Biology

Fatty Acids

The fatty acids are biomolecules lipid constitution constituting the elementary component of the fat. They are made up of carbon chains that have a carboxyl group, with a carbon number usually even: generally 16 to 22 carbon atoms.

 

This quantity of atoms contributes to the metabolism of eukaryotes since fatty acid chains are synthesized and degraded by the addition or elimination of acetate units. Fatty acids are present in food, generally combined with another class of substances: free are rare, and are usually the product of lipolytic alteration. However, they are fundamental constituents of the vast majority of lipids.

Classification

When the bonds between the carbons are simple, always having the same distance between them, it is said that they are saturated fatty acids. The greater the chain, the greater the possibility of the formation of these weak interactions, which are usually in the solid-state at room temperature. When the bonds, on the other hand, are double or triple and the distance between the carbons is not constant, nor are they bond angles, the fatty acids are usually in a liquid state and are said to be in the presence of unsaturated fatty acids. A healthy diet must-have fatty acids of saturated type as well as unsaturated type .  

Importance in food

Fatty acids are of vital importance in human nutrition because they contain a series of basic elements for the proper functioning of the body, such as various vitamins. The creation of enzymes and cell membranes, including brain activity and cardiovascular health is highly favored when there is a regular consumption of this class of food, which is further deepened in the case of children since fatty acids ensure growth and proper development.

Risks in excess

However, the consumption of fats must be properly ordered with respect to the aforementioned classification, since when it is done in excess it has some intrinsic risks: lipid metabolism disorders, such as cholesterol, may occur; it can contribute to overweight and obesity, or it can favor the production of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and thrombosis. Some metabolic diseases such as diabetes are produced from excess fat consumption , which often appear in foods with a very rich taste and very attractive to consumers. Usually the recommendation of medical associations is that the daily intake of energy caused by fat does not exceed 30% of the daily diet, and that these fat contain no more than 25% of saturated fatty acids.

Examples of fatty acids

In the following list, the first twelve correspond to the category of saturated fatty acids .

  1. Butyric fatty acid
  2. Caproic fatty acid
  3. Caprylic fatty acid
  4. Lauric fatty acid
  5. Arachidic fatty acid
  6. Behenic fatty acid
  7. Lignoceric fatty acid
  8. Cerotic fatty acid
  9. Myristic fatty acid
  10. Palmitic fatty acid
  11. Stearic fatty acid
  12. Caproleic fatty acid
  13. Lauroleic fatty acid
  14. Palmitoleic fatty acid
  15. Oleic fatty acid
  16. Vaccenic fatty acid
  17. Gadoleic fatty acid
  18. Ketoleic fatty acid
  19. Erucic fatty acid
  20. Linoleic fatty acid
  21. Linolenic fatty acid
  22. Gamma linolenic fatty acid
  23. Stearidonic fatty acid
  24. Arachidonic fatty acid
  25. Clapadonic fatty acid

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