Organic chemical substance classified as waxy steroid of fat
- Cholesterol is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes.
- It is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity.
- It is almost completely absent among prokaryotes such as Bacteria.
- François Poulletier de la Salle first identified cholesterol in solid form in gallstones in 1769.
- In 1815 chemist Eugène Chevreul named the compound "cholesterine".
- Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) carry cholesterol to the tissues. This is "bad" cholesterol, since high LDL levels are linked to increased risk for heart disease.
- High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) carry excess cholesterol back to the liver, which processes and excretes the cholesterol. HDLs are "good" cholesterol.
- 71 million American adults (33.5%) have high LDL and is bad.
- Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control.
- Less than half of adults with high LDL cholesterol get treatment.