Dietary supplementation with calcium reduces colonic crypt cell production rates in both normal and hyperplastic mucosa. Calcium can bind intraluminally with bile salts and fatty acids thus reducing their mitogenic effect. The protective role of oral calcium on intestinal carcinogenesis (induced by azoxymethane) was tested in 60 male Sprague-Dawley rats submitted to either 80 per cent mid jejuno-ileal resection (n = 30) or jejunal transection (n = 30). Half the rats in each group received calcium lactate 24 g/l added to their drinking water. Rats were killed 25-27 weeks postoperatively. Enterectomy increased colonic tumour yield by 60-106 per cent (P = 0.002-0.005) and duodenal tumour yield by 70-86 per cent. Calcium abolished this effect at both sites, halving intestinal tumour yields in rats with both transection and resection (P less than 0.05). Doubling the dietary intake of calcium inhibits experimental carcinogenesis.