A total of 10 highly-mutagenic heterocyclic amines have been identified to be carcinogenic in rodents. Among these, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), generally the most abundant with normal cooking procedures, induces mammary and colon carcinomas in rats in a clear dose-dependent manner. In a two-generation exposure (transplacental and trans-breast milk) experiment using Sprague-Dawley rats, an increased risk of mammary adenocarcinoma development was found in the second generation. Excretion of PhIP into the milk and transfer of PhIP to fetuses and neonates with resultant hepatic PhIP-DNA adduct formation were also confirmed. On the other hand, PhIP mammary carcinogenesis was significantly inhibited by coadministration of chlorophyllin or a synthetic antioxidant, 1-O-hexyl-2,3,5-trimethylhydroquinone, in long-term experiments using female F344 rats. The available findings strongly suggest that this food-derived carcinogen might be of importance as an environmental factor in the production of human cancers and that its carcinogenicity could be largely avoided by reducing intake of such compounds or by adoption of appropriate chemopreventive measures.