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Cholesterol crystals


A white, waxy sterol that occurs in all animal tissues. Cholesterol provides protection for the skin and nerve cells. It is obtained commercially from lanolin and is used as an emollient in cosmetics, hair conditioners, and pharmaceuticals.

Chemical structure


Synonyms and Related Terms

cholest-5-en-3-ol; cholesterin; Cholesterin (Deut.); cholestérol (Fr.); colesterol (Esp., Port.); colesterolo (It.); cholesterol (Ned., Pol.); kolesterol (Sven.)


  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in ether, chloroform, benzene, pyridine, oils and fats. Insoluble in water. Gives an intense red color with rosaniline in chloroform solution.

Composition C27H45OH
CAS 57-88-5
Melting Point 148.5 C
Density 1.067 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 386.66
Boiling Point 360 C (dec)

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: Entry # 2256
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 881

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