Fatty Acids

1. Describe (in words) the overall structure of a lipid bilayer.

2. What are the properties (i.e., characteristics) of the lipid bilayer of a cell that make it impermeable to ions and most molecules?

3. Describe the role of cholesterol in maintaining the fluidity of the lipid bilayer of a cell?

4. The triglycerides in animals tend to be solids (i.e., fats) at room temperature whereas the triglycerides in plants tend to be liquids (i.e., oils) at room temperature. Based on this fact, what can you conclude about the characteristics of the fatty acids in animal triglycerides compared to the fatty acids in plant triglycerides?

5. Peanut oil contains a high percentage of monounsaturated triglycerides whereas vegetable oil contains a higher percentage of polyunsaturated triacylglycerols. A bottle of peanut oil and a bottle of vegetable oil are stored in a pantry with an outside wall. During a cold spell, the peanut oil freezes, but the vegetable oil remains liquid. Explain why.

6. Refer to the section “Beta-Oxidation of Fatty Acids” in Chapter 17 of your textbook. How many molecules of ATP are generated when stearic acid (i.e., stearate), an 18-carbon saturated fatty acid, is completely oxidized via the beta-oxidation pathway in the mitochondria?

7. Refer to the section “Beta-Oxidation of Fatty Acids” in Chapter 17 of your textbook. Explain why unsaturated fatty acids are less fattening than saturated fatty acids?

8. Which of the following fatty acids below are essential for humans? *Select one or more.
a) Oleic acid
b) Linoleic acid
c) Linolenic acid
d) Palmitoleic acid
e) Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
9. Refer  to Question 8, look up the structures of each fatty acid that is essential and explain why they are essential for humans?

10. Are trans fatty acids saturated or unsaturated? Provide an example of a food product that contains trans fatty acids.

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