Q:

What are fats broken down into?

A:

Quick Answer

Fat is broken down into glycerol and fatty acids. Fat breakdown is called lipolysis and is performed by proteins called lipases. Once the fat is broken down, the human body can either utilize it directly for energy or use it to synthesize glucose.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Most fat breakdown occurs in the small intestine and is aided by lipases and bile. Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder and aids digestion by emulsifying the fat. A small amount of fat digestion takes place in the mouth and stomach, and the digested fatty acids are absorbed by the body in the large intestine.

Cholesterol is the bile component that transports fat from the large intestine to the rest of the body. Excess cholesterol is reabsorbed into the bloodstream rather than excreted, except when it binds to soluble fiber. A diet high in fiber allows more cholesterol to leave the body.

A healthy digestive system absorbs 95 percent of fat consumed. Diseases such as celiac disease and deficiencies of lipases or bile salts interfere with fat absorption and are collectively called malabsorption disorders. A healthy adult should obtain 30 percent of his daily calories from fat. The typical American diet provides a more than adequate amount of fat for adults without malabsorption disorders.

Learn more about Human Anatomy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What monomers make up a lipid?

    A:

    Lipids can contain two monomers: fatty acids and glycerol. All lipids consist of fatty acid monomers, whereas only fats contain both fatty acids and glycerol, explains the Dallas County Community College Department of Biology.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What do you call a glycerol with three fatty acids attached to it?

    A:

    A glycerol with three fatty acids attached is called a triglyceride. It is an ester, and is also known by the names triacylglycerol and triacylglyceride. The infix "-acyl-" in the names refers to a carboxylic acid derivative, and fatty acids are long hydrocarbon chains with a carboxylic acid end.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is lipemia?

    A:

    According to Reference.com, lipemia is the presence of excess lipids or fats in the bloodstream. Hyperlipemia, hyperlipidemia and lipemia all refer to the same condition of having excess levels of fat in the blood.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of lacteals?

    A:

    Lacteals facilitate the transportation of digested fats from the villi of the small intestines, according to the University of the Western Cape's Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. Each of the villi is linked to a lymphatic vessel called a lacteal. Lacteals form a component of the lymphatic system, which is designed to absorb and transport material that is too large to enter the blood system directly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore