Home » Science » 20 Interesting and Surprising Cholesterol Facts

20 Interesting and Surprising Cholesterol Facts

In this cholesterol facts we will learn some interesting and some surprising facts about it. We will try to answer questions like what is cholesterol? Why is it important? What happens in case of its deficiency? What happens when its level increases in body? And more…

Interesting and Surprising Cholesterol Facts: 1-5

1. Cholesterol is nothing but a certain type of fat, also known as lipid. So, we can say cholesterol is a lipid. It is an essential component for all forms of animal life.

2. Cholesterol is extremely important. It forms an outer coating on the cells. It is a part of bile acids that help in food digestion in stomach and small intestine.

3. Cholesterol is also necessary for making hormones and vitamin D. Hormones like estrogen (in females) and testosterone (in males) cannot form without it.

4. Cholesterol cannot dissolve in blood. Blood is water-based fluid. Cholesterol is based on oil. When it enters bloodstream, it only coagulates into globs that are unusable. Our body then converts it into lipoproteins, which are nothing but very tiny particles of protein.

5. Animal brains have high levels of cholesterol and other lipids. This is why, eating brains is considered unhealthy.

Interesting and Surprising Cholesterol Facts: 6-10

6. High cholesterol level leads to sexual health problems. High cholesterol level clogs blood vessels in pelvic area by depositing fat. This leads to low blood flow in pelvic area. For men, this means erectile dysfunction. For women, it means lubrication problems.

7. Healthy development of embryo is dependent on cholesterol. Studies show that 1 out of every 9,000 babies that are born with birth defect have cholesterol in picture. It turns out that for those babies, the fetus fails to make needed cholesterol.

8. It was found in US Human Genome Project that the fetal brain fails to divide into two halves if the pregnant woman has cholesterol deficiency. This condition of the fetal brain caused by cholesterol deficiency is known as HPE.

9. Of all embryos with HPE, 99% get aborted spontaneously. Only 1% live but they too die with the first year but not before experiencing mental retardation. Pregnant women are advised not to take drugs that reduce cholesterol levels in their bodies.

10. Cholesterol is responsible for maintaining cell health and for protecting cell membranes’ integrity.

Interesting and Surprising Cholesterol Facts: 11-15

11. If hypothetically, cholesterol levels drop to zero, cells will die. This will happen because cell membranes will dry up and then crack. After the cell membrane cracks, the content of the cells will come out. We said “hypothetically” because practically it is impossible for cholesterol levels to drop to zero.

12. Chicken is low-fat. However, frying the chicken or keeping the skin of the chicken makes it a high cholesterol food.

13. Seafood such as fish is low in cholesterol levels. Other seafood may be really high in cholesterol. For example, a 3 oz. lobster has 61 mg cholesterol.

14. Liver, which is very rich in iron, is also very rich in cholesterol. Just 3 ounces cooked liver delivers 331 mg cholesterol in body.

15. Total cholesterol content in body should not exceed 200 mg/dL. Total cholesterol will contain both HDL and LDL. HDL is good cholesterol and LDL is bad cholesterol.

Interesting and Surprising Cholesterol Facts: 16-20

16. A person is said to have high cholesterol if he or she has cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL. This will include both HDL and LDL. dL stands for deciliter.

17. The name cholesterol is derived from Greek word chole and steros. Chole in Greek means bile while steros in Greek means stiff or solid.

18. High cholesterol directly leads to heart disease. In America, almost 1 million people get heart disease every year. Out of these only half survive.

19. Of all cholesterol in body, about 70% is LDL or the bad cholesterol. Now, LDL is needed because it is responsible for taking cholesterol to different parts of the body. LDL has less protein and more fat. When cholesterol level increases, LDL deposits cholesterol in blood stream.

20. HDL on the other hand is good cholesterol. It has more protein than fat. It does not carry cholesterol to other parts of the body. It takes up excess cholesterol from blood and transport them back to liver.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7