“Burn” that fat

If there is any drug that should be arrested for several counts of murder and attempts on several occasions to escape and remain elusive it […]

If there is any drug that should be arrested for several counts of murder and attempts on several occasions to escape and remain elusive it has to be 2, 4-Dinitrophenol. This drug is notoriously sold under the counter without prescriptions; a diet pill widely sold over the internet under various trade names. The minds of the public are played by displaying images of flat bellies with the famous before and after scenarios added in for a smoother sales pitch. Of course the suppliers would not include “much later” scenarios because if the public knew too much, sales would take a nosedive.

Those in favour of 2, 4-DNP argue that all drugs have side effects and therefore, in small doses the risks could be minimized. Maybe Stephen Hawking was talking about these people when he said, “the greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is illusion of knowledge.” There is no denying that on consumption of these drugs there is substantial weight loss as promised by the advertisements. However any drug that plays with your metabolism and respiratory control mechanisms should be taken with a pinch of salt. Before you decide to buy 2, 4-DNP to solve your problems instead of getting on that treadmill, you should understand the underlying mechanism of its action in your body.

The pill simulates the biological environment of an exercising body to some extent. It targets the mitochondrial membrane, increasing its porosity. Compare this to an overhead tanker which is getting pumped by water but does not get filled due to holes in the tank. Similarly electrons released by the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats need to be transported through the membrane to reduce oxygen at the other end of the line. With 2, 4-DNP “poking” its nose where it does not belong and preventing oxygen reduction as well as subsequent ATP production, the cells switch to a furious ninja mode where they try all means possible to pump even more electrons and make up for this loss. This means more carbohydrates and fats are broken down at a faster rate to get more electrons. In other words, the pill works and you do lose weight on consumption! In fact people who take it sweat and breathe heavily even while resting!

However most of the “good stuff” comes with a disclaimer alert. Due to a dysfunctional mitochondrial membrane ATP is not produced. You break down a lot of fat but the energy is not converted to ATP. Instead it is released in form of heat which, unlike ATP, is not a useful form of energy unless in case of hibernating animals.

In crude words, the pill cooks you from inside. You are not just burning fat when you take that diet pill!

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