Cholesterol is defined as a lipid, which is a fatty substance that is necessary in your body.
Facts About Cholesterol
- It comes from food you eat like red meat, eggs and milk.
- Cholesterol is produced by the body in the liver and is necessary to create stomach acids to help with the digestion of food and hormones such as estrogen and testosterone and aids in the production of Vitamin D for the skin.
- Bad cholesterol is high in fat and this fat is deposited in the arteries throughout the body.
- Cholesterol can:
- Cause your arteries to narrow (atherosclerosis)
- Increase your risk of heart disease
- Cause a heart attack from a clot in a coronary artery
- Keep your heart from getting enough blood which leads to chest pain (angina)
- Cause a stroke when a clot keeps oxygen from the brain, or other cardiovascular conditions.
Types of Cholesterol
There are three kinds of cholesterol:
- LDL or low density lipoprotein: If there is an excess of this type of lipoprotein, then your risk for arterial disease increases.
- HDL or high density lipoprotein: This is called the good cholesterol because it prevents arterial disease by taking cholesterol from the cells and putting them in the liver where they are broken down or flushed away.
- Triglycerides: Along with cholesterol, these make up the plasma lipids. Any calories you do not use are changed into triglycerides and stored as fat for use later.
Most doctors want your cholesterol to be under 200 mg/dl. Borderline is considered between 200 and 230 mg/dl, with high being 240 mg/dl and higher.
An example of cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in the cells of all animals and human beings.
Origin of cholesterol; from chole- + Classical Greek stereos, solid, stiff + -ol
Origin of cholesterolcholester(in), former name for cholesterol (chole– + Greek stereos, solid; see ster-1 in Indo-European roots + –in) + –ol1 (so called because it was first found in gallstones).
From French cholestérol.