2 4-dinitrophenol

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2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) – There is a food supplement!DNP programs

It is with great concern that I have seen the increasing use of this compound by bodybuilders and recreational athletes. I have received many emails with questions related to the efficacy and safety of this substance. This phenolic compound is not a supplement, not even an approved drug for human use. Want to know even what we are talking about? 

When we look at the structure of this chemical compound, its simplicity makes it almost unbelievable amount of problems inherent in their use. We are talking of an aromatic ring of 6 carbons (benzene) with NO 2 groups in their carbon 2:04 and also a hydroxyl group (OH). It sounds simple enough, right?However , in physiological chemistry a single compound is not necessarily an innocuous compound. In the case of DNP, safety is what seems to be less …

Before moving on to a short approach to the DNP, let me here clarify the following:

I do not mind answering emails with questions about any compound whether pharmacological origin or just a food supplement. Note however that when I give my opinion, people have two choices: ignore or follow my advice. If you do not want to follow my advice, all right, just ignore what I say. I will not be the least upset to do so, after all it is your body and not mine. What bothers me is that argue with sites and other sources often little reliable, trying to change my opinion. If they seek my “blessing” to make nonsense excuse send emails because I am not a priest (with all the respect I have for religion). Of course this “slap on the wrist” will trigger further emails in this direction, however here is the clarification / vent.

Name: 2,4-dinitrophenol
Formula: C6H4N2O5
Molar Mass: 184.107
Additional Names: phenol, 2,4-dinitro-
  fenoxyl carbon N
  phenol, .alpha.-dinitro-
  benzene, 1-hydroxy-2,4-dinitro-

Returning to 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) …

There ‘s a rumor that several trainers “Gurus” in the world of professional bodybuilding, use this compound as a secret weapon to achieve truly defined athletes. I do not know if you use it or not, but even if they do these individuals have years if not decades of experience in the use of this substance and the like. Not that this gives them any kind of technical expertise to work with this (or other substances), gives them but an empirical basis / practice much stronger than the average person.

The only being who can aspire to in my view be considered “Guru” is the Kangaroo, and most likely will be for friends. There are no “Gurus” in Bodybuilding (and most probably will not exist in other areas).It’s just my opinion …

The explosive story of DNP …

It is recognized that the use of DNP (C 6 H 4 N 2 O 5) leads to dramatic reduction in body weight at the same time causing a long list of side effects (1). To our knowledge the first death caused by accidental exposure to this compound took place in 1918 (2).

2.4-dinitrophenolDNP began to be manufactured by the French in the production of munitions during World War precisely for explosive characteristics (3,4). As I said earlier, this time little is know about the effects of this compound in weight loss. It was only in 1933 at Stanford University that would confirm these potent effects (5).

I once heard one of these “Gurus” (I mean those who are not marsupial mammals) say the DNP is a bomb! Missed only add, “has been literally explosive and is still in the right conditions!”

The compound was immediately put on sale in order to help in weight loss diets, not even being subject to medical prescription. It is obvious that the DNP has the ability to increase the basal metabolic rate (4,5), leading to a higher energy expenditure (6). Losses are reported of about 1.5 kg / week body weight under the effect of compound (7).

The increase in basal metabolic rate appears to vary among individuals who eat, however it is estimated that walk around 11% per 100 mg of DNP ingested regularly (8-10). How to calculate in the 30s of the last century, then this drug seemed the solution to an under-emerging obesity (the same happened with the discovery of leptin most recently). But the side effects were increasing gradually, particularly with the onset of cataracts, which would lead to the suspension of its use by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (1.11).

With the suspension of its sale for medical purposes, obviously the number of fatalities and adverse reactions decreased. Still some fatal cases have been reported, even after the suspension of the market (12,13). It is also believed that the compound has been given to Russian soldiers during World War II as a way to protect them against low temperatures (14).If we look at the chart below, we can easily see that from the beginning of the millennium fatal cases have been increasing.


