Woodingdean Medical Centre

Close this search box.

Cholesterol – what is it and why is it important?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. It’s produced naturally in the liver. Everyone has cholesterol. We need it to stay healthy because every cell in our body uses it. Some of this cholesterol comes from the food we eat.

Our bodies have ‘good’ cholesterol and ‘bad’ cholesterol. Good cholesterol helps remove the bad cholesterol from your blood by taking cholesterol you don’t need to the liver which breaks it down so it can pass from your body.

Too much bad cholesterol (high cholesterol) can build up inside the walls of the blood vessels. This clogs them up causing narrowing of the arteries increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke. 

Anyone can get high cholesterol, and it can be caused by many different things. Some things you can control like lifestyle habits, others you can’t. As long as you take care of the things you can control, you’ll help lower your risk.

Take a look at the links below to learn more about cholesterol and how you can help lower your risk.

High Cholesterol – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

The British Heart Foundation have lots of great information to help you understand all about cholesterol. You can visit their site here.

Image from BHF.

Healthy Eating

A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stop you gaining weight, reducing your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. The British Heart Foundation have some great information – visit their site here.


Smoking can raise your cholesterol and make you more likely to have serious problems like heart attacks, strokes and cancer. For help and advice to quit smoking visit our smoking advice page here or try the free personal quit plan tool from the NHS below.