Pronunciation: (ku-les'tu-rōl", -rôl"), [key]
1. a sterol, C27H46O, that occurs in all animal tissues, esp. in the brain, spinal cord, and adipose tissue, functioning chiefly as a protective agent in the skin and myelin sheaths of nerve cells, a detoxifier in the bloodstream, and as a precursor of many steroids: deposits of cholesterol form in certain pathological conditions, as gallstones and atherosclerotic plaques.
2. the commercial form of this compound, obtained from the spinal cord of cattle, used chiefly as an emulsifying agent in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and in the synthesis of vitamin D. Also,cho•les•ter•inPronunciation: (ku-les'tur-in). [key]
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.