Background: Circulating lipid components were studied under near-normal tropical conditions (around Lucknow) in 162 healthy volunteers - mostly medical students, staff members and members of their families (103 males and 59 females; 7 to 75 y), subdivided into 4 age groups: A (7-20 y; N = 42), B (21-40 y; N = 60), C (41-60 y; N = 35) and D (61-75 y; N = 25). Methods: Blood samples were collected from each subject every 6 h for 24 h (4 samples). Plasma was separated and total cholesterol, high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, phospholipids and total lipids were measured spectrophotometrically. Data from each subject were analyzed by cosinor. We examined by multiple-analysis of variance how the MESOR (Midline Estimating Statistic Of Rhythm, a rhythm-adjusted mean) and the circadian amplitude of these variables is affected by gender, age, diet (vegetarian vs. omnivore), and smoking status. Results: In addition to effects of gender and age, diet and smoking were found to affect the MESOR of circulating plasma lipid components in healthy Indians residing in northern India. Age also affected the circadian amplitude of these variables. Conclusion: These results indicate the possibility of using non-pharmacological interventions to improve a patient's metabolic profile before prescribing medication under near normal tropical conditions. They also add information that may help refine cut-off values in the light of factors shown here to affect blood lipids.