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Crystals of cholesterol

Crystals of cholesterol

A600/0685

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False-colour scanning electron micrograph of crystals of monohydrate cholesterol percipitated from alcohol & water (plate form). Cholesterol is a sterol, a fatlike material synthesised by all animal cells. It is a major constitutent of the cell membrane, a precursor to the formation of sex hormones & the source of bile salts. A third of body cholesterol is made in the liver. Its excretion, directly or as bile salts, is the sole responsiblitiy of the liver. Body cholesterol is added to by dietary cholesterol from meat & dairy products. High levels are associated with atheroma & coronary heart disease but the relationship is unclear. Magnification: x75 at 6x4.5cm size.

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