Total CholesterolCholesterol is an important component in the blood used by the body for several essential functions. The level of cholesterol is contributed by the person’s diet and increased production by the liver. Excessive intake of cholesterol rich food, such as animal fats and egg yolks, may result in an increased level of cholesterol, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis. When atherosclerosis occurs, fats are deposited on the inner walls of blood vessels causing the narrowing of the blood vessels. These deposits may cause a blood clot and block blood supply to vital organs resulting in a stroke or heart attack.
High cholesterol is seen in hypercholesterolemia, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, primary biliary cirrhosis and diabetes. Very low levels of
cholesterol may not be beneficial, suggesting other medical conditions. There are two other important fractions of cholesterol known as HDL and LDL cholesterol described below.