Fatty acid and lipid chemistry

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Fatty acids rarely occur as free molecules in nature but are usually found as components of many complex lipid molecules such as fats energy-storage compounds and phospholipids the primary lipid components of cellular membranes.

Fatty Acid and Lipid Chemistry | SpringerLink

This section describes the structure and physical and chemical properties of fatty acids. It also explains how living organisms obtain fatty acids, both from their diets and through metabolic breakdown of stored fats. Biological fatty acids, members of the class of compounds known as carboxylic acids , are composed of a hydrocarbon chain with one terminal carboxyl group COOH.

The fragment of a carboxylic acid not including the hydroxyl OH group is called an acyl group.

Most biological fatty acids contain an even number of carbon atoms because the biosynthetic pathway common to all organisms involves chemically linking two-carbon units together although relatively small amounts of odd-number fatty acids do occur in some organisms. Although the molecule as a whole is water-insoluble by virtue of its hydrophobic hydrocarbon chain, the negatively charged carboxylate is hydrophilic. This common form for biological lipids—one that contains well-separated hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts—is called amphipathic.

In addition to straight-chain hydrocarbons, fatty acids may also contain pairs of carbons linked by one or more double bonds, methyl branches, or a three-carbon cyclopropane ring near the centre of the carbon chain. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Written By: Thomas E. Start Your Free Trial Today. The coefficient of variation of replicate analysis of total lipids by the Alternative method was 5. This value is below the accepted threshold for analytes with percent concentrations in the order of 10 -3 ; such as in the case of TL in human plasma, which shows that the Alternative method is precise.

The results are given in table 1. The percent recovery values for the Alternative and FLS methods ranged from Therefore, the Alternative method was shown to be adequate for the analysis of TL in human plasma. This study investigated the most important of the 24 fatty acids FA in human plasma which are n-6, , n-9, , and n The saturated fatty acids with the highest concentrations were the palmitic and stearic acids. Palmitic acid predominated with concentrations ranging from The concentration of stearic acid ranged from Oleic acid reduces the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, which is the most important to trigger the formation of atherosclerosis.

Linoleic acid was the PUFA with the highest concentration in human plasma ranging from The high concentrations of linoleic and arachidonic acids are a result of a diet rich in these FA. The FLS method identified the highest concentrations of n-3, n-3; the results of the BD and Alternative methods were statistically similar while the values identified by the RG method were the smallest.

These omega-3 series PUFA play an important role in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The total of saturated fatty acids Table 2 ranged from The analysis of the results obtained shows that the Gerber method is not indicated for the extraction of lipids from human plasma, while the Rose-Gottlieb method did not perform well for fatty acids, despite the good total lipid analysis results.

The Bligh and Dyer method was not very efficient in the extraction of total lipids, but was efficient for fatty acids in general. The Alternative method was efficient in the extraction of lipids, although it affects the composition of fatty acids quantitatively; it can be used with human plasma.

The Folch method stood out as the most efficient in the extraction of total lipids and fatty acids.

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Advances in Lipid Research, Volume 8

Rev Nutr [Internet]. Smith WL. Prostanoid biosynthesis and mechanism of action. Effect of diet and plasma fatty acid composition on immune status in elderly men. Am J Clin Nutr. Lipoproteins, nutrition, aging, and atherosclerosis. Simopoulos AP. Omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease and in growth and development.

Comparison of two methods for determination of fatty acid profiles in plasma an erythrocytes. J Chromatogr A. Corrected and republished from: J Chromatogr A. J Am Oil Chem Soc. A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues. J Biol Chem. A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification.

Can J Biochem Physiol. Association of Official Analytical Chemists International.


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Official Methods of Analysis. Arlington: Association of Official Analytical Chemists; Instituto Adolfo Lutz. Hartman L, Lago RC.


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  7. Rapid preparation of fatty acid methyl esters from lipids. Lab Pract. Rev Inst Adolfo Lutz. Capillary column gas chromatography method for analysis of encapsulated fish oil and fish oil ethyl esters: collaborative study.

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    J Assoc Off Anal Chem. Caulcultt R, Boddy R. Statitics for analytical chemistry. Angelis RC. Arq Gastroenterol [Internet]. Types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease. J Am Coll Nutr. All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Services on Demand Journal. Total lipid extraction methods The following methods were used for lipid extraction: FLS 10 in chloroform, methanol and water ; BD 11 in chloroform, methanol and water Validation of the alternative method Precision Intra-assay precision was determined by the coefficient of variation 14 of four extractions of total lipids TL from human plasma.

    Lipids - Structure Of Lipids - Structure Of Fats - Triglycerides, Phospholipids, Prostaglandins

    Spike and recovery test Accuracy was estimated through spike and recovery tests. Analysis of fatty acid methyl esters The Hartman and Lago method 15,16 was used to prepare FAME by fatty acid esterification and transesterification of triacylglicerol.

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