In this article I will attempt to cover the following topics regarding DNP:
Mechanism of Action
Dose and Cycle Recommendations
Side effects/ risks
Recommended supplements with DNP
DNP stands for 2,4-dinitrophenol. This is a chemical that was once used in the early 20th century to ignite dynamite and cast a yellow dye on wood and other handcrafts. A few years later demographical statistics showed that employees who worked with DNP everyday tended to lose weight, often rapidly. One fall out from this was a study conducted by Stanford University in 1920 showing that the ingestion of DNP does in fact cause weight loss. This prompted physicians to prescribe DNP to obese patients of that era. DNP was on the market for 2 decades as a weight loss drug and was eventually taken off the market and banned for human consumption by the FDA because there was a report of cataract formation among female users of this drug which turned out to be false. This chemical is still deemed too dangerous by the FDA to allow it to come back to the pharmaceutical marketplace. Over the decades of research on DNP, scientists have never shown it to have the ability to cause cancer or any other mutations despite the fact that it's a phenol and that most phenolic compounds are carcinogenic. DNP is now only used as a research chemical and as a pesticide in a few states that still approve of its use. It is not illegal to own DNP, but it is illegal to market it for personal consumption.
MECHANISM OF ACTION:
DNP exerts its effects within the cell, more specifically within the membrane of the mitochondria. The advantage of intracellular mechanisms of action such as this is that a tolerance to DNP cannot develop. To make a long story short, DNP makes the process of ATP formation very inefficient. Why is this important? Because ATP is the energy unit needed to drive all our biochemical reactions in our body that is necessary to keep us alive. The cells in our body constantly need energy (ATP) to stay alive. The amount of ATP needed to keep a person alive depends on his/her basal metabolic rate. By making ATP formation inefficient, a person's basal metabolic rate can increase indefinitely, but for practical uses, basal metabolic rate can safely increase by 30-50% without putting one's life in danger. It is not unheard of for people to lose up to one pound of pure fat per day while on DNP.
If you're not familiar with ATP, it's what the Calories that are stored in carbs, fats, and proteins are eventually turned into. In other words, the energy that is stored in the macromolecules are transferred to the ATP molecule, but DNP disrupts this process. Instead of making ATP from macromolecules in the presence of DNP, the potential energy is just turned into heat. This is very significant because ATP levels in the body will quickly diminish and cells want to replenish that storage by breaking down more fats, carbs, etc. As you can see, a patter quickly develops where ATP levels will constantly be below normal and the body will always be trying to burn more fats, carbs, and proteins to help replenish the ATP levels. This is no different than doing aerobic exercises such as jogging, biking, etc, except while on DNP, the body is doing the aerobic exercise non stop 24 hours a day.
DOSES AND CYCLE RECOMMENDATIONS:
DNP is not a drug for everyone, definitely not the beginner who just wants to lose a couple of pounds to look better with the shirt off¦ Without proper education on its use, DNP can be deadly.
There are 2 forms of DNP currently on the market, pure crystalline (100% dry) DNP, and powdered DNP (usually 5-10% moisture). The crystalline version is stronger and more effective, but more caution needs to be used while using it. It acts much faster, and the side effects also subside faster as well.
I recommend between 2-6mg/kg-bw per day for crystalline DNP and 4-10mg/kg-bw for powdered DNP. A beginner should always start off at the low end to assess tolerance. Trying this for the first time 2 weeks before a competition can be disastrous. A 220lb man is 100kg exactly. This means that if he is a first time user of crystalline DNP then he should take 200mg per day. I suggest staying with this dose for at least 3 days to keep it safe, then slowly increase the dosage. 400mg/day can be used, but never take it all at once. Always split up the doses as far as possible, so for 400mg/day that would mean taking 1 200mg capsule every 12 hours. Only on rare occasions should someone attempt 600mg/day with the crystalline capsules unless it's used by a very experienced user and all the vital signs are closely monitored.
Cycle length depends largely on the individual. At first it was thought that a DNP cycle should be limited to 10 days at the most because the thyroids shuts down and t4 to t3 conversion in the liver becomes nil, however, this is not the case. 10 days is a very arbitrary number. A person taking 200mg/day would have almost completely normal thyroid function at day 10 whereas if s/he took 600mg/day, t3 would be non existent after 3 days. While the t3 hormone plays a very large role in determining fat loss, it should not be a big concern while on DNP because the fat burning capabilities of DNP will more than compensate for the suppressed t3 levels. An advantage to suppressed t3 levels is that the body will burn much less muscle while still burning fat on DNP. Normal t3 and thyroid function is restored within a week of stopping DNP.
Ok, so how long should you do it? I suggest playing around with it and just go by how your body feels. It is not a bad idea to just take 2-3mg/kg-bw for 3-4 weeks. This causes less side effects and will have the same overall effect, but it will just take a bit longer. After you get used to 2-3mg/kg-bw, then another option is to up the dose by 1 cap and carrying that out for as long as your body can handle it because fatigue and a host of other side effects will eventually overtake you. If 2 caps/day is still too mild then repeat the above step with 3 caps per day spread out into 8-hour intervals.
Because of some water retention caused by DNP, users typically find that they look their best 4-7 days after finishing their cycle when the water has normalized.
Take the last DNP capsule 8 days prior to the competition date. Carb deplete after 3 days after the last cap. Carb load immediately 2 days prior to competition and stop fluid intake. This should allow for excellent glycogen super compensation within the muscles for a fuller look.
1. Carb deplete for 3 days prior to DNP because DNP will take a good 2-3 days to deplete the body's glycogen stores before it can efficiently burn stored fat.
2. Once on DNP eat an isocaloric diet (33% prot, 33% fat, 33% carbs) and keep the calories at around maintenance level. Restricting carbs will put the body in a state of hypoglycemia and can be dangerous to the health and also the mental well being. DNP also mimics insulin in that it shuttles glucose into the cells in the absence of glucose. This is great for fat burning, but when carb intake is too low the blood glucose can be at dangerously low levels as well. a more experienced user can switch up this ratio a bit. Either way it won't make a huge difference because it's mostly about the total calorie consumption.
This is what I'm proposing to be the optimal DNP diet (for a high dose short cycle(s) and the end of a low dose extended cycle only):
50% carbs, 35% protein, 15% fat. It's not a misprint; carbs are essential for DNP to work properly. Keep in mind that it's only the percentage that changes and not the total calories. From this point it will get a bit complicated, but read over it a few times and you will get the gist of it. I'll also try to keep it as simple as possible.