Vitamins with antioxidant properties have the ability to act as pro-oxidants, inducing oxidative damage and oxidative stress as opposed to preventing it. While vitamin supplements are commonly consumed, the scientific evidence for their health beneficial effects is inconclusive. In fact, even harmful effects have been reported. The present study aimed to investigate and compare pro-oxidant properties of different antioxidants and vitamins commonly found in dietary supplements, at concentrations of physiological relevance, alone or in combination with metals also found in supplements. Focus was on damages related to DNA. The vitamins' chemical oxidation potencies were studied by measuring the amount of the oxidation product 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) formed from the DNA nucleoside deoxyguanosine (dG) after vitamin exposure, using a high-performance liquid chromatography system with electrochemical and ultraviolet detection. To study the vitamins' ability to cause DNA damage to cultured cells, promyelocytic leukemia cells (HL-60) were exposed to vitamins, and strand breaks, alkali-labile sites and oxidative DNA lesions, i.e. formamido pyrimidine DNA glycosylase-sensitive sites, were detected using the comet assay. Vitamins A and C chemically induced oxidation of dG, alone and in synergism with iron or copper, whereas only vitamin C and copper induced DNA damage in cultured cells. Contrary, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, β-carotene, folic acid, α-tocopherol, δ-tocopherol or γ-tocopherol did not induce oxidative damage to dG, while lycopene induced a weak dose-response increase. Taken together, vitamin C and copper stood out with the strongest oxidative potency, which is of potential concern since both substances are commonly found in multivitamins.