an animal sterol that is normally synthesized by the liver; the most abundant steroid in animal tissues
A sterol lipid synthesized by the liver and transported in the bloodstream to the membranes of all animal cells; it plays a central role in many biochemical processes and, as a lipoprotein that coats the walls of blood vessels, is associated with cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol, from the Ancient Greek chole- and stereos followed by the chemical suffix -ol for an alcohol, is an organic molecule. It is a sterol, and an essential structural component of animal cell membranes that is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity. In addition to its importance within cells, cholesterol also serves as a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is the principal sterol synthesized by animals; in vertebrates it is formed predominantly in the liver. It is almost completely absent among prokaryotes, although there are some exceptions such as Mycoplasma, which require cholesterol for growth. François Poulletier de la Salle first identified cholesterol in solid form in gallstones in 1769. However, it was not until 1815 that chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul named the compound "cholesterine".
U.S. National Library of Medicine
The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils.
An organic molecule.
Since cholesterol is essential for all animal life, each cell synthesizes it from simpler molecules, a complex 37-step process that starts with the intracellular protein enzyme HMG-CoA reductase.
The numerical value of cholesterol in Chaldean Numerology is: 2
The numerical value of cholesterol in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6
Images & Illustrations of cholesterol
Translations for cholesterol
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- χοληστερόλη, χοληστερίνηGreek
Get even more translations for cholesterol »
Find a translation for the cholesterol definition in other languages:
Select another language: