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The 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) is a highly toxic yet highly effective solution for weight loss. The primary function of DNP is to increase heat production in the body cells to make them less efficient with energy.
Although DNP has yielded proven results when it comes to weight loss, even small overdoses have been reported to result in death.
Just like our body has various organs designed to perform specialized functions, each of our cells have sub-cellular organelles which function on the same basic principle. One of these organelles is the mitochondrion.
One of the most important sub-cellular organelles, the mitochondria are responsible for producing energy. They do that by producing a co-enzyme known as Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP). You can imagine ATP as the unit of currency when it comes to the production and transfer of energy at the molecular level.
DNP functions by entering the body cells and ceasing the production of ATP in the mitochondria. When cells produce less ATP, the body increases the metabolism to meet its daily energy requirement. A higher metabolic rate, then, leads to weight loss.
But the heat production function of Dinitrophenol is highly dangerous. This is why DNP is one of the very few chemical compounds which are causatively linked to death. (1) Excessive heat production in the body, caused by an overdose of Dinitrophenol, can cause toxicity. DNP may also cause irregular heart rate, irregular breathing, and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Dinitrophenol was originally used as a key ingredient in explosives, pesticides, and dyes.
The substance began gaining popularity in the 1930s when scientific studies showed that a daily dosage of around 300-400 mg for 2 weeks could result in a 36-95 percent increase in the metabolic rate of an individual. (2)
The popularity of DNP increased as it was discovered that it led to weight loss. It then became a highly sought-after treatment for obesity. And as a remedy, it was an effective one. Some reports even suggested that it led to the loss of 1.5 kg per week.
However, certain side effects were discovered. In 1938, DNP was declared unfit for human consumption according to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. It was taken off the market soon after, due to the side effects. These included liver failure, cataracts, and death.
But its use for weight loss purposes was not eliminated. In 1981, a physician produced a product containing Dinitrophenol. It was named Mitcal. The second resurgence of DNP died out as the use of Mitcal resulted in one reported death and many other side effects.
In recent years, it has resurfaced on the internet and ill-advised use associated with illegal purchases is the potential contributing factor in the death of some users. It’s still available illegally on some websites and is used by body builders for rapid weight loss purposes. This results in various reported side effects. The use of DNP is prohibited by the FDA.
The health benefits of Dinitrophenol
Despite the potentially disastrous consequences resulting from the use of Dinitrophenol, it is surprisingly effective when it comes to weight loss. This effectiveness is the one of the reasons why it is still in use.
There are reported cases testifying the value of Dinitrophenol in curing obesity and providing therapeutic value in any other condition which can be solved through an increased metabolic rate.
Many conventional means of rapid weight loss carry significant risk of damage to some of the key organs. This is not the case with DNP. The primary advantage of the use of Dinitrophenol is that it can lead to an increase in metabolism to very high levels without any kind of damage to the vital organs or biological functions.
Granted, the risk of other forms of damage is still great. But serious harm only occurs as a result of the consumption of the drug in doses much higher than recommended. Higher doses may cause over-simulation of the metabolic process.
However, when the dosage is kept low and within the recommended limits, the metabolism can increase by a factor of 50 percent or even more, without the manifestation of any kind of adverse symptoms or toxicity. Those looking for solutions for obesity can benefit from these increased metabolism rates to help in weight loss.
All of the aforementioned claims are scientifically backed and are based on the controlled study of 113 cases of obesity treatment through the use of DNP under strictly observed conditions. (3)
Potential side effects of Dinitrophenol
In some cases, patients develop a hyper-metabolic state. The heat generation function of Dinitrophenol can induce fever and cause respiratory failure which can cause death in a few hours. Other causes of death associated with the use of Dinitrophenol include irregular heartbeat combined with excessive sweating and irregular breathing.
The exact dosage which causes death is not currently known. Although some estimates suggest that the lethal dosage range is around 2,500 mg or higher, there has been at least one reported case of a 46-year-old woman who died as a result of DNP consumption which was within the recommended 300 mg dosage range. (7)
There have been more than 60 reported cases of deaths resulting from the use of Dinitrophenol. Out of these, 12 cases occurred within the last decade alone. Half of these consumers were body builders and two were deliberate suicides. (8)
Due to the dangerous nature of the substance and devastating potential side effects, it is better not to take the risk despite the fact that there are reported benefits. It is a banned substance and any purchase or trade in it is highly illegal. Instead of DNP, you can turn to numerous safer alternatives for weight loss.
Summary: Dinitrophenol is a highly dangerous, albeit effective, substance. It is banned due to its potential side effects which include death. Although it can lead to rapid weight loss by increasing metabolism, safer alternatives are available.