Please be aware that DNP is a VERY dangerous chemical, that can result in death if tampered with
DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) - Getting Leaner Through Chemistry
by Damian Bachs
DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol), an industrial chemical with various applications, has gained steady popularity as a fat loss tool. Boasting an astounding 50% increase in metabolic rate, it is able to contribute to reported fat losses of 10-12 pounds in 8 days of use. Classified as an "uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation" medically, it is quite dangerous as there is no negative feedback system that may deal with overdoses. Specifically, there is no upper limit to the increase in body temperature that may be obtained with its use.
Competitive bodybuilders and many others are continually on a quest for leanness. Used by the hardcore since Dan Duchaine's reporting of it a couple years ago, DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) has managed to steadily gain popularity as a powerful tool for weight loss. Interestingly, DNP was first used to ignite TNT in the early 1900’s. In 1931 a study released by Stanford University declared that DNP was able to cause amazing weight loss; subsequently it found its way into many diet potions and medications; regulation was much less strict during this time than the present, and many of these products were available over the counter. Two years later DNP was banned by the FDA as a dieting agent due to its inclusion in many OTC dietary supplements. The FDA was a new organization at this time and acted in a rather brazen manner, with the absence of any set procedures for taking substances off the market. Granted, there was only a 1% incidence of cataracts over a large population (around 100,000); nonetheless it happened (although interestingly, exclusively women). However, there are now ways to counter this which will be covered thoroughly.
The comparisons to the current drugs used for dieting are astounding, at least in terms of thermogenesis. While the ECA stack has been shown to provide approximately a 3% increase in metabolic rate, DNP can deliver a relatively controlled 50% elevation in resting metabolic rate. The thermogenic aspect of clenbuterol, while sometimes overestimated due to the high CNS stimulation that yields a "wired" feeling, can vary according to prior exposure to various amphetamine-like compounds and certainly is not much greater than that of ECA. DNP does not have the anorectic effects of ephedrine or other thermogenic agents; rather, it tends to increase hunger, particularly appetite for carbohydrates. This problem is easily solved with appetite suppressants, and one may even use ECA itself for this purpose while on DNP.
Molecular Basis for Efficacy
DNP accomplishes the astounding boost in metabolic rate via inhibition of the F0F1 ATP synthase molecule, located in the inner wall of each mitochondrion. While the electron transport chain still functions to pump hydrogen ions into the intermembrane space, the coupling of the proton gradient to ATP production is rendered impossible by DNP. As a result, ATP production is dramatically reduced, and the energy is instead thrown off as heat. This results in an astounding production of heat; when using dinitrophenol, the athlete will radiate so much heat that it is uncomfortable to be within any proximity of them. Luckily, this heat does not fully contribute to body temperature increases, and is instead thrown off from the entire body surface, particularly the head. As a result, adequate doses of DNP will usually only elevate body temperature by about 1-1.5ºC. This is a good thing for your central nervous system and other delicate tissues; if the heat produced by ATP contributed in a more direct matter to body temperature, effective doses for fat loss would cause supraphysiological body temperature increases on a level unwitnessed at this time. Nonetheless, overheating is a very real danger; this and other side effects shall now be addressed.
Hearing all of these wonderful things probably has you wondering what the side effects and risks are. They are quite formidable and contribute to making DNP one of the most intolerable (though effective) drugs used in bodybuilding. Starting with the most significant, and descending in importance, are the following risks and side effects of DNP use.
- There is no upper limit to DNP's body temperature increase, meaning that one may literally "cook from the inside" if they take too much. Dosage considerations will be given later, but even an overdose of 4-6 times the recommended dosage may be lethal. Much smaller overdoses may result in damage to the brain and/or other body systems.
- Phenols in general are reputed to be carcinogenic. Although 2,4-dinitrophenol has never been implicated in a cancer diagnosis, some are nonetheless concerned, and understandably so. In addition to the inherent carcinogenic potential caused by its status as a phenol, production of free radicals and the release of various compounds stored in adipose tissue stores during DNP's rapid oxidation of fat may also potentially be harmful.
- This is self-explanatory and has occurred with several bodybuilders who chose to use this compound.
