Eden Legaspo
Block C


Cholesterol is a waxy fat - like compound belonging to the class of Sterol or Steroids.

IUPAC Name: 10,​13-​dimethyl-​17-​ 6-​methylheptan-​2-​yl OR ​2,​3,​4,​7,​8,​9,​11,​12,​14,​15,​16,​17-​ dodecahydro-​1H-​ cyclopenta​[a]phenanthren-​3-​ol OR Cholest-5-en-3beta-ol
Molecular Structure: C27H46O

Molecular Structure of a Cholesterol.
3D Structure of a Cholesterol.

How it is produced:
Cholesterol is produced Biosynthesis de novo, which means it's created from scratch. Most of the cholesterol your body produces is created in the liver. The liver produces approximately 1,000 milligrams a day. It is also produced by cells lining the small intestine and by individual cells in the body. Cholesterol is produced through a complex series of chemical reactions.

There are primarily 5 steps in synthesizing Cholesterol:
1. acetyl-CoA's (which are products of an oxidation reaction in the mitochondria) are converted into 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA).
2. The HMG-CoA's are converted into Mevalonate by a rate controlling enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase.
3. Mevalonate then turns into Isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) with the help of the chemical reaction, decarboxylation.
4. IPP is converted to Squalene.
5. Squalene goes through a 2 step cyclization to turn into Lanesterol, which then undergoes 19 more reactions to finally produce cholesterol.

external image cholesterolsynthesis.jpg

TYPES OF CHOLESTEROLSThere are different types of cholesterols, they are classified by the protein that is attached to them and the ratio they share with the protein.
The different types of cholesterol are:
  • Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) aka "bad cholesterol". This is the type of cholesterol that forms plaque on the walls of arteries and cause heart problems.
  • High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) aka "good cholesterol". This cholesterol helps gets rid of bad cholesterol. You want the level of HDL to be high.
  • Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDL). This cholesterol has way too much fat.
  • Triglycerides. This is also like LDL. It's excess sugar and fats that gets stored into your body for energy.

The different types of cholesterols are quite confusing. But just remember, Good cholesterol is produced in your body. Bad cholesterol is what's in your diet.

Cholesterol is produced in the liver.
Cholesterol is produced in the liver.
The cholesterol that is produced in our liver is essential in keeping our body running smoothly. Cholesterol helps strengthen and maintain the membrane of each cell in our body. Membranes are important, they ensure the health of every cell and act as a filter for harmful substances. Cholesterol also helps in the production of Bile. Bile is greenish brown fluid that is produced in the liver but is stored in the Gallblader. When you eat foods that contain fats, Bile is released into your food stream. It breaks down the fats to help it mix with the liquids in the digestive tract. It also absorbs nutrients from the food and ensures that food doesn't decay while in the digestive tract.
Cholesterol also helps produce several hormones, such as progesterone, testosterone, estradiol, cortisol, and aldosterone. These hormones manage stress and are in charge of sexual functions.
Along with aiding the digestive process and the production of hormones, Cholesterol is also key in the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be absorbed by skin but did you know it is also produced in the body? Vitamin D is vital for the use of phosphorous and calcium in the body. Both maintain strong bones and a skeletal system within in the body. Cholesterol helps with so many needed bodily functions.

Plaque build up in Arteries.
Plaque build up in Arteries.
The type of cholesterol that isn't healthy for people, is the type that people most often get from their diets. When there is too much cholesterol, it builds up on your arteries. This is called plaque. Over time, the build up can restrict the passage for blood to flow to the heart and brain and this leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can cause several heart problems such as heart attacks or strokes.

  • If you hold cholesterol, it feels like the melty bits off candles.
  • Studies show that the level of cholesterol in your body can be effected by your genetics.
  • Men have more "bad cholesterol" levels than women because the hormone 'estrogen' raises levels of HDL.

  1. Dr Jerry Gordon "How Cholesterol Works". HowStuffWorks: . <http://health.howstuffworks.com/cholesterol1.htm>
  2. "The Basics of Cholesterol". WebMD <http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/cholesterol-basics>
  3. Dr. Michael W King. "Cholesterol and Bile Synthesis and Metabolism" March 24, 2010 <http://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/cholesterol.html>
  4. Frank Mangano. 2005 <http://www.60daystolowercholesterol.com/all-about-cholesterol/liver.html>
  5. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=512
  6. http://strokeassociation.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1502