home :: what is cholesterol

What is cholesterol?

A very common question "what is cholesterol?" Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is present in every cell in your body.

Ok, but what is cholesterol and what does it do?

Some cholesterol is needed for your body to function. Your liver produces enough cholesterol for your body’s own needs. Certain foods, in particular animal based foods, provide additional amounts of cholesterol, which may be more than your body needs.

We now know that a given amount cholesterol in your blood is essential to your health, however, too much can be harmful for your health. If your cholesterol level is high, it increases your risk of heart disease.

There are many reasons for a high cholesterol level. These include diet and family history, obesity, or some diseases such as diabetes can also contribute to a high cholesterol level. It is important to keep your cholesterol within internationally established limits.

Over time, cholesterol deposits can build-up inside your arteries depriving your heart of the blood it needs to function properly. In time, these deposits may even totally block an artery.

Click here to return to the Cholesterol FAQ