Q:

What does the body use lipids for?

A:

The human body uses lipids for a variety of applications, including as a fuel source, to construct membranes and to protect and insulate the body. While ingesting too many lipids can cause health problems, the ingestion of some is necessary. Lipids occur naturally as oils, fats and waxes.

Lipids that are solid at room temperature are called fats. The human body uses fats primarily as an emergency food source. This is because fats are more calorically dense than any other type of macromolecule, making them the most efficient substance for storing energy. When an animal eats more food than it needs, it stores the excess energy in the chemical bonds of lipids. Later, when the animal needs to access these reserves, it breaks the chemical bonds, releasing energy.

Additionally, the human body relies on fat to help insulate the body from cold temperatures. Other animals use fats in the same way, such as seals, polar bears and other creatures living in cold climates. Lipids repel water, which makes them very useful molecules for a body that is 60 percent water. By using lipids to form membranes, the body can channel and contain water where it needs. Lipids also work to protect some delicate structures of the body. For example, the fat found around a human’s internal organs helps to protect these important structures from damage.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why do we need lipids?

    A:

    People need lipids because they are used for energy, generating ATP in cellular respiration, building storage triglycerides and phospholipids for membranes and manufacturing certain hormones, according to Dr. Dawn Tamarkin from Springfield Technical Community College. Lipids are essential fats, and there are different types of lipids including triglycerides, phospholipids and steroids.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the characteristic that all lipids have in common?

    A:

    The common characteristic of all lipids is they are hydrophobic, so they are insoluble in polar solvents, such as water. They are, however, soluble in at least one non-polar organic solvent. The reason lipids are hydrophobic is that their molecules have long hydrocarbon chains with 16 to 18 carbon atoms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What type of fuel do LNG cars use?

    A:

    LNG vehicles use liquefied natural gas as a fuel source. Natural gas is compressed to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit and stored in insulated tanks until it is used by a vehicle's engine. Liquefied natural gas reduces its volume by 600 times from its gaseous state.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are lipids stored in the body?

    A:

    According to the Elmhurst College, the body stores lipids in cells through special types of connective tissue called adipose tissue or depot fat. Adipose tissue cells contain fat globules of triglycerides. Triglycerides make up as much as 90 percent of the cell volume.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore