10 Surprising Facts About Cholesterol

Like most people, you probably think of cholesterol—if you think of it at all—and picture fatty foods and heart trouble. But if you think you’ve heard everything you need to know about this waxy fat, there may be a few surprises in store.

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High cholesterol may cause erectile dysfunction

Sure, it’s bad for your heart. But high cholesterol can cause a host of other health problems.

A 2005 Swedish “study” found that men with total cholesterol of about 270 mg/dL and above were 4.5 times more likely to develop testicular cancer than men with cholesterol levels of 220 or below (though the authors cautioned that the link between the two conditions was probably complicated by other factors).

What’s more, high cholesterol has been linked to a greater risk of erectile dysfunction, kidney failure, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

And a 2009 study found that diets high in dietary cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of developing liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Next: You do need some cholesterol

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