Although vegetarians do not consume dietary cholesterol, as would a person dining on a well-marbleized steak or a fatty hamburger, their bodies still contain the vital cholesterol molecules. Slightly over half of the cholesterol in the body of the typical human omnivore is derived from biosynthesis in the liver and intestines. When cells detect that cholesterol is in short supply, acetyl-Coenzyme A from the mitochondria is transported to the cytoplasm to assist in the biosynthesis of more cholesterol. The average, healthy adult synthesizes approximately one gram of cholesterol per day, if about 0.3 grams per day is consumed. Controlling the biosynthetic pathways helps maintain a relatively constant level in the body of about 150 to 200 milligrams per dry liter. The majority of the body's cholesterol is used in bile acid synthesis.

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