The effects of oat, barley and wheat on liver and plasma cholesterol concentrations were examined in cholesterol-fed rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, aged 5 weeks, were fed a control diet containing 5% cellulose or diets containing defatted cereal flours corresponding to 5% total dietary fiber for 9 days. Oat, barley and wheat suppressed liver cholesterol accumulation. Liver cholesterol concentrations for the oat and barley groups were significantly lower than those for the wheat group. The quantities of soluble dietary fiber intake, in increasing order, were those for the wheat, oat and barley groups. A significant inverse relationship between the quantity of soluble dietary fiber intake and liver cholesterol accumulation was observed; n=32, r=-0.79, p<0.0001. Plasma cholesterol concentrations were similar in all four groups.