Introduction to what is cholesterol
What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy compound of biological origin that is detected in the blood and tissues. Dimensionally, cholesterol molecule is rather small, but biosynthetic pathways and physiological products of cholesterol are extremely important. Researchers point to the pronounced connection between high blood cholesterol and some diseases such heart attack and stroke.
What is cholesterol place in biochemistry?
Cholesterol belongs to the group of lipids known as isoprenoids. Isoprenoids are frequently found in nature and are formed by chemical condensation of isoprene. Isoprenoids include various biological molecules such as sterols, steroid hormones, bile acids, lipid-soluble vitamins, phytol, plant hormones, and polyisoprene.
What is cholesterol structure?
From the chemical standpoint, cholesterol is an organic compound in the steroid family. The molecular formula of cholesterol is C27H46O. In pure state cholesterol is a crystalline substance of white color without odor or taste.
What is cholesterol significance?
Cholesterol is necessary for life. Cholesterol is an important constituent of the cell membrane. Cholesterol takes part in the synthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is synthesized by the liver and circulates in the blood. Humans also consume cholesterol with normal diets. The amount of cholesterol is regulated by a special compensatory system. If the dietary intake of cholesterol is increased, the liver decreases the synthesis of this substance.
What is cholesterol metabolism?
Cholesterol is blood insoluble and therefore it must be linked to particular lipoproteins for blood transportation. Low-density lipoproteins convey cholesterol from the liver to the body cells and tissues with subsequent separation from the lipoprotein and utilization by the cells. High-density lipoproteins transfer unused cholesterol from the cells back to the liver. The excess of cholesterol is broken down to bile acids and is excreted. Cholesterol linked to low-density lipoproteins can form atherosclerotic depositions in the blood vessels. On the other hand, high-density lipoproteins slow down or decrease the formation atherosclerotic depositions.
What is cholesterol and health?
High blood cholesterol is an important cause of atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream forms depositions in the walls of blood vessels. These fatty depositions become thicker and calcified. The blood vessels narrow and obstruct normal blood flow. The levels exceeding 240 mg of cholesterol per 100 cubic centimeters of blood plasma favor the formation of cholesterol depositions in the vessels. People with high cholesterol levels become more vulnerable to vascular heart and brain affections. Therefore, atherosclerosis may lead to heart attacks and strokes.