The main concern that I about this drug is that it is easily sold on the Internet. The amount of kids who embark on this dangerous game and sometimes fatal is very large. Many are minors who under theinfluence of “A” or “B” decide, carelessly, order this product online as if it were a simple supplement.It is common to use of this drug to temperature reached 38.9 ° C. Look in the table below (summary of fatal cases), I think the data speak for themselves …

dnp 2

Mechanism of action

These phenol derivatives tend in general (especially in excess), the trigger frame hyperthermia, tachycardia, tachypnea , and diaphoresis. Then I will address briefly the respective mechanisms involved in weight loss and toxicity.

Function uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation

DNP decreases the formation of phosphate linkages in the mitochondrion while stimulates systemic oxygen consumption (15). This effect is described biochemically by their uncoupling function in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

ATP is the final product of the Krebs cycle as well as CO 2 and H 2 O. During glycolysis there is a positive balance of two ATP molecules, however the great majority of molecules of ATP (in total can 36-38) is produced during the final stage of oxidative phosphorylation.

At this stage ATP synthase converts ADP into ATP by the addition of a molecule of inorganic phosphate (Pi). What does DNP is to prevent the uptake of inorganic phosphate molecules by mitochondria (16,17). The result is inhibition of mitochondrial energetic processes as well as excessive accumulation of extra-mitochondrial Pi (18). DNP is also an ionophore molecule, since it promotes the output of protons (H +) by the mitochondrial membrane (10).



dnp 3

This imbalance in the electrochemical gradient leads to dissipate the energy as heat rather than form ATP by increasing energy expenditure (kcal). This situation is responsible for homeostatic dysregulation temperature which in turn leads to its onset of hyperthermia frame (19).

If you have escaped him in the table above, some patients achieved temperatures of around 43 ° C. So if you are using this drug and not know what you’re doing, think first: Good or bad past?

Stimulation of glycolysis

The glycolytic effect of DNP is most likely linked to its effect on muscle contraction (20). The consumption of carbohydrates increases exponentially with the administration of this drug (18). The pyruvic acid to be converted to CO 2 and H 2 O requires followed by aerobically, since oxidative phosphorylation is decreased by the compound, the anaerobic becomes preferential leading to greater production of lactic acid and consequent acidosis (16,18,21).

dnp 4

Phosphate accumulation and potassium

DNP increases the concentration of potassium (K +) (22) leading to conditions toxicity hyperkalemia (23). The phosphate contribution in the field of toxicity is still unclear and requires further investigation (17.24).

dnp 5

Teratogenic and carcinogenic effect

In guinea pigs revealed this compound has teratogenic effects (changes in embryogenic morphology) and carcinogenic (25).

Fortunately these days is becoming less common intoxication with DNP accidentally. The most common toxicity is usually by ingestion weight loss goals. There are two drugs that really concern me when they are used improperly by athletes either recreational or professional: DNP and insulin.

My opinion is clear, use of drugs for aesthetic purposes or sport definitely NO! As regards the two substances mentioned above, when used in an abusive and uncontrolled take just a shortcut: Death.

The position I have in relation to these two drugs does not come only from literature. I have known several athletes caught real scares with these substances. I do not want to pass this article the idea that I’m a purist in this matter of pharmacological ergogenic substances, none of that, I want you to realize that certain things do not really play!

Filipe Teixeira

Director Of Nutrition-Tudor Bompa Institute International

The Tudor Bompa Institute, Portugal

Technical Direction-Body Temple Ltd

The opinions contained herein reflect only the opinion of the author and not necessarily of the company Body Temple Ltd / Tudor Bompa Institute. Always consult your doctor or health professional before embarking on any supplement, diet plan or treatment.

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1. Colman E. Dinitrophenol and obesity: an early twentieth-century regulatory dilemma. Regul. Toxicol.Pharmacol. 2007 Jul; 48 (2): 115-7.

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15. Unknown. Dinitrophenol AND ACCELERATED TISSUE METABOLISM. JAMA J. Am. Med. Assoc.American Medical Association; 1933 Dec 30; 101 (27): 2122.

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