Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are abundant and persistent environmental contaminants, which tend to accumulate through the food chain. Because of the toxic potential of these compounds, body burden should be kept as low as possible e.g. by taking dietary measures. In the present report, the effect of wheat bran consumption on absorption of dietary PCBs as well as on excretion of previously absorbed PCBs was investigated in rats. Moreover, the accumulation of 7 reference PCB congeners in liver and abdominal adipose tissue was studied. Faecal excretion of dietary PCBs was significantly higher in rats fed wheat bran compared to its placebo. As a result, apparent PCB digestibility was diminished, but not enough to significantly affect PCB accumulation in liver and abdominal adipose tissue. Furthermore, excretion of previously absorbed PCBs following switching of the rats to a control diet without added PCBs was enhanced by wheat bran fibre intake, although to a much lesser extent than excretion of PCBs originating directly from the diet. Consequently, stimulation of PCB clearance from liver and abdominal adipose tissue due to wheat bran consumption was not detectable. Although no preferential absorption of PCB congeners was observed, PCB patterns in tissues obviously differed from the dietary PCB pattern. This was mainly due to PCBs 52 and 101, which were metabolised in the body. Moreover, reduced levels of PCB 138 were found in liver, while PCB 28 and 138 were predominantly present in adipose tissue. The experiment also demonstrated that PCB redistribution from the liver to the adipose tissue occurs. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.