• Cholesterol is a type of sterol, which is a type of lipid. Cholesterol just happens to be the most common sterol present in the tissues of animals. Cholesterol is usually remodeled into compounds including vitamin D (necessary for good bones and teeth), steroids (include sex hormones that govern the formation of gametes and development of secondary sexual traits), and bile salts (that play an important role in the digestion of fats in the small intestine).

  • Doctor J

    The liver makes cholesterol. Cholesterol has many vital functions: 1) it is the precursor for synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin, 2) it is the precursor for the synthesis of steroid hormones, 3) it plays important roles in the function of cellular membranes, 4) it has antioxidant functions in the blood vessels, 5) it is the precursor for the synthesis of bile salts (needed to digest and absorb fats in the diet), etc.

  • mr.answerman

    Cholesterol is a sterol. It has many functions some listed by the other posters but you wanted its effect on the cell. First you must accept that the lipids that make up the cell membrane can vary in saturation based on your diet. Also that the melting point of a lipid depends on its degree of saturation. We would not live if the fluidity of the cellular membrane would vary depending on our diet. A diet rich in saturated fats would yield membranes that are rather stiff, not good. A diet rich in unsaturated fatty acids would create membranes with a low melting point, again not good. One of the most important functions of cholesterol is to stabilize the cellular membrane to maintain the proper melting point, fluidity independent of the diet. I once read in a biochemistry book how it does this but for the life of me I cannot remember details, but what I say is factual.

  • donna347harvey@btinternet.com

    As well as what the rest have said I found out whilst researching my Grans cholesterol medication that we need cholesterol or something produced by it to coat our brain cells without it our receptors don’t work properly and we end up receiving and sending wrong messages which can come across as hallucination’s and audio delusions, so although some people may need medication to help control cholesterol it is important to look out for side effects from Lipitor and other medications.

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