Health warning for ‘fat-burner’ supplements

Supplements containing 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) have been linked to a number of deaths across the country.

Unfit for human consumption

Products containing the chemical are unfit for human consumption and cannot be sold legally for consumption purposes. However, these products can be bought online from outside the EU.

The Trading Standards team is also asking members of the public to inform them of any traders who are selling products containing DNP.

The products may be labelled as DNP, or they may use other claims such as containing ‘100% caffeine’, ‘burns fat’ or ‘boosts muscle growth’.

Getting the message out

Richard Webb, Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards and Community Safety Manager, said: “We are trying to get the message out that products containing DNP are very dangerous and potentially life-threatening. We urge anyone who has seen products containing this chemical to contact us immediately.

“Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team is working with the Food Standards Agency to get the message out across the county, This will include working with local gyms, fitness centres, university sports clubs and slimming clubs to raise awareness with their members of the danger these supplements pose.

"Anyone who believes they may have already taken DNP should seek medical advice immediately.”

Potentially deadly

DNP can cause a number of health problems for those who take it, including fever, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and rapid or irregular heart-beat, possibly leading to coma and death, depending on the amount consumed.

Consuming lower amounts over longer periods could lead to cataracts and skin lesions and affect the heart, blood and nervous system.

Councillor Louise Chapman, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Policy Co-ordination, said: "The consequences to people's health of consuming DNP are extremely serious and even potentially fatal, so it is vital that anybody with any knowledge of sellers of products containing this chemical gets in contact with the council council's Trading Standards team in order to help others.

"Many people use legal supplements to help with muscle growth or weight loss, however the clear message from the Trading Standards team is to steer well away from any that contain DNP."

If anyone sees products that contain DNP they can contact Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team on 0845 051 0845 (option 1).