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1. A pearly, fatlike steroid alcohol, C27H45OH, crystallizing in the form of leaflets or plates from dilutealcohol and found in animalfats and oils, in bile, blood, brain tissue, milk, yolk of egg, myelin sheaths of nerve fibres, the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands.
It constitutes a bigpart of the most frequently occurring type of gallstones and occurs in atheroma of the arteries, in different cysts and in carcinomatous tissue. Most of the bodys cholesterol is synthesised in the liver, but some is absorbed from the diet. It is a precursor of bile acids and is significant in the synthesis of steroid hormones.
2. A commercial preparation of cholesterol is used as a pharmaceutic aid.
Origin: Gr. Stereos = solid