Uses of Lipids

May 9, 2019 | Author: Chris Ian Agustin | Category: Lipid, Cell Membrane, Vitamin, Fat, Adipose Tissue
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Uses of Lipids By Paul Favors, eHow Contributor

The term "li "lipid pids" s" ref refers ers to a lar large ge gro group up of org organi anicc com compou pounds nds tha thatt are cha charac racter terize ized d by the their ir insolubility to non-polar organic solvents such as ether, acetone and benzene. They are also not soluble in water. They have various uses in the human body that range from energy production to controlling hormones.

Facts •

Lipids are substances that are found in both plant and animal cells. They contain the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are important in maintaining the structures of cells and providing a source of fuel to the body. Lipids come in the form of fatty acids, waxes, steroids and neutral fats. They can also be in compound form, which occurs when the lipids combine with another chemical compound. Under the latter category are lipolipids, glycolipids, and phospholipids.

Energy  •

Lipids are used by the body to store energy. This is accomplished through the use of triglycerides, a kind of unsaturated fat. Triglyceride bonds are able to carry 9 kilocalories of energy as opposed to the 4 kilocalories that carbohydrates can. The reason for this is that lipids are hydrophobic. This means that they do not hold water and can group together more efficiently compared to carbohydrates. The disadvantage of this is that lipids can cause obesity. The body tends to use fat instead of  carbohydrates when it comes to the storage of energy. Sponsored Links o

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Cells •

Cell membranes are important because they protect the cell and control the materials that flow in and out of it. Lipids are needed in order to create the membranes in the cells. Examples of this function are their uses in cellular plasma and organelle membranes. Lipids have the ability to allow  two layers of the membrane to develop. As a result, the cell is able to control what kinds of substances form across the walls of the cell.

Vitamins •

 Without  Without lipids, lipids, vitamins vitamins will be useless regardless regardless of their amount. This is because because lipids lipids play play a vital role in the absorption of vitamins. There are two types of vitamins: those that are dissolved in water and those that are dissolved in fat. Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, are easily eliminated from the body. Fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E, D, and K are usually retained longer. These substances are usually found in fatty tissues and the liver. The absorption of vitamins is important  because  because the body cannot produce produce these these substances substances on its own.

Transmission •

Lipids are necessary for information in the cells to be transmitted. This function is carried out through lipid hormones such as steroids. Known as signal transduction, lipids facilitate the process in  which a cell changes changes a stimulus stimulus into another. another. For example, example, lipid hormon hormones es are are needed in the sexual development of individuals, particularly in men, because they signal the production of testosterone.


Oct 12, 2010 | By Melissa Lingohr-Smith

Photo Credit Fat Girl image by Kenneth Hill from Fats, triglycerides, waxes, cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins comprise a broad class of compounds called lipids. Lipids perform many essential functions in the body. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of lipids between 25 and 30 percent of total caloric intake. Excess lipids are stored as triglycerides in fat tissue, also called adipose. The breakdown of triglycerides provides twice as much energy as the breakdown of carbohydrates or proteins. The Virtual Chembook notes that the energy stored in fat in an average person can supply enough energy without food for greater than 30 days when water intake is sufficient.

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Biological membranes are composed of phospholipid bilayers which surround all cells in the body and are especially important for central nervous system function. Lipids in membranes play a role in regulating the transport of molecules between cells and their environment. The Virtual Chembook notes that lipids provide structural support and acts as a cushion to protect vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Fat tissue also insulates the body, preventing heat loss and extreme changes in body temperature in different environments. Many hormones are synthesized from lipids, incuding estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, aldosterone and calcitriol.

In addition to hormones, lipids synthesize other molecules like eicosanoids and prostaglandins that act as chemical messengers in the body. These molecules have several functions including regulating muscle contraction, hormone synthesis, inflammatory responses, cell growth and central nervous system function. Bile acids are synthesized in the liver from cholesterol and are stored in the gall bladder. Bile acids aid in the digestion of  dietary fats. Fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E and K aid in many essential functions in the body including vision, blood coagulation, ameliorating oxidative stress, immune system function and bone metabolism.

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United States Department of Agriculture: Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients Virtual Chembook: Overview of Lipid Function  Article reviewed by Tina Boyle Last updated on: Oct 12, 2010 • •

Read more:  Lipids have many uses indeed. Here are some example uses of lipids for you: - to store energy over a long period of time - to help with waterproofing - to help with insulation - as hormones - cell membranes - brain cells

The role of lipids in the human body is for energy storage. It produces a great deal of energy upon oxidation and therefore are efficient forms of energy storage. Lipids as mentioned, plays a role in insulation for the body. And also is important for cellmembranes. For example Cholesterol is the starting synthesis of all steroid hormones and plays a role in fluidity and increases the permeability to ions...Also Phospholipids (the most abundant membrane lipids) that make up the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane are important to membrane structure as it allows specific molecules to pass across, keeping unwanted substances out- acting as selectively permeable.

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