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Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the body's cells; it is similar to fat. The body makes cholesterol, but it also appears in some foods. High levels of cholesterol in the blood create an increased risk of heart disease, since cholesterol is a component of the plaque that can build up inside a


High-density lipoproteins, often called "good" cholesterol, carry excess cholesterol from the blood to the liver, according to Mayo Clinic. In contrast, low-density lipoproteins are considered "bad" cholesterol because they contribute to the formation of plaque. The American Heart Association define


There are no symptoms of high cholesterol; the only way to discover that blood cholesterol levels are out of range is via a blood test. Mayo Clinic recommends that everyone have a baseline cholesterol test at age 20 and then every 5 years or sooner after that to keep a check on cholesterol levels.


Cholesterol is both produced by the body and taken in with food. A sterol (modified steroid) and a lipid, cholesterol is essential for maintaining healthy cell membranes in animals and synthesizing bile acids and vitamin D. Usually the body, especially the liver, produces all the cholesterol the bod


High cholesterol produces no symptoms, so the only way to find out if it is high is to have a lipid panel test, according to WebMD. This type of blood test provides information on all the fats in the bloodstream, including total cholesterol and HDL and LDL cholesterol.


Causes of high cholesterol include a poor diet, being overweight, low activity level, being older, certain diseases and medications, a family history of high cholesterol and being a smoker, according to WebMD. There are three different cholesterol numbers: high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, low-densi


According to WebMD, high cholesterol occurs when there is an excess amount of the lipid cholesterol in the bloodstream of a patient. Cholesterol is an essential lipid in the human body, but too much of it can be harmful.


Cholesterol is a fatlike substance that's found in the cells of the body, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and WebMD. It is needed by the body to form the membranes of cells and manufacture vitamin D, certain hormones and other materials needed for good health.


Oatmeal, salmon, walnuts, almonds and olive oil are among the foods used to lower cholesterol, according to Mayo Clinic. Foods containing plant stanols or sterols have also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.


Foods that contain high concentrations of cholesterol include butter, shortening, beef, sausage, processed meats, egg yolks and dairy products that are made with more than 1 percent milk fat. These foods should all be limited in people who have high serum cholesterol levels.