Meaning, Function and Types of Cholesterol in the Body

Meaning, Function, Causes, and Types of Cholesterol in the Body and its Types is Elaborated below

Cholesterol is found in every cell in our body and without it, our bodies would not function properly. Understanding why it is there and the purpose it serves is something everyone should be aware of.

Cholesterol is a structural component of cells. Cholesterol along with polar lipids make up the structure of each and every cell in our bodies. Cholesterol is there to basically provide a protective barrier. When the number of cholesterol increases or decreases, the cells are affected. This change can affect our ability to metabolize and produce energy. This can ultimately affect other aspects of our bodies’ function such as food intake and digestion.

cholesterol helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves, and produce hormones. Normally, the liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs. But cholesterol also enters your body from food, such as animal-based foods like milk, eggs, and meat. Too much cholesterol in your body is a risk factor for heart disease.

Types of Cholesterol

According to The American Heart Association cholesterol cannot be dissolved in the blood and has to be carried to and from the cells by lipoproteins.

Note: Lipoproteins come in two basic types. which are listed below

  • low-density cholesterol (LDL) which is also known as the “bad” cholesterol.
  • high-density cholesterol (HDL) which is known as the “good” cholesterol.

Research indicates that high-density cholesterol seems to guard against heart problems while the low density causes buildup in the artery walls which lead to heart disease. Another type of “bad” cholesterol is the LP(a) which is a genetic variation of the LDL “bad” cholesterol. The LP(a), LDL and HDL along with triglycerides which is a form of fat made in the body, make up the total cholesterol count in the human body


  • Hormone Manufacturing

One of the most important jobs of cholesterol is to aide in the production of hormones. Cholesterol is stored in the adrenal glands, ovaries, and the testes and is converted to steroid hormones. These steroid hormones perform other vital duties to help the body function properly. According to, without steroid hormones, we will have malfunctions with weight, sex, digestion, bone health and mental status.

  • Digestion

Cholesterol plays an important role in our body’s digestion. Cholesterol is used to help the liver create bile which aids us in digesting the food that we eat. Without the bile, our bodies are unable to properly digest foods, especially fats. When the fat goes undigested it can get into the bloodstream and cause additional problems such as blockages in the arteries and cause heart attacks and heart disease.

  • Building Blocks


How Does High Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease?

When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries, causing a process called atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease. The arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart muscle is slowed down or blocked. The blood carries oxygen to the heart, and if not enough blood and oxygen reach your heart, you may suffer chest pain. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack.

There are two forms of cholesterol that many people are familiar with: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol.) These are the form in which cholesterol travels in the blood.

LDL is the main source of artery-clogging plaque. HDL actually works to clear cholesterol from the blood.


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