The uptake of α-tocopherol and β-carotene and their antioxidative effect in plasma and buccal mucosal cells after oral application in twelve subjects is demonstrated in our study. The effect on the antioxidative status was evaluated using a modified thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) method. As expected, the supplement of 134·2 mg α-tocopherol/d and 25 mg β-carotene/d for 7 d resulted in a significant increase of α-tocopherol and β-carotene concentration in plasma (P<0·05). In buccal mucosal cells, the concentration of β-carotene increased after supplementation (P<0·05), whereas the concentration of α-tocopherol remained constant. A decrease in TBARS (P<0·05) was found in buccal mucosal cells but not in plasma. In conclusion, an uptake of the supplemented antioxidants was detected in plasma and in buccal mucosal cells. There was significant change in β-carotene concentration and oxidative stress as measured using a modified TBARS test in buccal mucosal cells, but not in the plasma.