Home > Health A – Z > Blood Cholesterol

Blood Cholesterol

A type of fat produced by the liver and found in the blood. Cholesterol is also found in some foods. The body uses cholesterol to make hormones and build cell walls.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

About Cholesterol in the Body

A fatlike substance in the body. The body makes and needs some cholesterol, which also comes from foods such as butter and egg yolks. Too much cholesterol may cause gallstones or a buildup of fat in the arteries that causes a disease called atherosclerosis that slows or stops blood flow. NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Terms to know

Arteries
A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body.
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.
Cells
The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit capable of independent life. Although there are some single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, most organisms consist of many cells that are specialized for particular functions.
HDL Cholesterol (High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol)
HDL cholesterol stands for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is a fat found in the blood that takes extra cholesterol from the blood to the liver for removal. Sometimes called "good" cholesterol.
Hormones
A chemical produced in one part of the body and released into the blood to trigger or regulate particular functions of the body. For example, insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that tells other cells when to use glucose for energy. Synthetic hormones, made for use as medicines, can be the same or different from those made in the body.
LDL Cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol)
LDL cholesterol stands for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; a fat found in the blood that takes cholesterol around the body to where it is needed for cell repair and also deposits it on the inside of artery walls. Sometimes called "bad" cholesterol.
Lipids
A term for fat in the body. Lipids can be broken down by the body and used for energy.
Lipoproteins
Lipid-protein complexes involved in the transportation and metabolism of lipids in the body.
Very Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (VLDL cholesterol)
VLDL stands for very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. A form of cholesterol in the blood. High levels may be related to cardiovascular disease.

Terms to know

Arteries
A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body....
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that...
Cells
The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit capable of independent life. Although there are s...
See all 9

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...