Q:

What does the body use lipids for?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

Know More

Full Answer

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.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where are lipids found in the body?

    A:

    According to About.com, lipids are a diverse group of fat-soluble biological molecules that can be found throughout the body. They exist in the form of triglycerides, steroids, phospholipids, glycolipids, lipoproteins and waxes, Med-Health.net explains.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are characteristics of nonliving things?

    A:

    A nonliving thing is a body or object that is inanimate or dead. It is anything that lacks or stops displaying the characteristics of life. One of the most significant characteristics and differences of a nonliving to a living thing is its lack of protoplasm, which is the living substance of cells. Without protoplasm, nonliving things are not capable of reproduction, growth, movement, respiration and metabolism.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between internal and external fertilization?

    A:

    The difference between internal and external fertilization is that internal fertilization occurs inside the body, whereas external fertilization happens outside the body. Fertilization is the process by which a sperm cell and an egg cell unite to form a completely new individual.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does water release heat when humans sweat?

    A:

    Sweat releases heat and cools down the body through evaporative cooling. When sweat escapes through the skin, it carries some of the body's energy with it in the form of heat. Evaporation releases this energy, siphoning it away from the body and cooling the skin and blood vessels. This cools the blood passing through the circulatory system, reducing the body's core temperature.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore