Cholesterol

Cholesterol, from the Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid) followed by the chemical suffix -ol for an alcohol, is an organic chemical substance classified as a waxy steroid of fat. It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes and is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity.

In addition to its importance within cells, cholesterol also serves as a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is the principal sterol synthesized by animals; in vertebrates it is formed predominantly in the liver. Small quantities are synthesized in other cellular organisms (eukaryotes) such as plants and fungi. It is almost completely absent among prokaryotes (i.e., bacteria).

Although cholesterol is important and necessary for human health, high levels of cholesterol in the blood have been linked to damage to arteries and cardiovascular disease.

François Poulletier de la Salle first identified cholesterol in solid form in gallstones, in 1769. However, it was only in 1815 that chemist Eugène Chevreul named the compound "cholesterine".

Read more about CholesterolPhysiology, Interactive Pathway Map, Cholesteric Liquid Crystals

Other articles related to "cholesterol":

Lathosterol - See Also
... Lathosterol oxidase Cholesterol and steroid metabolic intermediates Mevalonate pathway to HMG-CoA Acetyl-CoA Acetoacetyl-CoA HMG-CoA Ketone bodies Acetone Acetoacetic acid beta-Hydroxybutyric ...
Lipid Bilayer Phase Behavior - Cholesterol
... The presence of cholesterol exerts a profound but complicated influence on lipid bilayer properties because of its unique physical characteristics ... Although it is a lipid, cholesterol bears little resemblance to a phospholipid ... The hydrophilic domain of cholesterol is quite small, consisting of a single alcohol group ...
Cholesterol - Cholesteric Liquid Crystals
... Some cholesterol derivatives (among other simple cholesteric lipids) are known to generate the liquid crystalline "cholesteric phase" ... This makes cholesterol derivatives useful for indicating temperature in liquid crystal display thermometers and in temperature-sensitive paints ...
Lactobacillus Fermentum - Probiotic - Cholesterol Reduction
... Lactobacillus fermentum has been seen as a probiotic is by its ability to reduce cholesterol levels ... Tests conducted using several strains of Lactobacillus and cholesterol broths demonstrated that lactobacillus fermentum had the largest removal of cholesterol ... fermentum may remove cholesterol through in vivo is by the absorption of cholesterol, which as a result accelerates cholesterol metabolism ...
Lomitapide
... lomitapide on 21 December 2012, as an orphan drug to reduce LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol in patients with homozygous familial ...