CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cholesterol. Polarized light micrograph of crystals of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a sterol, a fatlike material that is synthesised by all animal cells. It is a major constitutent of the cell membrane, a precursor to the formation of sex hormones, and the source of bile salts. A third of body cholesterol is made in the liver. Its excretion from the body is the sole responsiblitiy of the liver. Body cholesterol is added to by dietary cholesterol from meat and dairy products. High levels are cholesterol are associated with atheroma (fatty deposits on the walls of arteries) and coronary artery disease.
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