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What is Cholesterol?

OneBlood February 11, 2019

You probably have heard that high cholesterol is a bad thing, but do you know what that means or why that is? What even is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s in every cell in the body. Your body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to create cell membranes and bile acids for digestion.

Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs and distributes it throughout your blood.

Did you know?

Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs and distributes it throughout your blood.

The other source of cholesterol is food. Meat, poultry and high-fat dairy products are a few food groups that are high in cholesterol.

If your body has too much cholesterol, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and can lead to serious health issues.

The Good and Bad Cholesterol


HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is known as the “good” cholesterol because it absorbs extra cholesterol and transports it to the liver where it’s flushed from the body. High levels of HDL can reduce the risk for heart disease.


LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is considered the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to plaque buildup. Plaque clogs your arteries and can cause atherosclerosis. This condition narrows the arteries and increases your risk for heart attacks, strokes and other health complications.

Track Your Cholesterol

High cholesterol does not have any symptoms and many people aren’t even aware they have high cholesterol.

A convenient way for blood donors to keep track of their cholesterol is through our donor portal. Around 48 hours after your donation, you can login to your portal to receive the results from your health and wellness check. (The check that’s done before each donation.)

Once registered for a free account, you will have access to your total cholesterol number, which is the measure of both your LDL and HDL cholesterol numbers.

You can also view your pulse rate, blood pressure, temperature and monitor your blood donation gallon level.

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