The short-term effects of whole milk and milk fermented by Pseudomonas fluorescens, of the amino acid composition of the diet and of feeding frequency on the level of plasma lipids, were investigated in six 1-year-old adult boars. The experimental diets contained equal amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fat and cholesterol. After an adaptation period of 5 d for each experimental treatment, blood was collected at regular intervals during 48 h and plasma levels of cholesterol, triacylglycerol, high-density-lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL-cholesterol were examined). All variables except HDL-cholesterol showed distinct diurnal fluctuations, which were substantially influenced by feeding frequency. Variations in the amino acid composition of the experimental diets, which were within a physiological range, had no effect on the level of plasma lipids. Plasma lipid levels were significantly lower when the animals received the diets containing milk instead of the diet without milk: cholesterol, triacylglycerol, and LDL-cholesterol were reduced by 5.6, 5.8 and 10% respectively (pondered means) while HDL-cholesterol remained unaffected. Fermentation of whole milk by P. fluorescens reduced the lipid-lowering effect. Our findings suggest that the intake of diets containing milk results in a lower plasma cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol level than the intake of diets with a similar nutrient content which do not contain milk.