Effect of vitamin E and C supplementation on oxidative damage and total antioxidant capacity in lead-exposed workers

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 Jan;37(1):45-54. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2013.10.016. Epub 2013 Nov 13.


The molecular response of the antioxidant system and the effects of antioxidant supplementation against oxidative insult in lead-exposed workers has not been sufficiently studied. In this work, antioxidants (vitamin E 400 IU+vitamin C 1g/daily) were supplemented for one year to 15 workers exposed to lead (73 μg of lead/dl of blood) and the results were compared with those on 19 non-lead exposed workers (6.7 μg of lead/dl). Lead intoxication was accompanied by a high oxidative damage and an increment in the erythrocyte antioxidant response due to increased activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase. Antioxidant supplementations decreased significantly the oxidative damage as well as the total antioxidant capacity induced by lead intoxication with reduction of the antioxidant enzyme activities. We conclude that antioxidant supplementation is effective in reducing oxidative damage and induces modifications in the physiopathological status of the antioxidant response in lead-exposed workers.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Blood; Enzymes; Human; Lead toxicity; Oxidation.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / blood
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / toxicity*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Glutathione Reductase / blood
  • Humans
  • Lead / blood
  • Lead / toxicity*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase / blood
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • Vitamin E / pharmacokinetics
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • Lead
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Porphobilinogen Synthase
  • Ascorbic Acid