pushing it into the cells. It turns out, emergency doctors know this very well. If someone has a very low potassium level, they will get insulin and glucose as well to help potassium “shift” into the cells from the blood.

Are my concerns about low-carb too far fetched? Let’s have a look at the articile Low-carbohydrate diets: what are the potential short- and long-term health implications?

“Complications such as heart arrhythmias, cardiac contractile function impairment, sudden death, osteoporosis, kidney damage, increased cancer risk, impairment of physical activity and lipid abnormalities can all be linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates in the diet.

The reason why these studies based on statistics, observations, and correlations are not very useful is because A. they don’t help find the reason, and B. they all regurgitate in common academic style the same garbage back and forth. The experimental study with the rats and humans is worth gold because it directly proves the mechanism between insulin and potassium is real.

Now I imagine “low-carbers” will immediately jump out of their seat and ask: what else could go wrong if your body doesn’t secrete enough insulin (because of a low-carb diet)?

And to answer that question, I compiled a list of the functions of insulin, which are far more and far more important than just moving glucose into cells.

The Biochemical Functions of Insulin

The most obvious nutrients that are absorbed with insulin include glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids. These nutrients play a crucial role in influencing insulin secretion and metabolic processes in the body. Insulin helps cells absorb these nutrients for energy production or storage, highlighting the intricate relationship between dietary nutrients and insulin function in maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Insulin also plays a key role in regulating the absorption of various other nutrients in the body.

The whole point of this article is that if you don’t have enough insulin going around, you may have an absorption problem, even though you eat more than enough of that particular nutrient you became deficient in.

Below are some details on how different nutrients are absorbed with insulin:

Sugar Rush (Glucose)

So, insulin is like the bouncer at the club of your cells. It decides when glucose gets to party inside, mainly chilling with muscle and fat cells. This helps keep your blood sugar from hitting rave-level highs by storing it as energy or burning it off. Think of it as the body’s way of managing a sugar crash.

Muscle Munchies (Amino Acids)

Insulin is also the coach pumping amino acids into your muscles, boosting growth and repair. It’s like feeding your muscles a protein shake after hitting the gym. These amino acids are the VIPs for keeping you strong and healthy, and some even keep your heart beating to the right rhythm.

Fat Storage (Fatty Acids)

On the fat front, insulin is like the storage unit owner, tucking away fatty acids in your adipose tissue so you can use them for energy later. It’s all about keeping the balance, making sure you have enough energy stored without going overboard.

Electrolyte Squad

Insulin’s got a side gig in electrolyte management, making sure potassium and magnesium don’t throw a party without him. These guys are crucial for keeping everything from your nerves to your muscles working smoothly. And here’s a pro tip: want to boost your electrolyte absorption? Pair a potassium-rich snack with something sweet to get the full effect.

Vitamin and Mineral Management

While insulin isn’t directly herding vitamins and minerals around, it influences how your body uses them. Think of insulin as the behind-the-scenes tech at a concert, making sure the show (aka your body) goes on without a hitch.

Water World

Insulin indirectly makes sure you’re well-hydrated by managing how your body absorbs water. It’s like the hydration reminder on your phone, but for your cells.

Fiber Fix

Fiber is the slow-mo effect on your body’s nutrient absorption, helping keep your blood sugar levels from going on a rollercoaster. It’s like having a bouncer for your bouncer, making insulin’s job a bit easier.

Plant Power (Phytonutrients)

Insulin also plays a role in how your body deals with plant goodies, like antioxidants and flavonoids, which are like the body’s own team of superheroes fighting off damage and keeping you healthy.

Gut Guardians (Probiotics and Prebiotics)

The health of your gut microbiome can influence how well insulin does its job. Keeping your gut bacteria happy with probiotics and prebiotics is like throwing a support party for insulin.

Omega-3s and Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids, those heroes you find in salmon and flaxseeds, can help keep inflammation in check and might even give insulin a hand in doing its job better.

Antioxidant Allies

Insulin helps your body make the most of antioxidants, those cellular bodyguards against damage from free radicals. They’re like the secret service protecting your cells.

