A university student known as ‘Mr Muscles’ has died after apparently taking ‘lethal’ bodybuilding pills to help him lose weight.
Fitness fanatic Sarmad Alladin, 18, who had posted snaps of his new muscles online, was taken to hospital just hours after praising the fat-burning tablets called DNP on Facebook.
Mr Alladin, an international student and son of an Indian millionaire, called an ambulance as he suddenly collapsed.
He was living in university accommodation in Epsom, Surrey, while attending the specialist art and design university in nearby Farnham.
A friend told The Sun: ‘He wasn’t the type to put something like that into his body, so clearly they’re misleading. I’ve cried so much since he died.’
Last week the University for the Creative Arts warned its students: ‘It has come to the University’s attention that some very dangerous weight-loss and body-building drugs could be circulating among students.
‘If you have bought or obtained Dinitrophenol or Dymetadrine tablets online or anywhere else, please stop using them immediately. The drugs are potentially lethal.’
Vice-chancellor Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr said: ‘As a university we are devastated by the untimely and tragic passing of one of our students, Sarmad Alladin. Our sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.’
Last night Mr Alladin’s family, who flew to UK from Hyderabad, were awaiting the results of a post mortem.
A spokesman for Surrey Police said: ”Surrey Police received reports of the sudden death of an 18-year-old man at Epsom General Hospital on Wednesday, February 13.
‘The man, who is from Epsom, was brought into the hospital around 4am and was pronounced dead at 6.20am.
‘Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but there is nothing to suggest any third party involvement.
‘Officers are liaising with Coroner's Office and a post mortem will be held in due course.’
DNP 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 Food Standards Agency has told consumers not to take pills containing any level of DNP after a second death was linked to the substance.
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.
According to a study published last year in the Journal of Medical Toxicity, in medical literature has attributed 62 deaths to DNP.
The study authors from the Whittington Hospital in London, wrote: ‘DNP is reported to cause rapid loss of weight, but unfortunately is associated with an unacceptably high rate of significant adverse effects.’
In 2008, Selena Walrond from Croydon, south London, died after taking DNP she had purchased online.
The yellow pills had sent her heart-rate racing and temperature soaring. She was found by her mother Anjennis trying to cool down the next day.
She was taken to hospital but died eight hours later from a heart attack.
Croydon Coroner’s Court heard that Selena had taken a gram of the drug the day before she died.
At the time her mother said: ‘I’ll never forget her yellow fingernails and skinÂ -Â the drug was sweating out of her.
‘Selena’s life has been cruelly snatched away, all because she was desperate to lose weight. DNP is lethal. If you want to lose weight, do it the sensible way.’
A verdict of accidental death was recorded.