Adv Pharm Bull. 2016;6(4):467-477.
doi: 10.15171/apb.2016.061
PMID: 28101454
PMCID: PMC5241405
Scopus id: 85011390791
  Abstract View: 608
  PDF Download: 340

Review Article

Vitamins, Are They Safe?

Hadi Hamishehkar 1, Farhad Ranjdoost 2, Parina Asgharian 3, Ata Mahmoodpoor 4, Sarvin Sanaie 5 *

1 Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
2 Iranian Evidence Based Medicine Center of Excellence, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
3 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
4 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
5 Tuberculosis & Lung Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


The consumption of a daily multivitamin among people all over the world is dramatically increasing in recent years. Most of the people believe that if vitamins are not effective, at least they are safe. However, the long term health consequences of vitamins consumption are unknown. This study aimed to assess the side effects and possible harmful and detrimental properties of vitamins and to discuss whether vitamins can be used as safe health products or dietary supplements. We performed a MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus and Google Scholar search and assessed reference lists of the included studies which were published from 1993 through 2015. The studies, with an emphasis on RCTs (randomized controlled clinical trials), were reviewed. As some vitamins such as fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E), and also some of the water-soluble vitamins like folic acid may cause adverse events and some like vitamin C is widely taken assuming that it has so many benefits and no harm, we included relevant studies with negative or undesired results regarding the effect of these vitamins on health. Our recommendation is that taking high-dose supplements of vitamins A, E, D, C, and folic acid is not always effective for prevention of disease, and it can even be harmful to the health.
First name
Last name
Email address
Security code

Submitted: 02 Jun 2016
Revised: 09 Oct 2016
Accepted: 15 Oct 2016
First published online: 22 Dec 2016
EndNote EndNote

(Enw Format - Win & Mac)

BibTeX BibTeX

(Bib Format - Win & Mac)

Bookends Bookends

(Ris Format - Mac only)

EasyBib EasyBib

(Ris Format - Win & Mac)

Medlars Medlars

(Txt Format - Win & Mac)

Mendeley Web Mendeley Web
Mendeley Mendeley

(Ris Format - Win & Mac)

Papers Papers

(Ris Format - Win & Mac)

ProCite ProCite

(Ris Format - Win & Mac)

Reference Manager Reference Manager

(Ris Format - Win only)

Refworks Refworks

(Refworks Format - Win & Mac)

Zotero Zotero

(Ris Format - FireFox Plugin)