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  • Created by: zoolouise
  • Created on: 23-03-16 11:22


Lipids are split up into two groups: 

  • Fats = solid or semi-solid at room temperature, usually of animal origin and contain saturated fatty acids
  • Oils = liquid are room temperature, they're usually of plant origin and contain unsaturated fatty acids

Lipids contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and are non-polar molecules therefore they are insoluble in water, they will not interfere with water-based reactions that take place within the cells. They are soluble in organic solvents, for example alocohol.

  • Lipids are used as an energy store and contain twice the amount of energy than carbohydrates. Fats are used as an energy store in seeds and animals
  • Lipids play an important role in the construction of plasma membranes
  • They are used for waterproofing by birds, mammals, insects and plants
  • They're used to insulate neurones and keep electrical impulses discrese
  • They have a low density and therefore have a role in buoyancy (flotation)
  • They provide thermal insulation and protect delicate organs such as the kidneys

Lipids are made from two organic chemicals - fatty acids and glycerol (C3H8O3). It is the number and type of fatty acids that glycerol combines with that creates the different lipids. The fatty acids can vary in the length of their carbon chain, and also whether they are saturated (no double bonds) or unsaturated (double bonds present). Fatty acids with a single double bond are monounsaturated fatty acids; those with…


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