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Russian roulette with unlicensed fat-burner drug 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP): evidence from a multidisciplinary study of the internet, bodybuilding supplements and DNP users.

Petróczi A, Ocampo JA, Shah I, Jenkinson C, New R, James RA, Taylor G, Naughton DP - Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy (2015)

Bottom Line: The significant discrepancy between the normative perception and the actual visibility suggests that DNP use is-contrary to the Internet accounts-a highly concealed and lonesome activity in real life.Positive experiences with the expected weight-loss prevail over the negative experiences from side effects (all but two users considered using DNP again) and help with using DNP safely is considered preferable over scare-tactics.Further research with stakeholders' active participation is imperative for targeted, proactive public health policies and harm-reduction measures for DNP, and other illicit supplements.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University London, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2EE, United Kingdom. A.Petroczi@kingston.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) poses serious health-risks to humans. The aims of this three-stage multidisciplinary project were, for the first time, to assess the risks to the general public from fraudulent sale of or adulteration/contamination with DNP; and to investigate motives, reasons and risk-management among DNP-user bodybuilders and avid exercisers.

Methods: Using multiple search-engines and guidance for Internet research, online retailers and bodybuilding forums/blogs were systematically explored for availability of DNP, advice offered on DNP use and user profiles. Ninety-eight pre-workout and weight-loss supplements were purchased and analysed for DNP using liquid-chromatography-mass-spectrometry. Psychosocial variables were captured in an international sample of 35 DNP users (26.06 ± 6.10 years, 94.3 % male) with an anonymous, semi-qualitative self-reported survey.

Results: Although an industrial chemical, evidence from the Internet showed that DNP is sold 'as is', in capsules or tablets to suit human consumption, and is used 'uncut'. Analytical results confirmed that DNP is not on the supplement market disguised under fictitious supplement names, but infrequently was present as contaminant in some supplements (14/98) at low concentration (<100mcg/kg). Users make conscious and 'informed' decisions about DNP; are well-prepared for the side-effects and show nonchalant attitude toward self-experimentation with DNP. Steps are often taken to ensure that DNP is genuine. Personal experience with performance- and appearance enhancing substances appears to be a gateway to DNP. Advice on DNP and experiences are shared online. The significant discrepancy between the normative perception and the actual visibility suggests that DNP use is-contrary to the Internet accounts-a highly concealed and lonesome activity in real life. Positive experiences with the expected weight-loss prevail over the negative experiences from side effects (all but two users considered using DNP again) and help with using DNP safely is considered preferable over scare-tactics.

Conclusion: Legislation banning DNP sale for human consumption protects the general public but DNP is sold 'as is' and used 'uncut' by determined users who are not dissuaded from experimenting with DNP based on health threats. Further research with stakeholders' active participation is imperative for targeted, proactive public health policies and harm-reduction measures for DNP, and other illicit supplements.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Chemical structure of 2,4 dinitrophenol and sodium dinitrophenolate (PubChem Open Chemistry Database)
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Fig1: Chemical structure of 2,4 dinitrophenol and sodium dinitrophenolate (PubChem Open Chemistry Database)

Mentions: Although not licensed for human consumption, DNP (Fig. 1a) and DNP crystal form (Fig. 1b) are used by bodybuilders and extreme dieters for their fat burning properties through inhibiting efficient energy (ATP) production in cells. Through uncoupling mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation by facilitating proton transport across the mitochondrial membrane, DNP leads to rapid consumption of energy without generating ATP and consequently, to increased fat metabolism [11, 12, 21]. However, the weight-loss effect comes with serious, and in some cases potentially fatal, adverse side effects, namely hyperthermia (the leading cause of fatality with acute DNP toxicity) and cardiac arrest, but also diaphoresis, tachycardia, tachypnea, skin toxicity, Fourier’s gangrene and cataracts with low dose chronic exposure [10–14, 22, 23]. The proposed mechanism of DNP induced toxicity suggests the activation of ATP-sensitive K+ channels [24, 25]. The amounts ingested and length of exposure in DNP-related illnesses and deaths range between (1 to 46 mg/kg/day and 3 to 46 mg/kg/day, respectively). Taken together, the evidence suggests that there is no universal safe/danger zone with DNP. People who are not sensitive to DNP can tolerate a higher dose and/or longer exposure but the same dose is harmful to those with high sensitivity [26].Fig. 1


Russian roulette with unlicensed fat-burner drug 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP): evidence from a multidisciplinary study of the internet, bodybuilding supplements and DNP users.

