News tagged with lipid

Related topics: cells , cell membrane , protein , diabetes , heart disease

On the link between periodontitis and atherosclerosis

Chronic oral infection with the periodontal disease pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, not only causes local inflammation of the gums leading to tooth loss but also is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. A stud ...

Jul 10, 2014
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New research can improve heart health

Danish researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet have shown that people with variation in a gene that inhibits a specific protein in the blood – the so-called apolipoprotein C3 – have a significantly ...

Jun 18, 2014
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Prostate cancer and blood lipids share genetic links

Numerous studies have suggested a relationship between cardiovascular disease risk factors and prostate cancer. A new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in ...

Apr 30, 2014
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Unhealthy attachments

Using the surface forces apparatus and an atomic force microscope, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have taken a molecular approach to myelin membrane interactions, leading to insights into demyelinating diseases, ...

Feb 25, 2014
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Lipid

Lipids are a broad group of naturally-occurring molecules which includes fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, phospholipids, and others. The main biological functions of lipids include energy storage, as structural components of cell membranes, and as important signaling molecules.

Lipids may be broadly defined as hydrophobic or amphiphilic small molecules; the amphiphilic nature of some lipids allows them to form structures such as vesicles, liposomes, or membranes in an aqueous environment. Biological lipids originate entirely or in part from two distinct types of biochemical subunits or "building blocks": ketoacyl and isoprene groups. Using this approach, lipids may be divided into eight categories: fatty acyls, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, saccharolipids and polyketides (derived from condensation of ketoacyl subunits); and sterol lipids and prenol lipids (derived from condensation of isoprene subunits).

Although the term lipid is sometimes used as a synonym for fats, fats are a subgroup of lipids called triglycerides. Lipids also encompass molecules such as fatty acids and their derivatives (including tri-, di-, and monoglycerides and phospholipids), as well as other sterol-containing metabolites such as cholesterol. Although humans and other mammals use various biosynthetic pathways to both break down and synthesize lipids, some essential lipids cannot be made this way and must be obtained from the diet.

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