While calcium D-glucarate was shown to inhibit chemical carcinogenesis in various animal models, the effect of potassium hydrogen D-glucarate has not been extensively investigated. In the present study, potassium hydrogen D-glucarate markedly inhibited azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis in male F344 rats. Potassium hydrogen D-glucarate (PHG) or potassium hydrogen carbonate (PHC) were administered to rats in a diet (140 mmol/kg). Continual post-initiation treatment with potassium hydrogen D-glucarate reduced both tumor incidence and multiplicity at sacrifice by ca. 60%, while PHC had no effect. amelioration of overexpression of the betaG gene in rat colon carcinomas was observed using RT-PCR and Northern blot analysis. We hypothesize that previously demonstrated conversion of PHG to D-glucaro-1,4-lactone, a potent inhibitor of beta-glucuronidase (betaG), may be responsible for this effect. The mechanism of PHG inhibition of colon carcinogenesis may also involve suppression of cell proliferation and possibly alterations in cholesterol synthesis or cholesterol metabolism to bile acids. In conclusion, PHG possesses excellent potential as a natural, apparently non-toxic inhibitor to prevent colon cancer.