A woman mourning the death of her 21-year-old daughter has a stern warning for others buying weight loss supplements online: diet pills for women — especially those containing dinitrophenol (or DNP) — are dangerous. Eloise Parry took a lethal dose of the popular diet pill and suffered a horrific death from a substance once used for ammunition and explosives, according to a CBS News report.
On April 12, a British woman went into distress after taking eight diet pills to help her lose weight. But according to Eloise Aimee Parry’s mom, Fiona, the consumption of only two pills can be fatal. On this day, the young woman drove herself to the hospital after suddenly feeling ill. There, doctors made a startling discovery after running tests: Eloise was “literally burning up from within,” according to her mom.
The most recent victim of the chemical 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) is Eloise Aimee Parry, 21, pictured, from… http://t.co/Rr7KmJYxGV
— World Health News (@WorldHealthNews) April 21, 2015
A team of physicians struggled to stabilize the woman; her condition was deteriorating faster than they could make a formal diagnosis. A short time later, tests revealed that toxic levels of the diet pill DNP was in her system, but there was nothing they could do to neutralize it. And with Eloise’s metabolism rising at alarming levels, time and options to save Parry were running out, as the girl’s mom explained in a statement following her tragic death.
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) April 21, 2015
“As the drug kicked in and started to make her metabolism soar, they attempted to cool her down, but they were fighting an uphill battle. … When she stopped breathing, they put her on a ventilator and carried on fighting to save her. When her heart stopped they couldn’t revive her. She had crashed. She had taken so much DNP that the consequences were inevitable. They never stood a chance of saving her.”
The substance contained in the diet pills that allegedly killed Eloise Parry dates back to nearly a century ago. DNP was used by the French in World War I to manufacture explosives, according to a Guardian report. Factory workers exposed to it report of having elevated body temperatures and experiencing rapid loss of weight, among other things.
A university study followed in 1934, which found that the substance sped up metabolic rates by 50 percent. In turn, it allows a person to shed roughly three pounds of body fat weekly. It didn’t take long for companies to develop diet pill supplements. However, consumption of the pill carried harmful side effects, one of which was death. One such case involved a man who died when his body temperature soared to nearly 110 degrees. He “literally cooked to death,” according to reports. By 1938, it was pulled from shelves.
Raymond Chung, MD, director of hepatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, weighed in one the allure of the diet pill that allegedly killed Eloise Parry. Chung said DNP poisons the body’s energy center, the mitochondria.
“Dinitrophenol leads not just to potential organ failure but also the over-generation of heat, causing a hyperthermia-type scenario.”
[Photo Illustration by David McNew/Getty Images]