Neuroscience

Obesity worsens disability in multiple sclerosis

Obesity is an aggravating factor in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease. A recent study by the Unit of Neurology and Neurorehabilitation of the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Pozzilli (Italy) ...

Medical research

Healthy, stress-busting fat found hidden in dirt

Thirty years after scientists coined the term "hygiene hypothesis" to suggest that increased exposure to microorganisms could benefit health, CU Boulder researchers have identified an anti-inflammatory fat in a soil-dwelling ...

Diabetes

Researchers investigate hormonal links between diet and obesity

Obesity is a growing public health crisis, bringing with it many serious risk factors, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. As the number of people who are either overweight or obese now outnumbers those ...

Medical research

Small shrew could make a big difference in dry eye research

Breakthroughs in health care can come from unusual places. Jianzhong Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Optometry, and his colleagues may have discovered a new one for ...

page 1 from 23

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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA