Lewis Brown, 25, became obsessed with building his physique and turned to steroids to pack on extra muscle. The lab worker, from Harerhill, Suffolk, took diet pills DNP to burn fat over summer, but overdosed after taking eight pills, which pushed his body temperature to almost 107 F.
‘I was so out of it about getting bigger that I thought I was unstoppable,’ Mr Brown said. ‘I just wanted to be better than anyone else.’ Doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge put Mr Brown into a coma and covered him with ice, but when his muscles started to die his family were called in to say goodbye.
Incredibly, Mr Brown recovered, but not before surgeons cut out of a chunk of dead leg muscle. ‘I’m getting back to my old self. My family are really relieved,’ he said. ‘The doctors have said I’m very lucky to be alive. ‘I’m going to go back to the gym because I like to keep fit, but I’m never touching pills or steroids ever again.’
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What Is 2,4-Dinitrophenol or DNP
2,4-Dinitrophenol (2,4-DNP or simply DNP) is an organic compound with the formula HOC6H3(NO2)2. It is a yellow, crystalline solid that has a sweet, musty odor. It sublimes, is volatile with steam, and is soluble in most organic solvents as well as aqueous alkaline solutions. It is a precursor to other chemicals and is biochemically active, inhibiting energy (adenosine triphosphate, ATP) production in cells with mitochondria. Its use in high doses as a dieting aid has been identified with severe side-effects, including a number of deaths.