Cholesterol is both coming from food and synthesized by the human body, mainly in hepatic and intestinal cells. Cholesterol is a component of cells and organoïds membranes. It is a metabolic precursor of bile acids, vitamin D and steroid hormones. Cholesterol, insoluble molecule, circulates associated with lipoproteins (HDL, LDL and VLDL).
Quantification of total cholesterol allows the detection of hypercholesterolemia, isolated or associated with hypertriglyceridemia. High cholesterol concentrations are associated with a high risk for vascular accident and apparition of atherosclerosis. The LDL/HDL ratio should be taken in consideration for evaluating the risk of developping cardiovascular diseases