The effect of pre-germinated brown rice (PGBR) on cholesterol metabolism was studied in Donryu rats subcutaneously implanted with the ascites hepatoma cell line AH109A and compared with that of white rice (WR). The effect of brown rice (BR), the source of PGBR, was also studied. Hepatoma-bearing rats fed a WR diet exhibited hypercholesterolemia compared with normal rats fed the same diet. Feeding hepatoma-bearing rats a PGBR or BR diet suppressed hepatoma-induced hypercholesterolemia, and enhanced fecal bile acid excretion and the activity of cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of bile acid biosynthesis, in the microsomal fraction of the liver without affecting cholesterol synthesis in the host liver of hepatoma-bearing rats. These results suggest that PGBR as well as BR suppresses hypercholesterolemia induced by hepatoma growth by up-regulating cholesterol catabolism.