When most people hear "cholesterol" they think "bad." The reality is more complex. High cholesterol can be dangerous, but cholesterol itself is essential to various bodily processes, from insulating nerve cells in the brain to providing structure for cell membranes.
The role of cholesterol in heart disease is often misunderstood. Cholesterol is carried through the bloodstream by low-density and high-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL). LDL, known as bad cholesterol, and not the cholesterol it carries per se, is responsible for atherosclerosis.
Health.com posted on May 23, 2013, "5 Cholesterol Myths and Facts", www.health.com.