Cholesterol is a fat or lipid that we make in the liver.
Cholesterol is required for the synthesis of cell membranes, the sex hormone oestrogen, the sex hormone testosterone, and the production of Vitamin D.
We make enough cholesterol in the liver for these essential functions.
We also absorb cholesterol in the diet in animal products such as meat, eggs, milk, and by-products such as butter and cheese.
Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream bound to protein. We call these structures lipoproteins.
Elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL cholesterol is associated with premature cardiovascular disease, because LDL cholesterol forms plaque in arteries which may decrease blood flow, and ultimately if a plaque ruptures has the potential to stop blood flow altogether.
High density lipoprotein cholesterol or HDL cholesterol is associated with removing excessive LDL cholesterol and bringing this product back to the liver.
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