Red beetroot contains a specific class of antioxidants collectively named betalains, which have been shown to have anticarcinogenic and anti-inflamatory potential. We investigated the effect of beetroot juice on the hepatic and mammary gland carcinogen metabolizing enzymes, DNA damage and liver injury, altered by 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). In the liver, pretreatment with beetroot juice significantly decreased levels and activities of the majority of tested biochemical parameters, elevated by DMBA. Feeding with beetroot juice decreased the activities of CYP1A1 and 1A2 and increased phase II enzymes. The activities of all enzymes tested were enhanced in the animals treated with DMBA alone and in combination with beetroot juice. The most significant changes in the level of the enzymes tested were observed for NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1. In mammary gland, beetroot juice induced the level of glutathione S-transferase pi, enzyme involved in active metabolites of DMBA detoxification. The final effects of beetroot juice are tissue specific and depend on the class of carcinogen. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.