Graphical abstract Abstract 7-Ketocholesterol (or 7-oxocholesterol) is an oxysterol essentially formed by cholesterol autoxidation. It is often found at enhanced levels in the body fluids and/or target tissues of patients with age-related diseases (cardiovascular, neuronal, and ocular diseases) as well as in subjects concerned with civilization diseases (type 2 diabetes, bowel diseases, and metabolic syndrome). The involvement of increased 7-ketocholesterol levels in the pathophysiology of these diseases is widely suspected. Indeed, 7-ketocholesterol at elevated concentrations is a powerful inducer of oxidative stress, inflammation, and cellular degeneration which are common features of all these diseases. It is important to better know the origin of 7-ketocholesterol (diet, incidence of environmental factors, and endogenous formation (autoxidation and enzymatic synthesis)) and its inactivation mechanisms which include esterification, sulfation, oxidation, and reduction. This knowledge will make it possible to act at different levels to regulate 7-ketocholesterol level and counteract its toxicity in order to limit the incidence of diseases associated with this oxysterol. These different points as well as food and biomedical applications are addressed in this review.
© The authors 2022. CC BY 4.0