Chemoprevention is considered a rational strategy for dietary approaches to prevention of cancer. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that many of our dietary principles are able to intervene in the multistage carcinogenesis process and phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate, IP6), a phytochemical present in a variety of plant species, has been shown to prevent various cancers, including those of the mammary gland, colon and liver. However, the mechanism of chemoprevention by IP6 has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we examined the effects of inositol and/ or IP6 supplementation on rat hepatocarcinogenesis initiated by diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and promoted by partial hepatectomy (PH). Supplementation with either inositol or IP6, or their combination, starting one week prior to administration of DEN, resulted in a significant decrease in both the area and the number of placental glutathione Stransferase positive (GST-P+) foci, a preneoplastic marker for DEN-initiated hepatocarcinogenesis. The administration of inositol and/or IP6 in drinking water caused marked enhancement in the glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity. In addition, the production of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and the catalase activity were significantly reduced in rats supplemented with inositol and /or IP6. Based on these findings, it is likely that the chemopreventive effects of inositol and/or IP6 on rat hepatocarcinogenesis initiated by DEN and promoted by PH are associated with induction of GST activity and suppression of lipid peroxidation.