Q:

Are lipids polar?

A:

Quick Answer

In general lipids are not polar; however the lipids that make up cell membranes are amphipathic, which means they have one non-polar end and one polar end. Cell membrane lipids are amphipathic in order to allow the cell membrane to be selectively permeable to compounds and atoms.

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Full Answer

Lipids come in many different forms. The entire group of lipids, as a whole, are considered to be non-polar and are all soluble in organic solvents. The only portion of lipids that are polar are cell-membrane lipids. Other lipids include fatty acids, cholesterol molecules, lipid rafts, sphingolipids and glycerophospholipids. All of these lipids are found within the human body; and, they have different jobs and functions.

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