DNP, which stands for 2,4-Dinitrophenol, is a drug that’s sold illegally as a weight-loss supplement. Online retailers who sell DNP often target bodybuilders and extreme dieters and promise miracle results.
Online retailers sell DNP under a long list of different names. But no matter what it’s called, it’s not fit for human consumption.
Here’s a look at what DNP is, how it originated, and why it’s so dangerous.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), DNP is usually sold in the form of a yellow powder, but it also comes in capsules and creams.
When ingested, it acts on structures inside each of your cells called mitochondria. Your mitochondria convert calories from your food into energy — called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — that your body can use.
However, — and this is the dangerous part — the same process that increases the number of calories you burn can easily overheat your body and lead to dangerous side effects.
Many illegal sellers specifically target bodybuilders or people on extreme diets by promising miracle weight loss. They sell DNP under a long list of different names, such as:
- Cawell No.392
- DNP steroid
- Nitro Kleenup
- Solfo Black
- Tertosulphur PRB
According to a
From 1933 to 1938, it was sold over-the-counter to more than 100,000 people. However, in 1938, DNP was pulled from the market due to safety concerns as cases of poisoning, deaths, and other serious complications emerged.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, a new law that established higher quality standards for drug manufacturers, labeled DNP as “extremely dangerous and not fit for human consumption.”
- wood preservatives
But numerous retailers still sell the drug illegally for weight loss. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, at least three Americans died in 2018 from DNP usage.
Sellers of DNP can face heavy fines and jail time if caught. According to the
Healthy weight loss requires making sustainable changes to your eating and exercise habits over months and years. However, many people are lured by DNP’s promise of quick and miraculous weight loss without dieting.
According to a
DNP is extremely toxic and has a high potential for overdose. According to a
The most common cause of death from taking DNP is hyperthermia — a dangerously elevated body temperature.
Hyperthermia can result in a breakdown of essential enzymes in your body. This can lead to cardiac arrest and coma. Additionally, according to a
DNP can also cause a number of other side effects such as:
Numerous case studies and news stories have been published documenting deaths from DNP such as this 2020 BBC story that describes a 21-year-old, Eloise Perry, who died after taking eight DNP capsules.
The FDA and other international regulatory bodies routinely take legal action against websites illegally selling drugs, such as DNP. However, many companies evade authorities. Social media also makes it easier for sellers to target potential buyers.
DNP can be legally sold as a fertilizer in many countries and many retailers use this as a loophole to sell it as a weight-loss drug.
Many companies selling DNP are based in the United States and ship packages illegally in a way that makes them unlikely to be seized by border control agents in other countries.
In the case of Eloise Perry reported by the BBC, the sellers shipped DNP into the United Kingdom from China using oil drums.
As more people become aware of the dangers of DNP, sellers are more likely to refer to DNP under one of its many alternative names.
Try to avoid any drug or supplement that claims it can cause weight loss without the need for dietary changes or increased exercise. Any product that claims this is either ineffective or dangerous.
DNP is an extremely dangerous weight-loss drug that can be potentially lethal even in young and healthy individuals. Many companies sell it illegally online and target bodybuilders or people looking to lose weight without dieting.
Despite what some companies and products tell you, there’s no such thing as a miracle weight-loss drug. Healthy, safe, and effective weight loss requires consistent changes to your diet and exercise habits over months and years.