Discomfort and sweating
- This is the single most noticeable effect of DNP use, both by the user and those around him/her. Even in the winter, while indoors at ambient temperatures, one may expect his or her shirt to be completely soaked through with sweat. Those with jobs requiring formal or semi-formal apparel are advised to consider other means of fat loss (or a new job, if preferred). Other obvious considerations lie in the areas of social life, personal appearance, etc. and the user must prioritize.
- Second in frequency of reports to sweating and discomfort is insomnia; this may be at least partially attributed to discomfort. Possible means of countering this include such supplements as Valerian root or melatonin. Alternatively, one may deal with this via prescription or OTC sleep medications or GHB-A precursors. However, these may be addictive if used on a regular basis and if their use may be avoided, by all means abstain from using them.
Yellow bodily fluids
- Some don't notice this, but others find that all of their bodily fluids take on a yellowish appearance. Urine is a darker yellow, and even semen and vaginal secretions may be affected. According to current knowledge, this is not known to be harmful in and of itself.
- This is yet another thing that may be minimized via cerebral function. Dan Duchaine has recommended using a weight such as to allow no fewer than 15 reps per set of any weight training workout; judging from anecdotal reports and personal experience, this seems to be good advice. Low levels of ATP are a cause of muscle soreness in and of itself; the additional factor of encumbered recovery mechanisms make extreme soreness (and if not careful, catabolism) quite possible.
– These are highly individualized but may be summarily discussed. Various reactions are common with DNP use, and approximately 10% of users will be extremely allergic to it. Allergic reactions can include hives, blisters, and/or inexplicable rashes. If you suffer any of these side effects, and they are extremely bothersome, it is the recommendation of the author to cease usage immediately. If so desired, another trial may be made at a later date with a lower dosage, but do not attempt to continue the drug cycle at that point.
- To counter this, some methods will be touched on later. As with most diets, willpower is sometimes the single most important factor.
Obtaining DNP and Making Capsules
If, given these considerations, you still are ready to take the plunge and use DNP, you will need to learn how to obtain and/or make your own capsules. DNP is shipped industrially in large metal tins holding a glass jar containing the wet DNP, which is wetted with enough water to total 15-35% of total mass to prevent explosion while in transit. Ample cushioning material around the glass jar is included to further prevent ignition of DNP (it is highly flammable) and the obvious possibility of breaking the jar. Chemical sellers will not sell this chemical to individuals or any other entity without an account. However, if you are resourceful enough to get some, the following are instructions on how to properly prepare capsules.
1) Extreme caution is necessary when making the caps. DNP is bright yellow and will even go through gloves. This stain will not go away for up to 2 weeks. If it does get on your hands or other parts of yoru house, you can usually get it off with 2(3H) Furanone dinitro (butyrolactone). It usually will come out of clothes with laundering.
2) Care is of the utmost importance when measuring out the amount one would need. Dan recommends 5 to 8 mg/kg bodyweight in Dirty Dieting #0, assuming that the person is under 15% BF. He subsequently told me that he was really suffering on 6-8 mg/kg, and that is excessive in his opinion. Note that the calculation is bodyweight, not lean body mass. With the exception of obese persons, this method is sufficiently accurate.
3) Obtain a reliable scale, a Cap M. Quik device, and some size "O" caps ($60-$200 minimum, approximately $10, and $2 respectively). Corn starch, available at the grocery, is also needed. Since DNP ships at about either 15% or 35% water by weight, it is necessary to dry out the material overnight before attempting to deal with it. No matter how dry it looks, this step is absolutely necessary for accurate dosing.
4) The next day, mix 15 grams DNP with 10 grams corn starch, and pound it into a fine powder. Spread resulting mixture into the Cap M. Quik, finish the capping process, and you have 50 caps of 300mg potency. Repeat as above with 10 g DNP and 15 g corn starch in order to make 50 caps of 200mg each, or with 12.5g DNP and 12.5g corn starch to make the same number of 250mg caps.
Bear in mind that the preparation process, in the absence of a laboratory equipped with a chemical hood, will destroy the immediate area. It gets in the air, and fine particles will stain everything. Wear clothes that are dispensable, at least 2 pairs of gloves, and a fume mask. Preferably, do this outside on an extremely calm day, or alternatively, place protective covering everything in sight if it is necessary to perform the encapsulation indoors.
