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What is the biological importance of lipids?

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Quick Answer

Lipids are a wide category of compounds that are known as biomolecules. Lipids include neutral fats, steroids, oils and waxes. They are created by the body naturally to be used in a variety of biological membranes and reactions.

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What is the biological importance of lipids?
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Full Answer

Lipids perform a variety of functions in a biological system. They contribute to the structure of plasma membranes that enclose both cells and cellular organelles. Lipids also protect the organism from drying out. In humans, lipids are found in skin cells, where they prevent dry skin and keep water molecules inside of the body. Lipids insulate organisms against extreme environments, and they also regulate the activities of many hormones and enzymes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does the body use lipids for?

    A:

    The human body uses lipids for a variety of applications, including as a fuel source, to construct membranes and to protect and insulate the body. While ingesting too many lipids can cause health problems, the ingestion of some is necessary. Lipids occur naturally as oils, fats and waxes.

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    Why are steroids considered lipids?

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    Steroids are considered lipids because they exhibit the primary defining characteristic of lipids, which is insolubility in water. Steroids look much different than most lipids, consisting of four carbon-based rings (three six-carbon rings and one five-carbon ring), instead of long chains.

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    What are the four macromolecules of life?

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    The four macromolecules of life are lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids. All living organisms are composed of each of these four polymers.

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  • Q:

    Why do we need lipids?

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    People need lipids because they are used for energy, generating ATP in cellular respiration, building storage triglycerides and phospholipids for membranes and manufacturing certain hormones, according to Dr. Dawn Tamarkin from Springfield Technical Community College. Lipids are essential fats, and there are different types of lipids including triglycerides, phospholipids and steroids.

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