There is considerable interest in the study of free radical-mediated damage to biological systems due to pesticide exposure. However, there is a lack of consensus as to which determinations are best used to quantify future risks arising from xenobiotic exposure and natural antioxidant interventions. Our study investigated the potential ability of selenium and/or vitamin E, used as nutritional supplements, to alleviate cardiotoxicity induced by dimethoate. Female Wistar rats were exposed for 30 days either to dimethoate (0.2 g L−1 of drinking water), dimethoate+selenium (0.5 mg kg−1 of diet), dimethoate+vitamin E (100 mg kg−1 of diet), or dimethoate+selenium+vitamin E. The exposure of rats to dimethoate promoted oxidative stress with a rise in malondialdehyde, advanced protein oxidation, and protein carbonyl levels. An increase of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase activities was also noted. A fall in acetylcholinesterase and Na+K+-ATPase activities, glutathione, nonprotein thiols, vitamins C and E levels was observed. Plasma levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol increased and those of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol decreased. Coadministration of selenium or vitamin E to the diet of dimethoate-treated rats ameliorated the biochemical parameters cited above. The histopathological findings confirmed the biochemical results and the potential protective effects of selenium and vitamin E against cardiotoxicity induced by dimethoate. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 28:630–643, 2013.