Cholesterol and Health — Functions and Foods

by Chris Masterjohn

Cholesterol is a health-promoting substance. It is a critical component of cell membranes, the precursor to all steroid hormones, a precursor to vitamin D, and the limiting factor that brain cells need to make connections with one another called synapses, making it essential to learning and memory.

Some of the most nutritious foods like egg yolks and liver are also the foods richest in cholesterol. The anti-fat, anti-cholesterol campaign has demonized these foods for decades without any evidence they cause disease. To the contrary, they promote health.

Cholesterol may even be an essential nutrient for at least the one percent of the population that has a genetic defect preventing efficient cholesterol synthesis.

To learn more about the roles cholesterol plays in the body and the health benefits of cholesterol-rich foods, select an article from the menu on the left.

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Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, here.

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