Cardiology

What happens to young adults after a first heart attack?

Heart attacks among adults younger than 50 years of age are on the rise. In fact, the proportion of very young people has been increasing, rising by 2 percent each year for the last 10 years, according to a team of investigators ...

Cardiology

Only half of US kids and teens have ideal cholesterol levels

Cholesterol levels in U.S. youth have improved from 1999 to 2016, but only half of children and adolescents are in the ideal range and 25 percent are in the clinically high range, according to a study published in JAMA, led ...

Pediatrics

Breastfeeding reduces long-term risk of heart disease in mothers

Women who breastfed their babies are less likely to develop heart disease later in life, according to findings to be presented in Lyon, at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2019. The study also suggests ...

Medications

Bladder drug linked to atherosclerosis in mice

A drug used in the treatment of overactive bladder can accelerate atherosclerosis in mice, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ...

Cardiology

Team finds rare gene mutations may prevent heart disease

Targeting apolipoprotein B (APOB) gene has not been tested in clinical trials for cardiovascular outcomes because of risk of fatty liver disease, but naturally-occurring mutation suggests it may be effective.

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Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a lipidic, waxy steroid found in the cell membranes and transported in the blood plasma of all animals. It is an essential component of mammalian cell membranes where it is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity. Cholesterol is the principal sterol synthesized by animals, but small quantities are synthesized in other eukaryotes, such as plants and fungi. It is almost completely absent among prokaryotes, which include bacteria. Cholesterol is classified as a sterol.

Since cholesterol is essential for life, it is primarily synthesized de novo within the body. However excessive levels of cholesterol in blood circulation are strongly associated with progression of atherosclerosis. For an adult, typical total body cholesterol synthesis is about 1 gram per day (less if dietary intake is high) and total body cholesterol content is about 35 g. Average dietary intake in western societies is 0.2 - 0.3 grams. Cholesterol is excreted by the liver via the bile into the digestive tract. Typically about 50% of the excreted cholesterol is reabsorbed by the small bowel back into the blood stream.

The name cholesterol originates from the Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid), and the chemical suffix -ol for an alcohol, as François Poulletier de la Salle first identified cholesterol in solid form in gallstones, in 1769. However, it was only in 1815 that chemist Eugène Chevreul named the compound "cholesterine".

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