Adverse effects of antioxidative vitamins

Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2012 Jun;25(2):105-21. doi: 10.2478/S13382-012-0022-x. Epub 2012 Apr 19.


High doses of synthetic antioxidative vitamins: A, E, C and β-carotene are often used on long-term basis in numerous preventive and therapeutic medical applications. Instead of expected health effects, the use of those vitamins may however lead to cases of hypervitaminosis and even to intoxication. The article points out main principles of safety which are to be observed during supplementation with antioxidative vitamins. Toxic effects resulting from erroneous administration of high doses of those substances on organs and systems of the organism are also discussed. Attention is drawn to interactions of antioxidative vitamins with concomitantly used drugs, as well as intensification of adverse effects caused by various exogenous chemical factors. Moreover, the article presents the evaluation of supplementation with these vitamins, which was performed in large studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects*
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Food-Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Hypervitaminosis A / chemically induced*
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin E / adverse effects*
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / adverse effects*


  • Antioxidants
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Ascorbic Acid