August 17, 2023

Lipid Types and Structures

Lipids represent a varied array of compounds linked to fatty acids and displaying insolubility in water. They can be divided into two primary categories:

1.Saponifiable lipids: These consist of esters and are capable of undergoing a process known as saponification.
2.Nonsaponifiable lipids: These lack ester groups and are not susceptible to saponification.

The class of saponifiable lipids can be further segmented into:
  • Simple lipids: Comprising two core components—namely, a fatty acid and an alcohol.
  • Complex lipids: Encompassing more than two elements, including fatty acids, alcohols, and additional constituents.
Prominent instances of simple lipids encompass triglycerides (also referred to as triacylglycerols), steryl esters, and wax esters.

Waxes represent a form of simple lipid. Structurally, they manifest as esters derived from long-chain (C14-C36) saturated and unsaturated fatty acids along with extended-chain (C16-C30) alcohols. Waxes exhibit insubordination to water solubility, possess a diminished susceptibility to hydrolysis in comparison to fats and oils, and maintain solidity at typical room temperatures. Notably, cholesterol esters, prevalent in blood and diverse tissues, serve as pivotal waxes within the human body. Waxes often serve as safeguarding coatings for feathers, fur, skin, leaves, and fruits in the natural realm.

Certain plants, such as rhododendrons, poison ivy, and various tropical plants, display a lustrous exterior due to their wax coatings. This protective layer functions to mitigate water evaporation and offer defense against parasites.

Sebum, secreted by the skin's sebaceous glands, contains waxes that aid in preserving skin suppleness and preventing dehydration.

Wax esters have the potential to amass significantly within biological tissues. They serve as the fundamental constituents of substances like beeswax and jojoba oil.
Lipid Types and Structures

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