Cholesterol is a compound of fat that is produced in the intestines and liver. It is transported in the blood plasma and has many important functions in the body including producing hormones and cell membranes. Despite its important functions, very high levels of cholesterol in the blood can be very dangerous. It can damage the arteries and is linked to many types of heart disease. Cholesterol is found in all foods that contain animal fats. To avoid high levels of cholesterol it is important to restrict your intake of saturated and trans fats. If you have ever wondered who discovered this important compound, keep reading to find out.
Who discovered cholesterol?
It was approximately 1758 when French doctor and chemist, François Poulletier de la Salle, isolated the crystals from cholesterol in gallstones. We don’t know the exact date of his discovery because his work was never published. In fact, we only know about his discovery because of the people that were working with him.
The current name for cholesterol wasn’t used until 1815 when another French Chemist, Michel Eugène Chevreul, named the substance “cholesterine.” The word cholesterol is made of the greek words for bile (chole) and solid (stereos).
Did you know?
It is the recommendation of the American Heart Association that all adults over 20 years of age have their cholesterol levels checked every 5 years.
Phytosterols are plant based compounds that are similar to cholesterol. They have the unique ability of lowering cholesterol levels in humans.