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DNP, also known as 2,4-dinitrophenol, has recently started to make somewhat of a comeback in the world of dieting and weight loss. There are many substances people abuse in order to lose weight, substances that are not designed for this purpose and we must advise from the very start that this is an extremely dangerous chemical and has been linked to many deaths.

It is important to note that DNP is not designed to be a weight loss supplement. Whilst it was marketed as such during the early 1980’s it is predominantly used as a commercial industrial chemical.

This article will provide you with all the information you need to know regarding DNP.

What is DNP?

DNP is a yellow, crystalline, organic compound that is commercially used in pesticide, antiseptic, photographic developers, and explosives, yes, explosives. It is officially classed as an explosive in the United Kingdom.

Not only can DNP explode when exposed to heat, it’s literally a poison that is used to kill pests.

How Does DNP Work?

DNP increase a person’s metabolic rate, which in turn will result in the body resorting to the burning of excess fat.

DNP acts as a protonophore, allowing protons to leak across the inner mitochondrial membrane and thus bypass ATP synthase. This makes ATP energy production less efficient.

In effect, part of the energy that is normally produced from cellular respiration is wasted as heat. The inefficiency is proportional to the dose of DNP that is taken. As the dose increases and energy production is made more inefficient, metabolic rate increases (and more fat is burned) in order to compensate for the inefficiency and to meet energy demands.

This chemical forces your body to burn fat.

What Are The Side Effects Of DNP?

DNP has been directly linked to hundreds of deaths since the early 1900’s and recent studies have also confirmed DNP will lead to a wide range of serious adverse side effects.

The most common side effects of DNP are: 

  • Hyperthermia
  • Tachycardia
  • Diaphoresis and tachypnoea
  • Death
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Flushed skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

If you are pregnant and/or breast-feeding: Do not consume this product if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

If you’re a child under the age of 18: Do not consume this product if you are under 18.

Can I Purchase DNP With A Prescription?

No. This is now a banned substance in most countries. If you are caught with DNP you risk prosecution by the authorities – especially if they believe you may be distributing the substance further.

Can I Take DNP With Other Medication? 

It is not known if DNP can clash with any medications, however as we’ve been saying all along, DNP is too dangerous to be taking.

Can I Take DNP With Other Supplements?

You should not consume this substance at all. If you do happen to consume it, it absolutely should not be combined with any other weight loss substances.

Is It Safe To Take DNP For Weight Loss?

DNP is NOT safe for weight loss and has been linked to a number of deaths. Recently, DNP has been linked to the deaths of several young women in the UK that took the supplement for the sole purpose of losing weight. A young bodybuilder also lost his life in 2017 due to consuming this product.

Does DNP Actually Work For Weight Loss?

You will lose weight, however, there is a strong chance you will also lose your life. Taking DNP will send your body temperature soaring and will also send your metabolic rates into overdrive – these intense thermogenic effects are the reason why DNP is misused for the purposes of weight loss.

Despite the fact that it works, all recent scientific studies have noted the health risks associated with taking DNP far outweigh any potential short-term benefits you may experience.

Have There Been Any Deaths Linked To DNP?

Yes. This substance has been linked to hundreds of deaths since the early 1900’s. Even in modern research, to date, there have been 62 published deaths in the medical literature attributed to DNP alone.


DNP, also known as 2,4-dinitrophenol, is an extremely dangerous substance that has now been banned as a weight loss supplement. It is an organic compound, highly toxic to humans and should not be consumed under any circumstances.

The industrial commercial chemical is used as a component in explosives, pesticides, and antiseptic medicines.

DNP will essentially result in your body not being able to efficiently use the natural energy available in your body meaning it will turn to fat storage. However, this substance has been linked to hundreds of deaths since the early 1900’s and has the potential to cook your body from the inside out. It can also explode upon exposure to heat.

Many people worldwide have recently lost their lives to this substance; this substance should be avoided at all cost, it is highly dangerous and you are putting your life at risk by consuming it.

There are plenty of weight loss supplements available on the market that have been proven to work with minimal side effects, supplements that do not put your life in danger. If you want to lose weight and see long-lasting results without potentially losing your life, stick to a well-balanced, healthy diet and take up regular exercise.

If traditional methods do not work for you, visit your local medical practitioner for advice on how to lose weight safely.

Marina Ma, MD
Marina Ma, MD
Staff Writer & Fact Checker at DietProbe
Marina has an MD from U-M and is a resident writer and fact checker at DietProbe.
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Fact Checked

This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified nutritionist, and only uses information from credible academic sources.