Mitochondria and Drugs

This page has comments about drugs and/or food supplements that can affect energy production in the body’s Mitochondria, but are NOT specifically known to be good or bad for someone carrying a LHON Gene.

DNP (2,4 DiNitroPhenol)

DNP was used in several industries in the 20th Century, and the first recorded death due to DNP exposure was a French WW1 Munitions worker.  It has been used for extreme weight-loss and as part of a body-building regime.  It is extremely dangerous to use as small doses can be fatal.

DNP prevents the Mitochondria from using energy released from food to make ATP.  This means each molecule of food processed generates only two molecules of ATP and a lot of heat, instead of the forty molecules of ATP and a small amount of heat generated when the Mitochondria work normally.

The body has to “burn” a lot more food, a lot more quickly, to work on the small amount of fuel it gets from food.

DNP can easily lead to extreme overheating of the body, heart and lung damage. (

However, if used very carefully by medical researchers, DNP has been shown to have a protective effect on mitochondria in damaged nerve tissue in the spinal cord. (18709657)



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