Although the sesame lignans, sesaminol and sesamolinol, have been shown to possess antioxidative activity, less is known about the metabolism and antioxidative properties of sesamolin, a major constituent of sesame oil. To determine the ability of sesamolin to act as an antioxidant in vivo, we fed rats a diet containing 1% sesamolin for 2 wk and studied its metabolism and its effects on oxidative stress. About 75% of the ingested sesamolin was excreted unmetabolized in feces, but it was not detected in urine. Sesamolin and its metabolites, sesamol and sesamolinol, were excreted primarily as sulfates and glucuronides. The amount of sesamolin and its metabolites was lower in the plasma than in the liver or kidneys. When we compared rats fed a diet containing 1% sesamolin for 14 d with those fed a control diet, we found that liver weight was significantly greater in the former group. Lipid peroxidation activity, measured as 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, was significantly lower in the kidneys and liver of the sesamolin-fed rats than in the controls. In addition, the amount of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine excreted in the urine was significantly lower in the sesamolin-fed rats. These results suggest that sesamolin and its metabolites may contribute to the antioxidative properties of sesame seeds and oil and support our hypothesis that sesame lignans reduce susceptibility to oxidative stress.