Lactobacillus casei LA-1 isolated from a nondairy fermented source was evaluated for its in vitro ability to reduce cholesterol. The bacterium tested positive for bile salt deconjugation in relation to cholesterol removal. Tested growth-associated physiological variables such as pH, temperature and inoculum size were all found to have significant effects on in vitro cholesterol reduction and biomass production (both P < 0.005). Furthermore, a central composite design was used to evaluate the effects of significant variables and their interactions. A linear regression model was developed for in vitro cholesterol reduction as a function of growth-associated variables. Maximum cholesterol reduction achieved was 45% whereas maximum biomass yield of 2.34 optical density was observed at the central point. Our study possibly indicates that the growth of L. casei LA-1 depends on its cholesterol removing ability.