The influence of dietary fiber from coconut kernel isolated by the neutral detergent fiber method on the antioxidant status in rats treated with the colon specific carcinogen 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) was studied in rats fed a high-fat diet for 15 weeks. The DMH-treated fiber group showed higher levels of lipid peroxides than the control group treated with DMH at the preneoplastic and neoplastic stages. Free fatty acid levels were found to decrease significantly in the DMH-treated control group, whereas it was near normal in the fiber groups. Superoxide dismutase and catalase activity also were found to be increased in the liver, intestine, proximal colon, and distal colon. Glutathione levels in all the tissues studied showed significant decreases in the fiber group. The results suggest that coconut kernel fiber can protect cells from loss of oxidative capacity with the administration of the procarcinogen DMH.