Option B.

4 - Lipids
B.4.1 - Compare the composition of the three types of lipids found in the human body Triglycerides These are formed from the condensation reaction between three fatty acids and a three-carbon glycerol molecule. Fatty acids have a long carbon chains attached to a carboxylic acid group. Three fatty acids combine with one glycerol molecule, each bonding where one the alcohol groups were. The result is the production of three water molecules. The bond creates an ester linkage, and a triglyceride is formed. However, the fatty acids that react are not always the same, and can combine in a number of different ways to form different triglycerides. Some fatty acids have all single bonds, and are saturated, whilst others with double bonds are unsaturated. A fatty acid with one double bond is mono-unsaturated, and one with multiple double bonds is polyunsaturated. The combinations present in a triglyceride will affect its physical properties such as boiling point. Saturated fatty acids lead to increased Van der Waals’ forces, causing their triglycerides to be solids at room temperature, or fats. Triglycerides with unsaturated fatty acids have weaker intermolecular forces, and tend to be liquids at room temperature, called oils.


Phospholipids These have two fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule, and a phosphate group filling the third position on the glycerol. The head of the phospholipid is hydrophilic, which means that it is attracted to water due to its polar structure. The two hydrocarbon tails are hydrophobic, and are repelled by water. These properties are essential, since phospholipid will form a bilayer, which makes up the membrane of cells of living organisms, including humans. The hydrophilic heads face the outside, in contact with the cytoplasm of the cell or the matrix between cells, which contain water and other polar substances. The hydrophobic tails face inwards to avoid contact with these substances.

Steroids These have four hydrocarbon rings. Examples of steroids include testosterone, progesterone and cholesterol. The structure of cholesterol is shown here.

B.4.2 - Outline the different between HDL and LDL cholesterol and outline its importance Cholesterol is produced in the liver, and is essential for various functions in the body. It is attached to lipoprotein carrier molecules, which come in two main forms: HDL - High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol that binds to HDL carriers is often labelled ‘good cholesterol’ because it is the carrier responsible for removing cholesterol from the blood and returning it to the liver.


Eating mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats leads to production of HDL, which reduces the levels of cholesterol in the blood. The cholesterol left by LDL is carried back to the liver to clear out the arteries. LDL - Low Density Lipoprotein This is another carrier of cholesterol, believed to be responsible for depositing cholesterol along the arteries and increasing the risk of heart disease. Increasing the amount of LDL cholesterol in the diet has a strong correlation with increased amounts of cholesterol deposition on arterial walls. As a result, it is often labelled ‘bad cholesterol.’ Research has shown that saturated fats promote the production of LDL, leading to increased cholesterol levels.

B.4.3 - Describe the difference in structure between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids Saturated Fatty Acid

Saturated fatty acids have completely straight carbon chains, which means that they can pack closely together. In addition, they have increased Van der Waals’ forces. Fats containing only saturated fatty acids are linked with the production of LDL, increasing cholesterol levels. Unsaturated Fatty Acid

The double bonds create kinks in the carbon chain, bending it in other directions. This reduces the Van der Waals’ forces.


B.4.4 - Compare the structure of the two essential fatty acids linoleic (omega-6 fatty acid) and linolenic (omega-3 fatty acid) and state their importance These fatty acids cannot be made in the body, so they must be obtained from the diet. They are involved in metabolic processes that make prostaglandins to reduce blood pressure. Also, since these fatty acids are unsaturated, they promote the production of HDL, reducing cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease. Linoleic Acid This is also called omega-6-fatty acid. CH3(CH2)4(CH=CHCH2)2(CH2)6COOH Linolenic Acid This is also called omega-3-fatty acid. CH3CH2(CH=CHCH2)3(CH2)6COOH

B.4.5 - Define the term iodine number and calculate the number of C=C double bonds in an unsaturated fat or oil using addition reactions Since unsaturated fatty acids have double bonds, they are able to undergo addition reactions with molecules like iodine (I2). For ever double bond there is in the fatty acid, one I2 molecule will react. Therefore, the number of moles of iodine that react indicates how many moles of bonds there are. The iodine number is the amount of iodine (in grams) that is consumed by 100g of the fat So, if 50g of iodine reacts with 100g of a fat, then the fat has an iodine number of 50. Usually a known amount of fat will be reacted with a known amount of iodine. When the reaction is completed, the mixture is titrated with Na2S2O3 to determine the amount of iodine remaining.


B.4.6 - Describe the condensation of glycerol and three fatty acid molecules to make a triglyceride In the condensation reaction, three fatty acids react with one glycerol molecule. The fatty acids bind where the -OH molecules are on the glycerol. They form ester linkages. During the reaction, three water molecules are produced as a by-product.

B.4.7 - Describe the enzyme-catalysed hydrolysis of triglycerides during digestion Enzymes are found in the human body, used to catalyse the reactions necessary for life that would otherwise take place too slowly. The enzyme lipase catalyses the hydrolysis reaction of lipids, splitting them into glycerol and fatty acids. Lipase is found in the intestine, so lipids are not digested for many hours after ingestion. Being a protein, lipase is sensitive to pH changes, and the body must maintain a specific pH in the intestine for this enzyme to be effective. The hydrolysis of triglycerides is simply the reverse of the condensation reaction - three molecules of water are used up to split it back into three fatty acids and glycerol.

B.4.8 - Explain the higher energy value of fats as compared to carbohydrates. Lipids release more energy during respiration because they have been less oxidised than carbohydrates. All carbon atoms in a carbohydrate are already attached to an oxygen atoms, whilst in a lipid, they are mainly attached to hydrogens. During digestion, both carbohydrates and lipids form CO2 and H2O. The lipids will release more energy, since more C-O bonds will be formed.


B.4.9 - Describe the important roles of lipids in the body and the negative effects that they can have on health Energy Storage Insulation and Protection Steroid Hormones Cell Membranes Heart Disease The oxidisation of lipids releases more energy than from carbohydrates Lipids are stored in adipose tissue around organs These are used to regulate bodily functions. Examples include sex hormones, such as testosterone and progesterone These form the basis of the structure of cell membranes, creating hydrophobic tails on the phospholipids that make it up. The risk of heart disease is believed to be lower in those that consume omega-3-poly-unsaturated fatty acids, as well as reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body.

However, some lipids have negative effects on the body. Trans- fatty acids and some saturated fatty acids (lauric, myristic and palmitic) will increase the amount of LDL cholesterol. Trans fats are produced when fats become more saturated through hydrogenation. This process is used to prolong the shelf-life of fats, but also increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are most common in foods that are labelled as ‘partially hydrogenated.’ These are linked to heart disease, like saturated fats, because they increase the levels of LDL in the body, as well as reducing HDL levels.


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