West Mercia Police have issued a warning to the public after a young woman died from taking diet pills believed to contain the highly toxic chemical dinitrophenol, also known as DNP.
Eloise Parry died at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on April 12 after taking tablets she bought online. According to Eloise’s mother Fiona her daughter began to feel unwell and went to hospital of her own accord, adding that there was “no great panic” until a toxicology report revealed how serious the situation was.
“They attempted to cool her down [as her metabolism soared], but they were fighting an uphill battle,” said Fiona Parry. “The drug was in her system, there was no antidote, two tablets was a lethal dose — and she had taken eight.”
Chief Inspector Jennifer Mattinson said: “We are undoubtedly concerned over the origin and sale of these pills and are working with partner agencies to establish where they were bought from and how they were advertised. The coroner’s report will establish the exact cause of Eloise’s death but we urge the public to be incredibly careful when purchasing medicine or supplements over the internet. Substances from unregistered websites could put your health at risk as they could be extremely harmful, out-of-date or fake.”
Chief Inspector Mattinson added: “This substance is an industrial chemical actually. It’s not fit for human consumption. It’s used as a pesticide, very dangerous and highly toxic and even very small amounts of it can have really devastating effects.”
A spokesperson from Glyndwr University, where Eloise was studying for a BA (Hons) Families and Childhood Studies degree, told the Daily Post: “She was a motivated group member who contributed enthusiastically to all modules, always championing the promotion of positive well-being for children and young people. Ella was a popular student with staff, peers, across the university and within placement. She always strived to do her best in everything and had great potential both academically and in practice. She will be sadly missed by us all. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends at this sad time.”
Following Eloise’s tragic death the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a reminder to the public to be very careful when buying pills online, saying: “We advise the public not to take any tablets or powders containing DNP, as it is an industrial chemical and not fit for human consumption. It can be extremely dangerous to human health.”
The bottom line? Don’t buy any “diet pills” online unless they’ve been approved by your doctor, no matter what they promise. And the best way to lose weight is always by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.