Cholesterol is a waxy type of fat, or lipid, which moves throughout your body in your blood. Lipids are substances that do not dissolve in water, so they do not come apart in blood. You can get the cholesterols by the foods you take. Cholesterol is only found in foods that come from animals. Every cell in the body needs cholesterol, which helps the cell membranes form the layers. These layers protect the contents of the cell by acting as the gatekeeper to what things can enter or leave the cell. It is made by the liver and is also used by the liver to make bile, which helps you digest foods. Cholesterol is also needed to make certain hormones and to produce vitamin D. Your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your body’s needs for these important functions.

Normal levels of cholesterol

Normal levels of cholesterol are different depending on your age and sex.



The same heart-healthy lifestyle changes that can lower your cholesterol can help prevent you from having high cholesterol in the first place. To help prevent high cholesterol, you can:

  • Eat a low-salt diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Limit the amount of animal fats and use good fats in moderation
  • Lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise on most days of the week for at least 30 minutes
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Manage stress

It can attack your arteries if the level of cholesterol is high because high cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in arteries. Over time, this plaque can narrow your arteries. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a serious condition where it can limit the flow of blood through your arteries. Besides that, it can also raises the risk of developing dangerous blood clots. Atherosclerosis can result in many life-threatening complications, such as:

  • Stroke
  • heart attack
  • angina (chest pain)
  • high blood pressure
  • peripheral vascular disease
  • chronic kidney disease