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Why Using DNP For Weight Loss Is A Bad Idea

Published: 13th May 2018. Last updated: 21th July 2019.

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Luna Smithton

Editor & Fact Checker


DNP, also known as 2,4-dinitrophenol, has recently (and alarmingly) started to make a comeback in the world of dieting and weight loss since being banned in 1936.

There are many controlled substances that people misuse in order to lose weight, among all of them DNP is possibly the most infamous.

Let us start off by saying that DNP is not a weight loss supplement. It's main use is as a pesticide chemical; if consumed by humans there is a very real likelihood of injury or death.

While we're obviously completely against the use of DNP for weight loss, this article looks objectively at the substance to provide you with all the information you'll need on the subject.

Firstly, What Actually Is DNP?

DNP is a yellow, crystalline, compound that is commercially used in the manufacturing of pesticides, dyes, antiseptics, and explosives.

It has no medical or clinical application (meaning you'll not find it inside any pharmaceutical drug).

DNP is a lab-made substance that has a high acute toxicity, and is marked as unsuitable for human consumption by the vast majority of world health organizations.

Does DNP Cause Weight Loss?

DNP was first used as a weight loss aid back in the 1930s, after a university study concluded on 15th July 1933 that the substance increased metabolic rates. Researchers were so astounded by its effects that just four months later, on 4th November 1933, they published another study that specifically looked at how DNP could be used to treat obesity – they must have really thought they were onto something!

Users of DNP have reported results between 1-3KG of weight lost per week with varying degrees of side effects, ranging from none to extreme.

The fact is this: DNP can undeniably help you lose weight, however there is also a strong chance it will cause significant bodily harm (with the worst case scenario being death).

DNP helps cause weight loss by making your body worse at efficiently producing energy, causing a vast amount to be wasted as heat energy.

This effect becomes more intense the greater the dosage taken; the fat burning effects of DNP stem from the body trying to keep up with its energy demands. As it cannot utilize energy as efficiently, the body will begin to burn additional calories for energy to make up the deficit.

Ultimately, consuming DNP will significantly increase your basal metabolic rate, as well as your core body temperature. Research suggests that your metabolic rates will increase by 11% for every 100mg taken.

Despite the fact that it obviously works, all recent scientific studies have stressed that the risks of DNP far outweigh any potential benefits.

DNP Side Effects

Below we have compiled the following list of potential side effects you may experience if you use DNP for the purposes of weight loss:

  • Skin rashes
  • Peripheral neuritis (nerve damage)
  • Yellow discoloration of skin, eyes, and urine (not to be confused with jaundice)
  • Heart muscle damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Muscle convulsions
  • Coma
  • Death

Research suggests that symptoms can appear as early as 3 hours and 30 minutes after consuming DNP.

DNP Weight Loss Related Deaths (1933-2009)

DNP has killed both those who've taken it for the purposes of weight loss, and those who've simply had occupational, non-oral exposure to it

While weight-loss related usage accounts for about 95% of DNP-related deaths, just being exposed to the chemical can also cause death.

Thankfully, occupational DNP deaths are now extremely rare; after three deaths reported between 1916-1919, such incidents have almost entirely been wiped out as health and safety standards have improved (with the exception of two deaths reported in 2010 of two Chinese factory workers who were all poisoned through skin absorption and respiratory tract inhalation).

There's a very good reason why the FDA has called it "extremely dangerous and not fit for human consumption", giving criminal penalties to those who sell it for purposes of weight loss.

But what specifically makes DNP so dangerous?

The lethality mainly stems from its toxicity, and how high it can increase your body temperature. A 2011 academic journal investigating the dangers of DNP stated that:

Death is usually secondary to massive cardiovascular collapse.

Below we've listed all the reported deaths related to DNP being used for weight loss since the first ever report in 1933:

Sex Age Amount Consumed Highest Body Temperature Before Death Date



2500-5000mg over unknown period

43°C (110°F)




300mg daily for 6 weeks

40.4°C (104.8°F)




6060mg over 4 days

38.9°C (102°F)




2880mg over 5 days

38.9°C (102°F)




238mg daily for 6 weeks

41°C (105.8°F)




9000mg over 7 days

40.9°C (105.7°F)




5400mg over 46 days

40.9°C (105.6°F)




4500mg over unknown period

41.1°C (106°F)




Unknown amount

40.8°C (105.5°F)




Unknown amount

39.4°C (103°F)




Unknown amount

41.1°C (106°F)




Unknown amount





Unknown amount over 1 week

38°C (100.4°F)


Noteworthy findings:

  1. The youngest person to die from using DNP for weight loss was a 13 year old girl back in 1934.
  2. After DNP was banned in the late 1930s, no deaths were reported until 2002, where it somehow made a comeback.
  3. The highest recorded temperature before a DNP-related death was a staggering 41.1°C (106°F).

The Bottom Line

DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol) is an extremely dangerous substance that has now been banned as a weight loss aid. Its official status as of current date is "unsuitable for human consumption".

It's not a supplement, it's not a diet pill, and it's not a pharmaceutical drug - it's an industrial chemical that is used in the creation of explosives and pesticides, as well as dyes and wood preservers.

Consuming DNP will basically send your metabolic rates into overdrive by forcing the body to produce way more energy than it normally would - an effect that can send your body temperature skyrocketing.

The side effects are pretty grim and include organ failure, turning yellow, cognitive impairment, coma, and death.

We personally think you'd have to be crazy to willingly put this stuff in your body. Many people have lost their lives taking DNP, and it should be avoided at all cost - there are other ways to lose body fat.

There are plenty of safe weight loss pills available on the market that won't put your life in danger (like the ones we make). Of course they're not going to be as insanely effective as DNP, nothing ever will be, but they can still be extremely useful for those looking to shed some pounds.

Our final advice is this: if you want to lose weight and see long-lasting results without potentially losing your life, just stick to a well-balanced, calorie-controlled diet, and take up regular exercise!

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