The effects of intake of dietary amounts of carrot or corresponding amounts of (-)-(3R)-falcarinol from carrots on development of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon preneoplastic lesions were examined in male BDIX rats. Three groups of eight AOM-treated rats were fed the standard rat feed Altromin supplemented with either 10% (w/w) freeze-dried carrots with a natural content of 35 mug falcarinol/g, 10% maize starch to which was added 35 mug falcarinol/g purified from carrots, or 10% maize starch (control). After 18 weeks, the animals were euthanized and the colon was examined for tumors and aberrant crypt foci (ACF), which were classified into four size classes. Although the number of small ACF was unaffected by the feeding treatments, the numbers of lesions as a function of increasing size class decreased significantly in the rats that received one of the two experimental treatments, as compared with the control treatment. This indicates that the dietary treatments with carrot and falcarinol delayed or retarded the development of large ACF and tumors. The present study provides a new perspective on the known epidemiological associations between high intake of carrots and reduced incidence of cancers.