Absorption of Cholesterol Mechanisms of cholesterol absorption. The second source of cholesterol entering the miscible pools is dietary or exogenous cholesterol. The essential features of the process whereby dietary cholesterol is absorbed and eventually reaches the circulation is shown diagrammatically in Figure 9.6 Cholesterol within the intestinal lumen consists of a mixture of free and esterified cholesterol of both exogenous (dietary) and endogenous origin, the latter being derived chiefly from sterols reaching the intestinal lumen in bile and other intestinal secretions and from desquamation of mucosal cells. In the presence of pancreatic cholesterol esterase and bile acid, cholesterol esters are hydrolized.
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