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Cholesterol – why is it so important?

What is cholesterol?
Carmen Lobitz
Titelbild zum englischen Beitrag über Cholesterol
© beats/

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Cholesterol is a crucial element of the cell membrane. Our body also needs this naturally occurring lipid for metabolic processes. For example, it is involved in hormone production. Cholesterol is also found in bile fluid, the blood and in tissues.

About 80% (approx. 3 mmol per day) of the required cholesterol is synthesized by the body itself, more specifically, in the liver. Only 20 % (about 0.8 mmol) is consumed through nutrition. Animal products, especially, contain a lot of cholesterol. Intake from the intestine is actively regulated. In the liver, special receptors (LDL-cholesterol-receptors) on liver cells regulate the concentration of cholesterol in the blood circulation.

Cholesterol is a blood fat and not soluble in aqueous solutions. For transportation it is, thus, combined with proteins and packed into small particles called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins differentiate in density. We distinguish between Low-Density-Lipoproteins (LDL) and High-Density-Lipoproteins (HDL). Low-Density-Lipoproteins transport cholesterol…

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