FSS survey shows people in Scotland are unaware of the serious health consequences of DNP

05 March 2019

Article: 53/908

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) research has found that only 4% of those surveyed in Scotland have heard about the potentially deadly substance 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), which is often illegally marketed as a ‘fat-burning’ food supplement to support weight loss or promote health and fitness.

DNP is used as an industrial chemical in pesticides and explosives, and taking it can cause the body to ‘overheat’, with side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting, to rapid or irregular heartbeat, and in some cases it can result in coma or death. It is sold as tablets or capsules and has become popular amongst people wanting to lose fat quickly, including bodybuilders and people with eating disorders. 26 people in the UK have died from taking DNP since 2007.

The survey found that 35% of surveyed people in Scotland would buy a food supplement claiming it could help them lose weight, and 55% would buy a food supplement marketed as a health and fitness product. Once aware of the dangers of DNP use, 95% of respondents said they would not take the substance knowing that it can be fatal.

Source: FSS, 25 February 2019