Lipids & Cholesterol

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Heather Doyle SC121 06/19/2014 Lipids are fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. Lipids are an important structural material in most living organisms. (Santos and Schulze, 2012) These fatty acids provide the building blocks for the synthesis of components used in the storage of energy. Lipids are not naturally produced by the body and have to be introduced by means of diet. These EFA’s consist of two primary lipids, Omega-3 (alpha-lenolenic acid) and Omega-6 (linoleic acid). They assist the body in many ways, of which include: * Hormone production * Functioning and proper development of brain and nervous system * Regulation of blood pressure and blood clotting mechanisms * The breakdown and transportation of cholesterol These lipids also play a part in the development of healthy skin and hair. (Rohland, 2014) Lipids are able to partially cross a plasma membrane by the formation of a bilayer. This layer covers the hydrophobic tail, which stays behind buried inside of the membrane, allowing the polar head to be exposed to and in contact with the water. Cholesterol helps to form the bilayer membrane that surrounds each cell within the body. (Cooper, 2000) Cholesterol is made by the liver and acquired through diet, and consists of a waxy like substance. The body uses cholesterol in the production of some hormones, bile, Vitamin D and is found within cells and blood. Cholesterol is also used in the production of myelin sheaths, which are essential in the covering of the nerves. HDL’s (high density lipoprotein) is considered to be “good” cholesterol and assists in carrying LDL’s (low density lipoprotein) to the liver to be processed and exported out of the body. HDL’s do this by removing LDL’s away from artery walls. HDL’s also assist in protecting the body from heart disease,

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