Examples of Lipids

The lipids or fats are a group of organic molecules formed primarily by carbon atoms (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O), and which constitute one of the energy sources most important to be found in many foods . Within the large group of lipids we find very varied chemical compounds, which can be differentiated by their structures and by elements such as sulfur (S) and phosphorus (P), which are added to those already mentioned.

Lipids are characterized by being hydrophobic , that is, since they are in the same container as water, they avoid mixing with it , generating a second separate and visible phase. As an example there is a glass with water and oil , at rest and distributed according to their density. The water is denser, so it is at the bottom; the oil is less dense, so it remains on top. However, if emulsifiers are added to them or stirred with a propeller, they tend to mix a bit.

The lipid molecules dissolve in substances such as organic solvents: chloroform CHCl 3 , benzene C 6 H 6 , ethyl alcohol C 2 H 5 OH, isopropyl alcohol (CH 3 ) 2 CHOH, ethyl ether (C 2 H 5 ) 2 Or, acetone CH 3 COCH 3 . Their melting points are low , so at room temperature they tend to melt, and their boiling points vary widely depending on the complexity of their chain; if there are double bonds in various positions, the substance will boil faster.

Lipids or fats provide approximately 30% of the daily caloric requirements . For every gram of these substances consumed, you get 9 calories ( 9 cal / g ), which makes them the most energetic nutrients, compared to carbohydrates and proteins, each of which delivers 4 cal / g. Therefore, the foods that contain them are those that should receive more attention to avoid their excess .

Lipids fulfill structural functions in cell membranes and also form a deposit under the skin whose function is to help conserve body heat . When they are not used at the moment in the metabolism for energy, the lipids are stored under the tissues. This becomes dangerous when consumption is exaggerated and storage is too much. You will be overweight and later you will suffer from obesity.

Types of lipids according to their physical state

Lipids can be found, at room temperature, in three states of aggregation: solid, liquid, semi-solid / semi-liquid.

  • Lipids in semi-solid or semi-liquid state : These are animal fats . They are viscous and opaque yellowish in color. They are found as a layer under the skin and attached to the organs. Their smell is peculiar and they tend to decompose relatively quickly. They contain mostly short chain saturated fatty acids , such as butyric acid CH 3 CH 2 CH 2
  • Liquid lipids : these are called oils , and they are contained in oilseeds (“oil producers”). They are long-chain unsaturated fatty acids (with double bonds), such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid. Olive oil, for example.
  • Solid state lipids : these are called waxes, made up of long-chain saturated fatty acids. They are the ones with the highest molecular weight of all. Beeswax, for example.

Fat-soluble vitamins are lipid regulators, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and K.

Lipid functions

Lipids fulfill three main functions in the body:

  1. Energy reserve
  2. Structural function
  3. Regulatory function

Lipids as an energy reserve

Lipids, since they are housed under the tissues , function as a reserve to be used as a source of energy. That is why the consumption of lipids must be accompanied by sufficient physical exercise so that an excess in storage does not occur. That available energy is used for biological processes; If not used, you will become overweight and then obese if you do not engage in physical activity to assimilate it.

If you have an excess of lipids, these pass into the blood and later can cause cardiovascular conditions such as arteriosclerosis , which is the formation of deposits in the arteries, which obstruct the passage of blood and cause the myocardium to work harder. pump it to the whole body. Therefore, they can lead to heart failure.

Lipids and their structural function

Lipids are substances that help form the cell membrane . In this way, cells come together to form tissues and later organs. This allows the proper temperature to be maintained within them and there is a constant power source for their operation. Animals that live in frozen ecosystems such as the tundra and taiga have, in addition to their thick fur, a thick fat deposit to keep them warm.

Lipids and their regulatory function

There are lipids that fulfill a regulatory function in the body. That is, they ensure that some biological functions remain stable according to the conditions in which the animal or human is found. These are the prostaglandins , cholesterol and steroid hormones present in the body, each secreted by its corresponding glands and directed to its specific function. The fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K are lipid regulators.

Examples of lipids

  1. Bee wax
  2. Cholesterol
  3. Carotenoids
  4. Butter
  5. Omega 9
  6. Omega 6
  7. Omega 3
  8. Cholesterol
  9. Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Corn oil
  • Almonds oil
  • Soy oil
  • Butter
  • Margarine

Examples of lipids (fatty acids)

  1. Butyric acid
  2. Caproic acid
  3. Caprylic acid
  4. Capric acid
  5. Lauric acid
  6. Myristic acid
  7. Palmitic acid
  8. Stearic acid
  9. Caproleic acid
  • Lauroleic acid
  • Palmitoleic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Vaccenic acid
  • Gadoleic acid
  • Ketoleic acid
  • Erucic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Gamma linolenic acid
  • Stearidonic acid
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Clupanodic acid
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Arachidic acid
  • Behenic acid
  • Lignoceric acid
  • Cerotic acid
  • Margaric acid
  • Elaidic acid

Examples of regulatory lipids (hormones and vitamins)

  1. Adrenalin
  2. Aldosterone
  3. Corticosteroids
  4. Cortisol
  5. Dihydrotestosterone
  6. Dopamine
  7. Steroids
  8. Estradiol
  9. Estrogens
  • Glucagon
  • Glucosphingolipids
  • Hormone (TRH)
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
  • Cortisone Hormone
  • Growth hormone (GH)
  • Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH)
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
  • Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH)
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • Parathyroid hormone (PTH)
  • Progesterone Hormone
  • Prolactin Hormone
  • Insulin
  • Melatonin
  • Noradrenaline
  • Oxytocin
  • Progesterone
  • Prolactin (PRL)
  • Prostaglandins
  • Serotonin
  • Somatostatin
  • Somatotropin
  • Testosterone
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Examples of food sources of lipids

  1. Olive oil
  2. Margarine
  3. Soy or soy
  4. Walnuts
  5. Sunflower oil
  6. Canola seeds
  7. Canola oil
  8. Corn
  9. Lard
  • Butter
  • Cow’s milk cream
  • Egg white
  • Yolk
  • Avocado
  • Cow milk
  • Goat milk
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanut
  • Broad beans


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