“Having an extremely low body-fat percentage can affect the cardiovascular system’s ability to function normally,” says cardiologist Kevin Campbell , ., fellow of the American College of Cardiology. For example, in one study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance , when bodybuilders prepared for competition by lowering their body fat, their heart rate dropped to 27 beats per minute. Too low heart rates, called bradycardia, can lead to dizziness, passing out, and cardiac arrest. Meanwhile, other electrolyte imbalances due to too-low of a body fat percentage, not to mention caloric intake, can lead to “cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, he says.
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