Aim: 6,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-isoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid (M1) was synthesized and evaluated for in-vivo antiproliferative action in diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocarcinogenic rats. Materials & methods: The antiproliferative effect of M1 was assessed by various biochemical parameters, histopathology of liver and HPLC analysis. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance-based serum metabolic study was implemented on rat sera to explore the effects of M1 on hepatocellular carcinoma-induced metabolic alterations. Results: M1 showed protective action on liver and restored the arrangement of liver tissues in normal proportion. HPLC analysis displayed a good plasma drug concentration after its oral administration. Score plots of partial least squares discriminate analysis models exhibited that M1 therapy ameliorated hepatocellular carcinoma-induced metabolic alterations which signified its antiproliferative potential. Conclusion: M1 manifested notable antiproliferative profile, and warrants further investigation for future anticancer therapy.