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  • Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body, cholesterol has gotten something of a bad name. However, cholesterol is a critically important molecule.

    It is essential to the formation of:

    Bile acids (which aid in the digestion of fats)
    Vitamin D
    Progesterone
    Estrogens (estradiol, estrone, estriol)
    Androgens (androsterone, testosterone)
    Mineralocorticoid hormones (aldosterone, corticosterone) and
    Glucocorticoid hormones (cortisol).

    Cholesterol is also necessary to the normal permeability and function of cell membranes, the membranes that surround cells.

    Cholesterol is carried in the bloodstream as lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol because elevated LDL levels are associated with an increased risk of coronary artery (heart) disease. Conversely, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol since high HDL levels are associated with less coronary disease.

    After the age of 20, cholesterol testing is recommended every 5 years.

    A diet high in saturated fats tends to increase the blood cholesterol levels while diets high in unsaturated fats tend to do the opposite, to lower blood cholesterol levels.

    Although some cholesterol is obtained from the diet, most cholesterol is made in the liver and other tissues. The treatment of elevated cholesterol therefore involves not only diet but also weight loss and regular exercise (and, occasionally, medications).
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  • .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholesterol

    learn to use wikipedia! It is a very helpful research resource for lots of things.