Functions of Cholesterol:

  • reduces permeability to water, ions, and polar molecules
  • controls fluidity by preventing phospholipids solidifying at low temperatures and becoming too fluid at high temperatures
  • stabilises the phospholipid bilayer by binding polar heads and non-polar tails of phospholipids
  • can dissolve into cell membranes- It sits inside cell membranes and in the skin to reduce fluidity

Structure of Cholesterol:

  • Lipid
  • the -OH group makes it polar at one end
  • The four hydrocarbon rings and the hydrocarbon tail are non-polar
  • Arranged in bilayers
  • All steroids, such as testosterone and progesterone have the 4 ring structure- made from cholesterol 
  • cyclic structure with branches- with rings of carbon atoms

Created by the liver- involved in heart disease and gallstones 

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