Lipids (from Greek.lipos- fat) – an extensive group of fats and fat-like substances that are found in all living cells. The chemical structure of lipids is very diverse.
Neutral fats are the simplest and most common lipids. Their molecules are formed as a result of the addition of three residues of high molecular weight fatty acids to one molecule of glycerol triatomic alcohol.
Among the compounds of this group distinguish fats that remain solid at a temperature of 20 ° C, and oils, which under these conditions become liquid. Oils are more typical for plants, but can also be found in animals.
Waxes are esters formed by fatty acids and polyhydric alcohols. They cover the skin, hair, feathers of animals, softening them and protecting them from the effects of water. Wax protective layer also covers the stems, leaves and fruits of many plants.
Phospholipids are similar in structure to fats, but in their molecule one or two fatty acid residues are replaced by a phosphoric acid residue. Phospholipids are an integral component of cell membranes.
Lipids can form complex compounds with substances of other classes, for example with proteins – lipoproteins and with carbohydrates – glycolipids.
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