Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Sep 16

Tragedy of the gifted rugby player, 18, who died after buying deadly ‘fat-burning’ pills online

Doctors thought Chris Maplecroft had contracted meningitis

Toxicology results revealed he was killed by DNP, lethal slimming drug

He is the fifth person to die after taking the ‘fat burning’ pills in one year

Weeks later his parents heard he had won a place at a top university

Promising: Star rugby player Chris Mapletoft died before receiving his A-Level results

A talented sixth form rugby player has become the latest young person to die after taking a banned fat burning diet pill.

Chris Mapletoft, 18, died at home after swallowing DNP, a chemical sold online which is being used as a dangerous quick-fix slimming aid.

Although banned for human consumption, the toxic substance itself is not illegal because it is used as a chemical pesticide.

Chris had just completed his A-levels at the £15,000-a-year Hampton School in West London and was planning on studying a business degree at university.

The bright pupil was also a star of the independent school’s first XV rugby team, winning a player of the tournament trophy last year.

His death is the latest in a series of tragedies in the UK blamed on the substance.

Earlier this year the Mail reported how medical student Sarah Houston, 23, died after secretly taking DNP along with a prescribed anti-depressant.

Those who have overdosed on DNP have likened it to ‘cooking from the inside’, because it can cause the body to overheat.

Chris died at home in Twickenham on June 18. At the time, it was believed he may have died from meningitis, but an inquest last week was told the cause of death was the chemical, known as 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP). The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Police are trying to find out where he bought the pills and warned of the risks of DNP.

A spokesman said: ‘Dinitrophenol has no legitimate use as a medicine or food supplement, and is not safe for human consumption in any form.

Gifted: Chris with the 1st XV rugby team at Hampton School, a leading independent boys school in West London. The teenager won player of the tournament last year. His parents did not know he was taking DNP

Tragic: Sarmad Alladin, 18, died in January after taking the drug. Sarah Houston, 23, was found dead last year


A charity has warned of the risks of buying untested drugs and ‘miracle cures’ over the internet after patients told how their health was damaged by bogus medicines.

While chatrooms and online forums offer valuable support to sufferers of chronic illnesses, they can also carry advertising and misleading stories, according to Sense About Science.

Those taken in by online promotions, who range from dieters to cancer patients, said the consequences can be devastating.

Some patients said they were ‘sold false hope’ and ended up aggravating their condition, and even stopped taking their original medication.

The report offers advice on how to spot claims about ‘miracle cures’, bogus quick-fixes and untested treatments.

Spokesman Tracey Brown said: ‘If a claim about a treatment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

‘We can all make steps towards a culture change on unproven treatments.’

‘It is a poison which interferes with the normal way the body gets energy from fat. This can lead, as in this case, to death from overheating.’

Chris’s headteacher Kevin Knibbs said: ‘He was a sportsman but he was also a very serious academic too. Most importantly of all, he was a fantastic guy, much loved and greatly respected here by all of us.’

DNP, which is popular with bodybuilders, has been linked to 62 deaths worldwide and has caused three in Britain in the past year.

University of Leeds student Miss Houston died last September. She had been suffering from bulimia, for which she was seeing a psychiatrist.

The night before she died, she took two cold showers to try to cool down after feeling unwell.
In February, 18-year-old student Sarmad Alladin died hours after praising DNP on Facebook.

DNP was originally launched as a slimming aid in the 1930s but was banned shortly afterwards due to its side-effects. Last month the Food Standards Agency issued a warning over the availability of the chemical as a ‘fat-burning substance’.

Chris’s family were not available for comment yesterday.


DNP is sold as a weight loss aid, but has been described as ‘extremely dangerous to human health’ by doctors.

It is sold mostly over the internet under a number of different names but contains 2, 4-Dinitrophenol.
It is marketed mainly to bodybuilders as a weight loss aid as it is thought to dramatically boost metabolism.

The manufactured drug is yellow and odourless and was previously used as a herbicide and fungicide. It was launched as a slimming aid in the U.S. in the 1930s but then banned in 1938, due to the severe side-effects.

Depending on the amount consumed, signs of acute poisoning could include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and irregular heart-beat, possibly leading to coma and death.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2421042/Fat-burning-pills-sold-online-kill-promising-young-rugby-ace-bright-student-18.html#ixzz2f2TONABK

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.