What is DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol)?

What is DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) – This blog post has been written by Daniel, Much respect to this fella.

2,4-Dinitrophenol is a compound with a controversial history in the realms of weight loss, bodybuilding, and industrial applications.

DNP is not:

  • A miracle weight loss pill
  • A legal over the counter compound
  • A GLP-1 agonist (Ozempic and Mounjaro)
  • An anabolic steroid
  • A stimulant
  • Something you take so you can eat/drink anything you want without gaining weight
  • Something you build a tolerance/resistance towards
  • A pill to target “belly fat”

DNP is:

  • Explosive
  • Banned for human consumption in most jurisdictions
  • A class one controlled substances in many jurisdictions
  • Used heavily for industrial applications, such as for a dye, and in the agricultural industry as a herbicide
  • Bar none the best compound for causing the body to shed weight

You’re probably most curious about that last point, and it’s true. DNP is in a league of its own when it comes to weight loss. There is no drug that can even come close and that is why even though it has been banned for human consumption for many decades there are powerful market forces keeping it readily available for those who wish to purchase it on the black market.

The amount of weight loss from using DNP can vary widely, and most information you’ll find is anecdotal since there have been no formal studies of DNP for decades since it was banned. From early 20th century reports and studies, as well as common anecdotal efforts circulating on the web, users can lose up to 0.5 to 1 pound per day, with some extreme cases reporting even more significant weight loss.

The history of DNP

DNP was initially used in industrial applications, as a dye, wood preserver, and an ingredient in explosives during WWI due to its ability to produce intense heat and its explosive properties.

In the 1930s it was discovered by accident that DNP had applications for weight loss as well. Workers from munition plants who frequently came into contact with the compound would frequently experience fevers and lose signficant amounts of weight. They almost always recovered once they spent time at home, away from DNP.

Afterwards DNP was marketed as a miracle weight loss drug. For a time it was in vogue and was used by millions of individuals world wide as it was easily available as an over the counter drug (The FDA didn’t yet have the power to ban drugs). It’s important to keep the context that this is also a time period when doctors recommended women pick up a smoking habit to lose weight.

Unfortunately by the late 1930s, it was obvious DNP was no miracle. The side effects of DNP began to surface, including cases of cataracts, skin lesions, and even deaths due to overheating (hyperthermia). These adverse effects led to growing concern among medical professionals and regulators. The FDA banned the substance as “unfit for human consumption” and that was the end of that….or at least that’s what the FDA would have liked.

Despite the ban, with the emergence of body building becoming a major sport, and the growing hold of modern and social media on today’s body culture, DNP has seen a resurgence in popularity as a weight loss agent. As underground users have continued to experiment for decades, they have formed their own impressions, routines, guides, and cautionary measures for using the substance.

How it works

In simple terms think of your body as a huge city. The mitocondria are the “power plant” that power everything in the city from the street lights to the air conditioning in homes. The power plant must use fuel to create power, ATP (adenosine diphosphate). ATP is what your body is capable of using for energy. The fuel your body uses to make ATP is in the form of macronutrients: fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and sometimes alcohols (DON’T CONSUME ALCOHOL WHILE ON DNP).

The cell goes through multiple steps when producing ATP, just like operations in a normal power plant. One step involves turning an intermediatry product ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) into the finished product of ATP. To do this tep, the cell must transfer electrons to the mitochondria through the membrane.

DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) causes weight loss by causing mitocondrial “uncoupling”. This is when electrons “leak” across the membrane and can’t be used to convert ADP into ATP, instead they’re lose as heat.

To continue the power plant analogy, think of it like this: every time a truck brings coal into the plant to make power, some fall off the truck. If it was just one or two chunks every now and again then no big deal. But with DNP’s “uncoupling”, a good amount falls out of every truck that comes through. Over time it takes a lot more coal to make the same amount of power.

Your body needs calories, ATP to be exact, to do anything. DNP makes it so that your body needs more than usual. Without increasing your food intake, your body has no choice but to pull from fat reserves. How much more? No one knows for sure, but an anecdote is for every 100mg of DNP circulating, you can see a 10% increase in daily energy expenditure. This may not be true for everyone.


  • Death. For real.
  • Hypothermia (Overheating). Of course you’ll sweat more because that’s what DNP does, but closely monitor your body temp. Don’t run this if you’re going to burning man in the middle of the desert in the summer.
  • Peripheral neuropathy. If you start to feel pins & needles on your extremities or they seem swollen, stop taking DNP immediately.
  • Arganulocytosis. Basically you should consider yourself immunocompromised while on DNP. So if you feel you’ve gotten the flu or any other illness, stop immediately. Of course don’t start DNP if you’re already immunocompromised.
  • Liver / Kidney failure. DNP is toxic, and your liver and kidneys will be working a lot harder than usual.
  • Cataracts. This more often occurs in women than men, but this a risk. It seems to the hypothermic mechanism of DNP destroying the lens of your eye directly. I.E, they get cooked. There’s no fixing this one once it starts. You basically just have to get corrective surgery.
  • Skin rash and yellowing. This is pretty standard (remember it’s an industrial dye), you may notice a mild rash or hives and yellowing of your skin as well as urine and semen. The rash may subside on its own after a few days but keep benadryl on hand.
  • You could get arrested. Don’t forget this stuff is illegal, don’t travel with it, don’t smuggle it. Stop your cycle a few days early if you’re going on a trip. Make sure you wash that stuff off properly.

What not to do on DNP

  • Do not consume alcohol. Alcohol causes dehydration which exasperbate the effects of DNP and lead to hyperthermia.
  • Do not take more in pursuit of faster weight loss. The difference between the minimal effective and LD50 dose of DNP is not very large. DO NOT TAKE MORE, as there’s not much anyone can do to help you if you over dose. There is no cure.
  • Do not cycle long term. Because of the lack of long term formal studies, no one knows for sure if DNP there is a safet yet effect DNP dose or a formula to calculate one. However we do know it may cause peripherphal neuropathy and cataracts among other issues. DNP is a poison and you do not build a tolerance. It’s important to give your body a break between cycles to recover. Ideally you’d never use DNP, but never use it long term.
  • Do not increase your dose more frequently than every 3-4 days. While the exact half-life of DNP is not documented, it’s thought to be about 36 hours. WIth a 36hour half life you can expect to reach steady state in 4-6 days. This is when the increase in body temp is at its peak. Increasing too rapidly can lead to an overdose.
  • Do not exceed 500mg. I’d say there’s no need to ever go above 200mg but some people do up to 500mg and live to tell the tale, but also deadmen tell no tales. 200mg is a very moderate dose that most individuals tolerate very very well.
  • Do not supplement creatine. This one may be completely anecdotal but creatine works primarily by decreasing the amount of glucose required to convert ADP to ATP. I’m not sure how this interacts with DNP but we can see their effects are in direct opposition of each other. It’s best not to mix.
  • Do not eat more thinking DNP will cause you to not gain weight. You can’t out run the fork. I should know. DNP even if it could add 5k calories to your TDEE per day, can be overcome quite easily by gluttony. A couple donuts and that’s gone.
  • Do not mix DNP with any other weight loss agents such as Clenbuterol or GLP-1 agonists. Effects of using these drugs in combination have not been document to any extent. GLP-1s in particularly are a very new class of drug and long term effects have yet to be documented.
  • Do not go into a sauna / excessively hot environment or you risk hypothermia and death.
  • Do not any extended period of time without drinking water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

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