Cholesterol.swf / kolestrol.swf

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Cholesterol is a waxy steroid of fat that is manufactured in the liver or intestines. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes. It is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity. In addition cholesterol is an important component for the manufacture of bile acids, steroid hormones, and Vitamin D. Cholesterol is the principal sterol synthesized by animals; however, small quantities can be synthesized in eukaryotes such as plants and fungi. It is almost completely absent among prokaryotes including bacteria. Although cholesterol is important and necessary for mammals, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can damage arteries and are potentially linked to diseases such as those associated with the cardiovascular system (heart disease).

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