The mechanism for the hypocholesterolemic action of a cattle heart protein hydrolysate (HPH) is clarified. The micellar solubility of cholesterol in vitro was significantly lower in the presence of HPH than in the presence of casein. The suppression of cholesterol uptake by Caco-2 cells was significantly higher in the cholesterol micelles containing HPH than in the cholesterol micelles containing casein. The serum cholesterol concentrations and atherogenic index were significantly lower in the rats fed with HPH than in those fed with casein. The cholesterol absorption measured by [3 H]cholesterol was significantly lower by HPH feeding than by casein feeding in rats in vivo accompanying the changes in fecal steroid excretion. Thus, the hypocholesterolemic action of HPH involved the inhibition of jejunal cholesterol absorption. The cattle heart protein hydrolysate ultra-filtrate (HPHU, MW < ca. 1,000 Da peptide fraction) derived from HPH imparted stronger hypocholesterolemic activity than HPH in rats.