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Lipid

Metabolism Of Lipids

The processes by which a lipid is broken down or by which it is built are quite complicated. The liver can convert fats into blood sugar, or glucose. Very specific and very effective enzymes are involved in the many steps of the processes. As a group, these enzymes are called lipases. There is one group of lipids that are not easily broken down. These non-saponifiable lipids are the steroids and carotenoids. Carotenoids are red or yellow pigments found cells involved in photosynthesis.


Resources

Books

Gebo, Sue. What's Left to Eat? New York: McGraw Hill, 1992.

Holme, David J., and Hazel Peck. Analytical Biochemistry. Essex, England: Burnt Mill, Harlow, 1993.

Sullivan, Darryl, and Donald E. Carpenter, eds. Methods of Analysis for Nutritional Labeling. Arlington, VA: AOAC International, 1993.


Donald H. Williams

KEY TERMS

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Enzyme

—Biological molecule, usually a protein, which promotes a biochemical reaction but is not consumed by the reaction.

Metabolism

—The process by which food material is broken down and used in the construction of new material.

Molecule

—The smallest unit of a compound having the properties of the compound. A molecule is made up of more than one atom. Water, H2O, is a molecule composed of three atoms.

Organic

—Substances associated with living systems is the old, but common definition. Now chemists apply it to most compounds that contain carbon atoms, especially rings or chains of carbon atoms.

Polar/non-polar

—Characterized by having opposite ends, as a magnet has a north and south pole. When applied to compounds it means that one end of the molecule, or individual part that comprises the compound, has an abundance of electrical charge and the other end has a shortage of electrical charge. Something that is non-polar is electrically neutral throughout the molecule. The compound has no positive or negative end.

Proteins

—Important nitrogen containing organic compounds that are most easily identified as the building material of a body's meat, skin, and finger nails.

Solubility

—The amount of a material that will dissolve in another material at a given temperature.

Volatile

—Readily able to form a vapor at a relatively low temperature.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Linear expansivity to Macrocosm and microcosmLipid - Typical Lipids, Lipids And Cell Membranes, Metabolism Of Lipids