Timetable of Effects and Symptoms
The following table describes the condition most users will find themselves in during a typical DNP cycle; it is by no means complete and mainly intended to drive home that users typically look at their best 3-5 days following cessation of DNP use.
Day 1) None; possibly elevated carbohydrate cravings and/or temperature elevation.
Day 2) T4-T3 conversion has begun to decrease; lethargy possible. Temperature should be elevated, and radiation of heat is noticeable.
Day 3-5) Body temperature is elevated, with all the effects that one expects from DNP use. In addition, water retention usually becomes manifest here.
Day 6-8) Definite water retention, along with other symptoms of use; user most likely feels fatter due to having "flatter" muscles (mainly the result of glycogen depletion) and holding water. Final DNP dose taken in the evening of Day 8.
Day 9-10) DNP is clearing the system slowly. All symptoms are still present.
Day 11-12) Water should be gone by now, or getting there. Mild diuretics will expedite this. The user will probably notice perceived greater cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Day 13-14) This is when someone tends to look their best. Their glycogen stores are usually compensated at this point and the retained water should be gone.
As touched on previously, getting the right dosage of DNP is rather easy to do although the importance of proper dosage cannot be overstated. It is far better for one to err on the side of too little rather than too much, certainly in the case of the novice who does not know if they are allergic to the substance. As stated before, the commonly used dosage by bodybuilders and other reasonably lean persons is 3-5mg/kg of bodyweight. This would mean that a 100-kilogram bodybuilder would use anywhere from 300-500mg per day. Experienced users commonly are found using up to 800mg/day relatively safely, and beginners sometimes find that they enjoy 3-5 pounds of fat loss per week with as little as 200mg/day. Dosing is highly individualized and most generalizations tend to collapse quite quickly; as a result, none will be attempted. Start on the low end of the scale and see how you react. It is not recommended to take more than 300mg at any one time; a larger man taking 600mg per day should divide the dose into a 5:00PM portion and another portion taken approximately 30 minutes before bedtime. Someone taking 300mg/day could easily take one dose in the evening. The typical cycling program is to do 7 or 8 days on, followed by 7 or 8 off; this should not decrease thyroid output dramatically and makes use of T3 (triiodothyronine, brand name Cytomel) unnecessary in most cases. T4-T3 conversion does decrease dramatically in the liver due to excessive heat; this begins within 24 hours of the first dose. However, there is usually adequate active thyroid hormone to make it through 8 days of using it while maintaining elevated body temperature. After approximately 3-5 days, the user may find themselves with a waking temperature that is no longer elevated, even though they are still using DNP. This is due to the decrease in T3 and may signal the necessity of either the use of exogenous T3 in subsequent cycles or shorter cycles of the drug. In addition, the schedule given works nicely because the user is able to enjoy the anabolic rebound effect on a relatively regular basis. Also, longer cycles might leave the muscle fibers in a state of relative dehydration and "starved" of ATP for too long; both of these readily contribute to catabolism.
While using DNP, supplements can greatly aid both in the effectiveness of the therapy and the comfort of the user. Of particular importance are antioxidants and the following quantities are recommended:
• Magnesium (1500mg)*
• Vitamin C (3000mg in divided doses)*
• Vitamin E (1200 IU in divided doses)*
• Glutathione (200mg in divided doses)***)
• NAC (various amounts)**
• T3 (dose according to personal preference)**
• Calcium (2000mg not taken with the Magnesium)
• 5-HTP (if not on antidepressant medication) (various amounts)****
• Meridia, Redux, or Fenfluramine (various amounts)****
• Hydroxycitric Acid (particularly in the evenings to curb cravings)****
• Pyruvate (2-6g/day in divided doses)
• Glycerol (3 tbsp/day in divided doses)
• Alpha-Lipoic Acid (500-1000mg daily in divided doses)
* = Integral component of DNP program
** = Of questionable (although possible) importance)
*** = Of particular importance to women for prevention of cataracts
**** = For the purpose of appetite suppression (may not be needed)
Given all of this information, there are nonetheless more things to know before you undertake your first DNP cycle. The following tips and tricks gathered from personal experience and consultations with users are presented for your aid:
•Aim a fan at your head at night. Your head is the most precious thing on your body and is a prime site for heat loss. Any air flowing over it will aid in cooling via convection.
