Despite Fe deficiency and overload having been widely studied, no studies are available about the influence of milk consumption on antioxidant defence and lipid peroxidation during the course of these highly prevalent cases. The objective of the present study was to assess the influence of cow or goat milk-based diets, either with normal or Fe-overload, on antioxidant defence and lipid peroxidation in the liver, brain and erythrocytes of control and anaemic rats after chronic Fe repletion. Weanling male rats were randomly divided into two groups: a control group receiving a normal-Fe diet (45 mg/kg) and an anaemic group receiving a low-Fe diet (5 mg/kg) for 40 d. Control and anaemic rats were fed goat or cow milk-based diets, either with normal Fe or Fe-overload (450 mg/kg), for 30 or 50 d. Fe-deficiency anaemia did not have any effect on antioxidant enzymes or lipid peroxidation in the organs studied. During chronic Fe repletion, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was higher in the group of animals fed the cow milk diet compared with the group consuming goat milk. The slight modification of catalase and glutathione peroxidise activities in animals fed the cow milk-based diet reveals that these enzymes are unable to neutralise and scavenge the high generation of free radicals produced. The animals fed the cow milk diet showed higher rates of lipid peroxidation compared with those receiving the goat milk diet, which directly correlated with the increase in SOD activity. It was concluded that goat milk has positive effects on antioxidant defence, even in a situation of Fe overload, limiting lipid peroxidation.