The effects of dietary Konjac mannan (KM), a frequent ingredient of traditional Japanese foods, on intestinal microbial metabolism and microflora composition were investigated using two laboratory animal models, namely, conventional F344 rats and C3H/He male mice bearing human flora. Dietary KM led to a significant reduction in faecal beta-glucuronidase, nitroreductase and azoreductase activities, and in the production of phenol and indole in the faeces of conventional F344 rats. In the C3H/He male mice bearing human flora, faecal beta-glucuronidase and nitroreductase activities were significantly reduced by KM ingestion, as were the amounts of the putrefactive products, p-cresol and indole, in the faeces. Slight differences in intestinal microflora composition between control and KM diet groups were noted. The results indicate that, in C3H/He male mice bearing human flora, dietary KM may modify microbial metabolism without causing significant alterations in intestinal microflora composition.