•Wash your bedding daily. It is a good idea to have some spare pillowcases on hand, if nothing else. Most likely, you will be sweating profusely while you sleep, and this will make your bed smell as enticing as a locker room. Cleanliness is also essential in the prevention of disease, not to mention the fact that you are breathing out DNP "fumes" all night and they collect on your bedding.
•Prevention of disease goes beyond washing your clothes, and includes all of the normal precautions that you would make to avoid infection, although in a more exaggerated way. DNP depletes your body of energy needed to battle pathogens and weakens your immune system, leaving you ripe for infection and incapable of fighting off most diseases once they have taken hold.
•This is rather intuitive, but be certain to wear loose, light clothing, preferably of a light color.
•Similarly intuitive is the desire to remain in a cool area … be CERTAIN not to overheat.
•Proper hydration is necessary – I have personally consumed up to 8 liters of water per day. Glycerol specifically aids in muscle hydration, so its use may be very important, particularly when considering that muscle cells in even a semi-dehydrated state are prime sites for catabolism.
•Cardiovascular work while on DNP – This is a strange issue that I have been asked about regularly, but am undecided in the direction to take and generally recommend that the user decide for themselves. My personal preference is to do cardio with a fan focused on me for 30-35 minutes at a relatively high intensity. This is an area for personal preference; barring other considerations, just see if you can handle it or not and go from there. Always be ready to stop if you feel yourself getting extremely overheated or weak.
•Diet - One may wonder why this issue receives such limited attention; after all, most methods of fat loss require a restrictive diet of some nature. However, there is no set diet that one must use to achieve good results with dinitrophenol, only certain factors that allow the user to decide intelligently how to eat:
Insulin - DNP blunts the effects of insulin; this is a huge boon for dieters because insulin blocks lipolysis and causes the storage of adipose tissue. This means that carbohydrate intake does not need to be strictly limited, although it should stay reasonable for optimal results.
Body Temperature and Comfort - A general guideline is that the more carbohydrates eaten, the hotter the user will get while on DNP. Similarly, overfeeding also produces extreme heat; any excess calories are thrown off as heat quite readily. For this reason, along with certain hormonal factors, Duchaine espouses an Isometric diet while on DNP, and I have followed this personally with good results.
CKD's - These are extremely impractical while on a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD), and are especially dangerous. This brings up blood glucose considerations; it is important to try to maintain relatively stable, or at least not severely depressed, blood glucose levels. If this guideline is not followed, the user may experience blurred vision and/or extreme fatigue possibly augmented by fainting or lightheadedness.
•Anabolic rebound effect – I still remember the first time I spoke to Dan Duchaine regarding DNP, and he told me about what, at the time, seemed impossible. But I have experienced this phenomenon, and it indeed happens. Possible causes include, but are not limited to, either an anabolic effect from glycogen supercompensation-induced cellular expansion, or due to increased mitochondrial density. Increased mitochondrial density is an adaptive mechanism of the body and takes place surprisingly quickly in the presence of an uncoupler such as DNP (or anything else that inhibits oxidative phosphorylation). Whatever the mechanism of the anabolic rebound effect may be, the user can expect to gain about 5-7 pounds of intramuscular water or muscle and lose about the same amount of subcutaneous and intraperitoneal water within a week after their last DNP dose. This is probably the most pleasant aspect of using DNP; the user not only experiences unrivaled fat loss, but also enjoys a fair amount of hypertrophy without any other supplements or drugs. Muscle retention, and possibly gain, is improved with careful attention to several previously discussed considerations such as proper hydration and intelligent cycling.
Currently, DNP is the most powerful weapon against fat loss in the bodybuilder's arsenal; however, this does not necessarily mean that it is right for everyone or is by any means safe. The possibility also exists that PGF2 may be better for some people, particularly when taking the fact that it may kill fat cells into consideration. However, the guidelines given here will allow the user unrivaled fat loss, and will do so quite safely provided that precautionary measures are taken. While certainly quite dangerous, it is nonetheless the most effective tool available today for the loss of bodyfat