What is fatty acids: Definition and 13 Discussions

In chemistry, particularly in biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with an aliphatic chain, which is either saturated or unsaturated. Most naturally occurring fatty acids have an unbranched chain of an even number of carbon atoms, from 4 to 28. Fatty acids are a major component of the lipids (up to 70% by weight) in some species such as microalgae but in some other organisms are not found in their standalone form, but instead exist as three main classes of esters: triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesteryl esters. In any of these forms, fatty acids are both important dietary sources of fuel for animals and important structural components for cells.

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  1. P

    Biology Why do fatty acids burn in the presence of carbon?

    Hi everyone! Do you know why fatty acids burn in the presence of carbon? I found some explanations on the internet but they didn't help me. Can you explain me (in simple terms) why fatty acids burn in the presence of carbon ?
  2. samy4408

    Medical Question about the synthesis of fatty acids

    Hello , in the course of fatty acids synthesis the professor said that after the repetition of the cycle 7 times we end up with a 16 carbon chain and he added that all the carbons came from acetyl-COA except for one . i didn't understand the last one , what is the carbon that don't come from...
  3. samy4408

    Lipid Formation: Fatty Acids, Glycerol, and Sphingosine

    Hello , I am studying lipids and a point got me confused . it is said that beside the fatty acid we have glycerol and sphingosine that forms the backbone of the lipid . is the lipid formed by those 3 components at the same time (fatty acid +glycerol +sphingosine ) or it is formed by the fatty...
  4. X

    A Question about crystal structure of long chain fatty acids (XRD)

    Hello, we are studying potato periderm before/after digestion and dewaxing and native vs wounded. One of the techniques is XRD, hence my user name. Among other things we are trying to use XRD to determine the arrangement of fatty acids, esters, and other long-chain aliphatics that are present...
  5. Graeme M

    Fatty acids in humans and great apes

    I've been researching several nutritional questions after changing to a plant-based diet and while I've been able to more or less nail down much of my uncertainty, there are a few things that I haven't been able to easily find out. One of these is the matter of Omega-3 fatty acids (FA) in the...
  6. J

    Can nitro fatty acids lower blood pressure in humans?

    I read about a study that nitro fatty acids reduced blood pressure in mice and perhaps in humans. What is nitro fatty acids? Is it free radicals or antioxidants? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519160712.htm
  7. T

    At what temperatures do the omega-3 fatty acids oxidize?

    At what temperatures do alpha-linoleic acid, DHA and EPA oxidize? I've tried using Google scholar to find such info and think its time to ask specialists.
  8. G

    Understanding pKa of Fatty Acids

    Can someone help me understand this statement: The pKa of most fatty acids is around 4.5, so most fatty acids exist in their anion form in the cellular environment. I know what a pKa is... it is -log(Ka), where Ka is the equilibrium constant of the reaction. In this case the Ka would be...
  9. L

    Chemistry When forming a micelle, molecules such as fatty acids

    Homework Statement When forming a micelle, molecules such as fatty acids, detergents and lysophospholids form micelles on the basis that the cross sectional area of the head group (I'm guessing the polar part that interacts with water) must be greater than the acyl side chain...but what...
  10. S

    Why do radicals attack polyunsaturated fatty acids?

    Is it because they are unsaturated and can unfold. I understand how one radical would create another radical but I don't know exactly how radical could spread in a fatty acid chain. Any diagram would be useful. Thank you :smile:
  11. T

    Essential Fatty Acids: Nutrients in USDA Database

    For a program I'm writing (which is supposed to create a balanced meal), I'm using two pieces of information: USDA's dietary reference intakes and a database (also from them) of nutrients each food product contains. There is a problem, though: the nutrients listed by the DRIs don't have a 1 to 1...
  12. E

    Saturated Fatty Acids: What's the Right Answer?

    I got my test back and one of the questions was the following Which is a property of a saturated fatty acid? (a) no double bonds (b) (c) rubbish (d) maximum number of single bonds I answered (d), but the professor says it's (a). I don't think it's (a) for two reasons-- a pi double...
  13. Math Is Hard

    What are the three essential fatty acids found in flaxseed oil capsules?

    I have in my biology notes that the three essential fatty acids are: Omega-3, Omega-6, and Linoleic acid I'm confused because googling around I found several sources saying that Omega-6 IS Linoleic Acid. I have a bottle of flaxseed oil capsules and it says pretty much the same thing on the...