Q:

How are lipids stored in the body?

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Quick Answer

According to the Elmhurst College, the body stores lipids in cells through special types of connective tissue called adipose tissue or depot fat. Adipose tissue cells contain fat globules of triglycerides. Triglycerides make up as much as 90 percent of the cell volume.

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Full Answer

The Brooklyn College states that the adipose tissue lies three layers beneath the skin, and it consists of adipocytes, which are specialized cells embedded in a mesh of collagen fibers. Its major role is to function as a fuel tank that stores lipids and triglycerides. The two types of adipose tissue are white and brown tissues. White adipose tissue is more common, although the distribution of both tissues is not uniform.

The Brooklyn College notes that the primary function of white adipose tissue is to gather, store and release lipids. Additionally, it acts as a protective cushion and provides a layer of insulation against too much heat loss. As lipids are poor heat conductors, adipose cells are necessary to keep the body warm. Even a thin layer of adipose cells keeps the body warm. Around 80 percent of average white adipose tissue is lipid. Of this percentage, approximately 90 percent is composed of the six triglycerides: palmitoleic, palmitic, linoleic, oleic, stearic and myristic acid. Free fatty acids, mono-glycerides, di-glycerides and cholesterol are also stored.

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