What is Cholesterol? What Causes High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a lipid (fat) which is produced by the liver. Cholesterol is vital for normal body function. Every cell in our body has cholesterol in its outer layer.
Cholesterol is a waxy steroid and is transported in the blood plasma of all animals. It is the main sterol synthesized by animals – small amounts are also synthesized in plants and fungi. A sterol is a steroid sub-group.
Cholesterol levels among US adults today are generally higher than in all other industrial nations. During the 1990s there was some concern about cholesterol levels in American children. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), nearly 1 in every 10 children/adolescents in the USA has elevated total cholesterol levels; and this was after concentrations had dropped over a 20-year period.
The word “cholesterol” comes from the Greek word chole, meaning “bile”, and the Greek wordstereos, meaning “solid, stiff”.
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