This study aimed to evaluate the hypocholesterolaemic property of milk-kefir and soyamilk-kefir. Male hamsters were fed on a cholesterol-free or cholesterol-enriched diet containing 10 % skimmed milk, milk-kefir, soyamilk or soyamilk-kefir for a period of 8 weeks. The soyamilk, milk-kefir and soyamilk-kefir diets all tended towards a lowering of serum triacylglycerol and total cholesterol concentrations, and a reduction of cholesterol accumulation in the liver, the decrease in serum cholesterol concentration being mainly in the non-HDL fraction. The soyamilk-kefir diet led to a significant increase in the faecal excretion of neutral sterols and bile acids compared with the other two diets. The soyamilk-kefir diet also elicited a significant decrease in the serum ratio of non-HDL-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol, compared with the control, than was the case for the other diets. These findings demonstrate that soyamilk-kefir may be considered to be among the more promising food components in terms of preventing CVD through its hypocholesterolaemic action.