High Cholesterol, Heart Health & You: Understanding the Basics

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Samantha Miller, MBChB

Photo Courtesy: Ariel Skelley/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Cholesterol is a fatty substance your body obtains from your diet, and your liver also manufactures it. It’s essential for many bodily functions — such as cell renewal, transport of substances around your body and the synthesis of hormones — and it forms an integral part of the membranes of all your body’s cells. Our bodies are able to manufacture all the cholesterol we need, so most of us typically don’t need to consume large amounts of this substance via our diets. That’s why we’re encouraged to limit our dietary intake.