ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cholesterol. Molecular graphic of cholesterol. Red spheres represent carbon atoms, yellow spheres represent hydrogen. Chemically, cholesterol is a lipid. It is an important constituent of cells and plays a crucial role in the synthesis of hormones and bile salts, and in the transport of fats in the bloodstream to tissues throughout the body. High levels of cholesterol in the blood are thought to increase the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits build up on the walls of arteries. Atherosclerosis is the principal cause of heart attack and stroke.
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