The activities of hepatic enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis and oxidation were compared in rats fed diets containing different proportions of dried powder of the brown seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida (wakame). Rats were fed diets containing 0, 0.5, 1.0, 2. 0, 5.0 and 10 g/100 g of dried wakame powder. Experimental diets were adjusted to provide consistent amounts of most nutrients, but mineral concentrations were not standardized. After the 21-d feeding period, serum and liver triacylglycerol levels in rats fed diets in which wakame constituted at least 2% were significantly lower than those in rats fed the control diet. The activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase was significantly lower in rats fed the 5 and 10% wakame diets than in rats fed the control diet. In contrast, 10% wakame diet increased activities of enzymes involved in the beta-oxidation pathway including hepatic carnitine palmitoyltransferase, acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, acyl-CoA oxidase, enoyl-CoA hydratase and 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase. Some differences were detected in rats fed 5% wakame as well. These results suggest that alterations of the activities of enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism in the liver are responsible for the serum triacylglycerol-lowering effect of dietary wakame. Thus, wakame may be useful as a food to prevent hyperlipidemia.