Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body.
Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods you eat.
Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Having healthy levels of both types of lipoproteins is important.
Source: NHLBI (NIH)1
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Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs to function normally. It’s used in the cell membranes that surround cells throughout your body. You also use cholesterol to make important chemicals, including hormones, vitamin D and the acids that help you digest fat.
“Cholesterol has a variety of uses in the body that are very important,” says Dr. James Cleeman, coordinator of NIH’s National Cholesterol Education Program, “but the body makes all it needs and we don’t need to get any more from our food.”
Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)2
Read about these related anatomy topics:
- Vitamin D
- Blood vessels
- HDL cholesterol
- Cell membrane
Disease and Condition Articles
Read about these related conditions and diseases:
- Lipid Disorders: Lipid disorders are diseases affecting the levels of lipids (fatty/oily substances) in the blood or body. Common examples include hyperlipidemia (high lipids; dyslipidemia); hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides)
... More on Lipid Disorders »
Related Disease and Condition Topics
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- Source: NHLBI (NIH): nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/ health-topics/ topics/ hbc
- Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ 2008/ January/ docs/ 01features_01.htm
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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.