Petróczi A, Ocampo JA, Shah I, Jenkinson C, New R, James RA, Taylor G, Naughton DP - Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy (2015)

Chemical structure of 2,4 dinitrophenol and sodium dinitrophenolate (PubChem Open Chemistry Database)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4607104&req=5

Fig1: Chemical structure of 2,4 dinitrophenol and sodium dinitrophenolate (PubChem Open Chemistry Database)
Mentions: Although not licensed for human consumption, DNP (Fig. 1a) and DNP crystal form (Fig. 1b) are used by bodybuilders and extreme dieters for their fat burning properties through inhibiting efficient energy (ATP) production in cells. Through uncoupling mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation by facilitating proton transport across the mitochondrial membrane, DNP leads to rapid consumption of energy without generating ATP and consequently, to increased fat metabolism [11, 12, 21]. However, the weight-loss effect comes with serious, and in some cases potentially fatal, adverse side effects, namely hyperthermia (the leading cause of fatality with acute DNP toxicity) and cardiac arrest, but also diaphoresis, tachycardia, tachypnea, skin toxicity, Fourier’s gangrene and cataracts with low dose chronic exposure [10–14, 22, 23]. The proposed mechanism of DNP induced toxicity suggests the activation of ATP-sensitive K+ channels [24, 25]. The amounts ingested and length of exposure in DNP-related illnesses and deaths range between (1 to 46 mg/kg/day and 3 to 46 mg/kg/day, respectively). Taken together, the evidence suggests that there is no universal safe/danger zone with DNP. People who are not sensitive to DNP can tolerate a higher dose and/or longer exposure but the same dose is harmful to those with high sensitivity [26].Fig. 1

Bottom Line: The significant discrepancy between the normative perception and the actual visibility suggests that DNP use is-contrary to the Internet accounts-a highly concealed and lonesome activity in real life.Positive experiences with the expected weight-loss prevail over the negative experiences from side effects (all but two users considered using DNP again) and help with using DNP safely is considered preferable over scare-tactics.Further research with stakeholders' active participation is imperative for targeted, proactive public health policies and harm-reduction measures for DNP, and other illicit supplements.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University London, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2EE, United Kingdom. A.Petroczi@kingston.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) poses serious health-risks to humans. The aims of this three-stage multidisciplinary project were, for the first time, to assess the risks to the general public from fraudulent sale of or adulteration/contamination with DNP; and to investigate motives, reasons and risk-management among DNP-user bodybuilders and avid exercisers.

Methods: Using multiple search-engines and guidance for Internet research, online retailers and bodybuilding forums/blogs were systematically explored for availability of DNP, advice offered on DNP use and user profiles. Ninety-eight pre-workout and weight-loss supplements were purchased and analysed for DNP using liquid-chromatography-mass-spectrometry. Psychosocial variables were captured in an international sample of 35 DNP users (26.06 ± 6.10 years, 94.3 % male) with an anonymous, semi-qualitative self-reported survey.

Results: Although an industrial chemical, evidence from the Internet showed that DNP is sold 'as is', in capsules or tablets to suit human consumption, and is used 'uncut'. Analytical results confirmed that DNP is not on the supplement market disguised under fictitious supplement names, but infrequently was present as contaminant in some supplements (14/98) at low concentration (<100mcg/kg). Users make conscious and 'informed' decisions about DNP; are well-prepared for the side-effects and show nonchalant attitude toward self-experimentation with DNP. Steps are often taken to ensure that DNP is genuine. Personal experience with performance- and appearance enhancing substances appears to be a gateway to DNP. Advice on DNP and experiences are shared online. The significant discrepancy between the normative perception and the actual visibility suggests that DNP use is-contrary to the Internet accounts-a highly concealed and lonesome activity in real life. Positive experiences with the expected weight-loss prevail over the negative experiences from side effects (all but two users considered using DNP again) and help with using DNP safely is considered preferable over scare-tactics.

Conclusion: Legislation banning DNP sale for human consumption protects the general public but DNP is sold 'as is' and used 'uncut' by determined users who are not dissuaded from experimenting with DNP based on health threats. Further research with stakeholders' active participation is imperative for targeted, proactive public health policies and harm-reduction measures for DNP, and other illicit supplements.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus