Q:

What are derived lipids?

A:

Derived lipids are the substances produced from simple and compound lipids through the process of hydrolysis. There are many different types of derived lipids, including alcohols, monoglycerides, diglycerides, fatty acids, terpenes, steroids and carotenoids, with the last three groups being the most common.

Steroids are derived lipids that are found in almost every species of animal and do not contain fatty acids. Terpenes are found mainly in plants, and this group includes substances such as natural rubber and many essential oils. Carotenoids are a type of tetraterpene produced only by plants, although they are widespread in both plants and animals as they remain in the body after carotenoid producing plants are eaten.

Lipids can be defined as either the esters of fatty acids and glycerol, or as fatty acid triglycerides. They can take the form of simple lipids, complex lipids and derived lipids. Most oils, plant and animal fats and glycerides are simple lipids, while the complex lipid group includes phospholipids, glycolipids and sphingophospholipids. Most waxes are also considered simple lipids, including carnauba and bees wax.

Lipids perform a number of different functions, including storage and insulation. The subcutaneous layers of fat in humans and other animals are constructed entirely of lipids.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What elements are found in lipids?

    A:

    Every type of lipid contains oxygen, hydrogen and carbon, but a specific type known as a phospholipid also contains phosphate and nitrogen. All of the lipids are considered organic compounds due to the presence of carbon, and they  are insoluble in water. The varying structure of lipid molecules results in their different types.

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  • Q:

    Are lipids water soluble?

    A:

    Lipids are not water soluble. They are substances, such as fat, oil or wax, that are soluble in nonpolar organic solvents, such as alcohol. Lipids are organic compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

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  • 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.

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  • Q:

    What will lipids dissolve in?

    A:

    Lipids dissolve in non-polar solvents such as chloroform, benzene and diethyl ether. They do not dissolve in polar solvents such as water. The only exceptions to this rule are the phospholipids, which will partially dissolve in water.

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