IUPAC name: 2,4-Dinitrophenol
Molecular formula: C6H4N2O5.
Molar Mass: 184.106
Density: 1.683 g/cm³
Melting Point:108 °C, 381 K, 226 °F
Boiling Point: 113 °C, 386 K, 235 °F
What is DNP?
For purposes of this article we will stick to the physiological application of DNP. If I had to describe DNP in one word…poison. DNP prevents normal chemical reactions at the cellular level. It impedes the normal function of cellular metabolism.
How does DNP work?
DNP makes changes in our metabolism. Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions in our bodies that keep us alive. Our bodies metabolize nutrients to provide us with energy. Oxidation involves the transfer of electrons between atoms (or molecules) and releases energy. The formal name for this process is oxidative phosphorylation. When our body breaks down nutrients and absorbs then into our cells, one of the functions of the cell’s mitochondria is to produce chemical energy called ATP. In order to create ATP, mitochondria capture and use the energy released from oxidative phosphorylation.
DNP is known as a mitochondrial uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation. In other words, DNP encapsulates and moves protons (ions) across cell membranes, preventing mitochondria from “processing” nutrient molecules, capturing energy via the exchange of electrons, and converting that energy to ATP. The energy released from DNP action is converted into heat energy. Without ATP to provide energy, our bodies look to alternative sources like fat reserves. The overall result is an increase in the metabolic rate by a factor of 30% to 50%.