The neutralization or mopping up of reactive species produced during oxidative stress is achieved by synergistic actions of endogenous and exogenous antioxidants, including antioxidant vitamins. The sources, functions and effects of toxic and deficiency levels of these antioxidant vitamins are reviewed using information obtained from research articles, textbooks, monographs and internet platforms. Findings show that these antioxidants are commonly available in our daily meals and are therefore easily obtained if adequate diets are taken. However, some disease conditions can cause their deficiencies, while reduced or excessive (especially through supplementations) intake can produce disease states. It is suggested that assessment of these antioxidant vitamins be individualized, especially in critical situations like pregnancy.
S. O. Ogbodo
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria.