Lipid Structure

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Lipids

  1. Lipids are made from hydrocarbons

Lipids are made from hydrocarbons which are molecules that contain strings of bonded carbon and hydrogen atoms. The hydrocarbons ensure that no lipid can mix with water. Lipids are special as they do not fall under polymers, unlike other macromolecules such as carbohydrates and proteins.

  1. Lipids come in different forms

Because lipids do not fall under polymers, they have other categories to differentiate themselves. This includes oils and fats, which are made up of a glycerol backbone with fatty acids attached, phospholipids, which have their own hydrophilic head, waxes, which are long-chain alcohols connected to fatty acids and sterols, which are made up of carbon rings.

  1. Lipids contain saturated fats

Saturated fats occur when single bonds connect four carbon atoms together, leaving them free to bond with two hydrogen atoms. When the carbon atoms are able to bond with as many hydrogen atoms as they can, they become saturated.

  1. Lipids contain unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats occur when double bonds connect four carbon atoms together, leaving them free to bond with only one hydrogen atom. This means that they cannot be saturated with the maximum amount of hydrogen atoms, which means they’re unsaturated.

  1. Lipids produce oils and fats

Oils and fats are known as triglycerides as they are created when a glycerol backbone is connected to three fatty acids. This bond happens during condensation when a water molecule is removed. Triglycerides become fats when they contain lots of saturated bonds and become oils when they contain more unsaturated bonds.

  1. Lipids produce phospholipids

Phospholipids resemble triglycerides as they are created when glycerol and fatty acids react during condensation. They differ in that triglycerides have three acid tails whilst phospholipids have two acid tails and one nitrogen and phosphate head group. This results in polar and nonpolar areas, which is known as amphipathic.

  1. Lipids produce waxes

Lipids produce waxes which can be used to make nonwaterproof materials reject water. Waxes are made from high levels of nonpolar hydrogen bonds within large carbon chains. They are formed from the reaction between alcohols and fatty acids.

  1. Lipids produce sterols

Sterols are important molecules, such as testosterone and estrogen, which are part of a group of steroid hormones that help the human body function. They are created from the combination of four carbon rings that have nonpolar carbon-hydrogen bonds. Sterols are also present in vitamin D and cholesterol.

  1. Lipids support the body

Lipids don’t only create bad fats and oil but also play an important role in supporting the body. They create a layer of fat to insulate the bodies of humans and animals from the cold. They also help in the construction of plasma membranes with each cell in order to protect it.

  1. Lipids give the world energy

Lipids are not only present in the bodies of humans and animals and the foods they eat but are also buried deep underground in the form of oil. This oil creates the energy that societies need to function, which is based on the chemical structure of lipids.