Dolomite

Common Name(s): Dolomite , dolomitic limestone

Uses

Dolomitic limestone is a supplementary source of magnesium and calcium.

Dosing

There are no recent clinical studies of dolomite to provide a basis for dosage recommendations.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

The use of pure dolomite supplements has not been associated with toxicity.

Toxicology

Products contaminated with heavy metals are considered hazardous.

History

Dolomite has long been used as a source of calcium and magnesium for animal feeds. Dolomite is now available in a number of dosage forms including tablets and chewable wafers, to be taken as dietary supplements.

Chemistry

Dolomite is a form of limestone rich in approximately equal parts of magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate. It is found widely throughout the world. Dolomitic limestone contains about five times as much magnesium and five eighths as much calcium as ordinary limestone. Dolomite also contains small amounts of chlorine, phosphorus, and potassium, 1 in addition to more than 20 other trace elements. 2

Uses and Pharmacology

Dolomite appears to be a good source of magnesium and calcium supplementation. In animal models, minerals from dolomite are well absorbed. 3

Animal/Clinical data

Research reveals no animal or clinical data regarding the use of dolomite as a magnesium and calcium supplement.

Dosage

There are no recent clinical studies of dolomite to provide a basis for dosage recommendations.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

The use of pure dolomite supplements has not been associated with toxicity.

Toxicology

Cconcern has arisen over the use of dolomite preparations contaminated with heavy metals.

Dolomite mined from a location near a lead mine was found to contain up to 2,700 ppm (after addition to animal feed), a level that would have induced lead toxicity in the cattle that ingested it; milk and meat products from these animals would have been unsafe for human consumption. 4

Of similar concern has been the detection of elevated levels of heavy metals in dolomite preparations intended for human consumption. One product, for example, that was used as a mineral supplement was contaminated with aluminum (187 ppm), lead (35 ppm), nickel (13 ppm), arsenic (24 ppm) and mercury (12 ppm), among other trace elements. 5

Contaminated dolomite products have been reported to precipitate psychomotor seizures in otherwise controlled epileptics. 2

Bibliography

1. Worthinton-Roberts B, Breskin MA. Am Pharm . 1983;8:421.
2. Roberts HJ. Potential toxicity due to dolomite and bonemeal. South Med J . 1983;76(5):556.
3. Greger JL, et al. Interactions of lactose with calcium, magnesium and zinc in rats. J Nutr . 1989;119(11):1691.
4. FDA Consumer . 1981;15(9):35.
5. Roberts HJ. N Engl J Med . 1981;304(7):423.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health

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