Micronutrient Mixer

Insulin has a hand in how your body deals with essential nutrients like iron and vitamin D, making sure you’re getting the building blocks you need for everything from strong bones to a kickass immune system.

BCAAs for the Win

For those hitting the gym hard, insulin helps manage branched-chain amino acids, which are key for muscle growth and recovery. It’s like your post-workout snack doing extra duty.

Mineral Magic

Trace minerals get a boost from insulin, too, playing their part in keeping your enzymes working, your immune system on guard, and protecting your cells.

Polyphenol Perks

Insulin can affect how your body uses polyphenols, those compounds in berries and dark chocolate that keep your heart and brain in top shape.

Adaptogen Advantage

Those stress-fighting adaptogens like ashwagandha? Insulin might help your body get the most out of them, making it easier to chill out and stay balanced.

Omega-6 Balance

Getting the right mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fats matters for keeping inflammation and insulin sensitivity in check. It’s all about finding that dietary sweet spot.

Plant Sterol Plus

Insulin also gets involved with plant sterols, which can help keep your cholesterol levels looking good, supporting heart health.

Gut Check

A healthy gut means better nutrient absorption and a happier insulin, keeping your body’s ecosystem balanced.

Hormone Harmony

Insulin works with hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which control hunger and fullness, helping you avoid those late-night snack raids.

Circadian Sync

Your body’s insulin sensitivity changes throughout the day, so timing your meals with your natural rhythms can boost your metabolic health.

Exercise Effect

Getting active improves how sensitive your body is to insulin, making post-workout meals prime time for nutrient absorption.

Stress Less

Too much stress can mess with your insulin levels and nutrient balance. Finding ways to relax can keep your body and mind in better shape.

Genetic Blueprint

Your genes play a role in how your body responds to insulin and nutrients, so what works for your buddy might not be the best fit for you.

Bonus: A Very Peculiar Fact About Potassium

Did you know that if you are magnesium deficient you also become potassium deficient? Stress, low-carb, and many other things will cause both. If you have a heart rhythm issue, it’s very very likely that it has to do with electrolytes. First, you need to supplement with magnesium, then the potassium. And the final “key” to open the “door” is insulin. In order to get all these electrolytes into the cells, where they belong, they need to be ‘pushed’ in there with insulin, so a blood sugar spike is necessary.

Think about it, many of the good natural potassium sources are also magnesium and carb sources! Potatoes, fruits and juices, for example. If our body is ‘built’ that way then it’s not too far-fetched to assume that it is an ‘optimization’ of nature to use insulin to transport not only glucose but also a long list of other nutrients that commonly coexist in the natural food we eat.

Summary

Don’t believe the hype and don’t let the early success trick you into believing that it’s safe because it’s not. Low-carb can be deadly. Insulin is not an enemy. Insulin does a lot more than move blood glucose into the cells. It’s, hence, absolutely vital to your health. You absolutely need the sugar levels to go up and down, within a healthy range of course.

Naturally many people eat too many carbs and too many refined carbs. Many people may indeed benefit from dramatically reducing their carbs, there is no question that it’s very useful to a degree. However, you need to make sure you don’t overdo it and like everything in life and nature, it’s all about balance.

If you experience a heart rhythm issue while on low-carb, my recommendation would be to immediately stop the low-carb diet and eat potatoes. I also supplement with potassium bicarbonate mixed with ascorbic acid. I get about 1,000 – 2,000mg extra potassium from the powder. Guess what, it also miraculously lowers blood pressure and reduces resting heart rate. No medication needed.

Another important fact: magnesium deficiency can be fixed quickly within days but a potassium deficiency may take weeks! I fell into this trap, too, thinking that I’m not potassium deficient because I saw only little change after a few days. The trick is to fix magnesium first, take potassium in very high doses (eat like salads like a cow basically) and also eat sweets or high carb foods like potatoes to ensure the ‘good stuff’ goes where it needs to go.

Hope this helps my friends! Comments, as always, are welcome and appreciated!

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