During WWII, Russian soldiers took “heat pills” that kept them warm in the winter; however, they would also lose weight despite eating well. 2,4-dinitrophenol spikes metabolic rate as potential energy is lost as heat—it is banned as a weight loss aid (U.S.) as overdose can cook people to death.

2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP): A Weight Loss Agent with Significant Acute Toxicity and Risk of Death

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History of Dinitrophenol

The French used DNP in the manufacture of munitions during the First World War [6, 7]. Since then, it has also been used as a dye, wood preserver, herbicide and photographic developer. It was Maurice Tainter at Stanford University in 1933 who discovered that the human consumption of DNP led to significant weight loss and soon it was popularised as a weight loss drug . It was included in over-the-counter medications and was sold to the public without requiring a prescription.

Its use for those wishing to lose weight was encouraged by reports of rapid, safe weight loss [7, 8]. DNP can cause a significant increase in the basal metabolic rate [7, 8]. This leads to weight loss by burning more fat and c… Continue Reading
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550200/