The dose-dependent hypocholesterolemic and antiatherogenic effects of dietary apple polyphenol (AP) from unripe apple, which contains approximately 85% catechin oligomers (procyanidins), were examined in male Sprague-Dawley rats (4 wk of age) given a purified diet containing 0.5% cholesterol. Dietary AP at 0.5 and 1.0% levels significantly decreased the liver cholesterol level compared with that in the control (AP-free diet-fed) group. Dietary AP also significantly lowered the serum cholesterol level compared with that in the control group. However, the HDL cholesterol level was significantly higher in the 1.0% AP-fed group than in the control group. Accordingly, the ratio of HDL-cholesterol/total cholesterol was significantly higher in the 0.5% AP-fed group and 1.0% AP-fed group than in the control group. Moreover, the atherogenic indices in the 0.5 and 1.0% AP-fed groups were significantly lower than those in the control group. The activity of hepatic cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase tended to be increased by dietary AP in a dose-dependent manner. In accord with this observation, dietary AP increased the excretion of acidic steroids in feces. Dietary AP also significantly promoted the fecal excretion of neutral steroids in a dose-dependent manner. These observations suggest that dietary AP at a 0.5 or 1.0% level exerts hypocholesterolemic and antiatherogenic effects through the promotion of cholesterol catabolism and inhibition of intestinal absorption of cholesterol.