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What are lipids made from?

They all contain hydrocarbons. There are triglycerides, phospholipids and cholesterol. 


One molecule of glycerol with three fatty acids attached to it. Each fatty acid is joined by an ester bond. Fatty acid molecules have long hydrophobic hydrocarbon tails. These make lipids insoluble in water. 

Fatty acids

Hydrocarbon tail varies. They can be saturated or unsaturated.

Saturated fatty acids

No double bonds between either carbon atoms. The fatty acid is saturated with hydrogen. 

Unsaturated fatty acids

Double bonds between the carbons which cause chain to kink. 


Found in cell membranes. One of the fatty acids in a triglyceride is replaced with a phosphate group. The phosphate group is ionised which makes it attract water molecules so is hydrophilic while the rest is


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