What is cholesterol?

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance. It is a sterol, which is a kind of lipid biosynthesized by the liver. Cholesterol can also be present in meals derived from animals, such as egg yolks, meat, and dairy products.
Cholesterol is transported in the human body by lipoproteins because it does not mix with blood. There are many kinds of cholesterol depending on what the lipoprotein carries, Most notably:

1. Types of cholesterol (lipoproteins)

LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)

High amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can accumulate within the walls of your blood vessels, narrowing the pathways. A clot can develop and become lodged in the constricted area, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
As a result, LDL cholesterol is unhealthful or "bad" cholesterol. It's referred to as high cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)

Because it assists in the removal of other forms of cholesterol from circulation, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is referred to as "good" cholesterol. Extra cholesterol in the blood is collected by HDL and transported to the liver, where it is broken down and removed from the body.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol maintains the inner walls (lining) of blood vessels clean and healthy. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol also reduces the risk of heart disease.

2. There are other types of lipoproteins too

VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins)

Works on transporting triglycerides and other cholesterol from the liver throughout the body.
VLDL is also known as "bad" cholesterol because it leads to the buildup of fatty deposits in the artery walls, obstructing them.

IDL (Intermediate density lipoproteins)

Are generated by the degradation of both very-low-density and high-density lipoproteins, and they belong to the lipoprotein particle family.
Each native IDL particle is composed of protein that encircles various lipids, allowing these lipids to travel in the aqueous blood environment as part of the body's fat transport system as a water-soluble particle. They primarily comprise triglycerides and cholesterol esters in various forms.
They are either removed from the bloodstream by receptor-mediated endocytosis or degraded further by hepatic lipase to generate LDL particles.


Chylomicrons are lipoprotein particles that are composed of triglycerides, phospholipids, cholesterol, and proteins. Also, They are referred to as ultra-low-density lipoproteins (ULDL).
ULDLs are one of the five primary types of lipoproteins that allow fats and cholesterol to pass through the bloodstream's water-based solution. They transport dietary lipids from the intestines to the rest of the body.

3. Why is cholesterol important for the body?

Cholesterol serves four essential activities without which we would perish.

  • Contributing to the construction of cell walls.
  • Synthesis of digesting bile acids in the gut.
  • Making it possible for the body to generate vitamin D.
  • Allowing the body to produce particular hormones.

Triglycerides are another kind of blood fat.

4. What are Triglycerides?

Triglycerides enter the bloodstream after a meal. And some are also made by the liver. Triglycerides, like cholesterol, are packed into lipoproteins. When triglycerides reach the cells in your body, they are either utilized for energy or stored for later use. It is an important energy source and is necessary for optimum health. However, detecting it in high concentrations in the blood may lead to a rise in the occurrence of some diseases.

The excessive amount of triglycerides in the blood should be monitored by a doctor regularly.
Raised triglycerides can increase your chance of getting heart disease, and if they are high, they can trigger other significant issues such as pancreatitis.


When you get your cholesterol checked, it's a good idea to get your triglycerides checked as well.


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