- 3 updates
The death of a Leeds University medical student who took a banned weight loss aid she found online "has highlighted the potential dangers of buying slimming pills online", a Government regulator has said.
Sarah Houston, 23, was found dead in her bedroom after taking dinitrophenol, known as DNP.
West Yorkshire coroner David Hinchliff said he would urge all relevant Government departments to take action to control DNP after he heard how Miss Houston had secretly taken the pills.
She had taken DNP, which is classed as an illegal food, along with anti-depressants.
Yesterday, Mr Hinchliff recorded a verdict of death by misadventure, following an inquest in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
Miss Houston's family, who are all doctors, have said they will campaign to stop other people being damaged by DNP.
The chemical DNP - which was in the diet pills taken by Sarah Houston from Leeds - work by inhibiting an enzyme in your body which transforms energy. The chemical stops this process, and excess energy is expelled as heat, resulting in burning up to 50 per cent more calories.
DNP was used extensively in diet pills from 1933 to 1938 after a report from Stanford University declared the chemical greatly increased metabolic rate.
But concerns about dangerous side-effects resulted in DNP being discontinued in the United States by the end of 1938.
An inquest has heard how a promising medical student in Leeds died after taking a controversial weight loss drug. 23-year-old Sarah Houston had been taking Dinitrophenol - or DNP - which has been linked to a number of deaths. From the inquest in Wakefield Chris Kiddey reports.