DNP: Dose & Safety Review

TL:DR a compound with many recorded fatalities and a slim margin for error. PEDsR DB lists starting dose at 200mg, but users may wish to start lower where possible (should pill doses allow).

DNP increases the basal metabolic rate according to the pioneers of its use in 1933: ‘Low, or therapeutic, doses, the metabolism may be increased 50% or more over considerable periods of time without… toxicity’. DNP increases the metabolic rate by Inhibiting energy (ATP) production in the parts of cells which are responsible for energy and respiration (mitochondria), formally called the uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation.

There’s a lot of fear that surrounds DNP, and let me just get it out of the way that DNP can kill you. We’ve covered many compounds that are (or may be) dangerous, especially when dosed for long periods of time - clen, cardarine, RU58841 - and it’s likely we’ll cover many more to come. I’m not going to say DNP is any more deadly (fear mongering is not PEDsR MO), as that depends on underlying health conditions (often unknown to the user), but it is fair to say it is not at all forgiving if you mess up a dose and can put you in hospital pretty quick. DNP has a variety of commercial uses, including antiseptic, pesticide, sulfur dyes, wood preservatives, and explosives.

Dose

An average of an 11% increase in metabolism for every 100mg of DNP was found. I have 200mg every day as the starting dose on the PEDsDB, so presuming the linear relationship cited is accurate, this would result, on average, in a 22% increase in basal metabolism. In terms of planning a cut, this kind of linear response is useful in planning caloric intake and predicting a goal weight.

Exceeding 200mg daily will further accelerate metabolism and fat loss. But it’s just not worth it - an 11% increase at 100mg or 22% increase at 200mg is sufficient. Further, the nice linear relationship between dose and result will require some dialling in given variability between physiological response. Starting at 100mg, therefore, would be my recommendation, increasing to 200mg only if well-tolerated.

Original recommended dose for DNP in the 1930s was 300mg daily, which seemed to accompany weightloss of 2-3 pounds per week.

Side Effects

You’re literally going to be hot on this compound. Uncoupling of oxidative phoshorylation results in energy dissipating as heat, instead of being converted to ATP. It also results in lactic acid, and is mutagenic and carcinogenic.

There is a small margin between therapeutic benefit and toxicity as it relates to DNP. Rash is most commonly seen, as is yellowing of the skin in hands and feet with long term use due to neuritis. It is also kidney toxic, and has neurological effects such as confusion, and convulsion.

Hyperthermia, tachycardia, diaphoresis, tachypnoea and death. There are 62 published deaths attributed to DNP.

These side effects have been gathered from those presenting at hospital, typically, and so represent extreme responses. At 300mg every day or less, the original proponents of the compound maintain that it has little to no kidney or liver impact. They also go on to claim that ‘over-enthusiasm’ in terms of the patient taking more than the recommended dose is the reason for the major side-effects. That said, there is a published death from a dose of 4.3mg/kg, which is not much over the recommended dose of 300mg for a 90kg male.

At the recommended dose of 300mg, cataracts were a common side effect, though presumably this required time to form. The FDA made its distribution illegal in 1938.

Conclusion

The mechanism of action that DNP exhibits is itself not flawed and is still being evaluated for treatment of obesity. In that sense, DNP is established as being highly effective and reliable. At a dose of 100mg or 200mg for a short period of time, this compound is going to provide a therapeutic benefit with a lower risk of side effects. 350mg every day is the lower end of doses recorded to cause a fatality, and beyond that the risk far outweighs the benefit. Higher doses are common within the bromunity to which I would warn against - this is potentially a one way door. Once you metabolize that DNP it can’t be undone, and if the dose is high enough it will kill you.

Another way to think of DNPs effect on body weight loss is when compared to a caloric deficit. For example, a 500 calorie deficit where 3000 calories is maintenance equates to a deficit of ~17% (500/3000*100). Adding in 200mg of DNP provides on average a 22% increase in metabolic rate, or moves the amount of calories necessary for maintenance to 3660 (1.22*3000). At 200mg of DNP, you’re effectively at a caloric deficit of 660 calories just by eating at maintenance. While this is a huge oversimplification, it still illustrates the point - high doses are not necessary to gain benefit from this compound.