While approximately 32 million Americans are currently following low-carb diet plans, many scientists are not convinced the trend is safe.

A new study, appearing in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition has reviewed scientific literature related to diets such as Atkins. The Australian paper sites a host of complications being linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates, including heart arrhythmias that can, in turn, lead to sudden death.

"Severely restricting carbohydrates throws the body into 'starvation mode' which can have serious effects on the heart," said Shane Bilsborough, lead author, who adds that restricting carbohydrates could also cut people off from eating healthy foods that help prevent disease.