What Are the Three Fatty Acids Attached to One Glycerol Molecule Called?

Three fatty acids attached to one glycerol molecule constitute a triglyceride. Triglycerides move fat and blood glucose from the liver to keep the body's systems running smoothly, according to Mayo Clinic.

Triglycerides vary in saturation, depending on the oils from which they form. Some triglycerides are heavily saturated, while some are hardly saturated at all. Saturated compounds are named for their saturation with hydrogen.

Triglycerides are the main constituting component in the following substances:

  • Human skin oils.
  • Animal fat.
  • Unsaturated vegetable oil.
  • High levels of triglycerides can compromise heart health. These levels can arise when excess calories are regularly consumed, as the body processes unneeded calories into triglycerides very quickly and efficiently. These triglycerides are stored in fat cells for later access, but if they are allowed to build up over time they can lead to various medical complications including heart disease.

    Omega 3 fatty acids can help to break down triglycerides and reduce their levels in blood, as can a balanced exercise schedule. Triglycerides are used commercially in many common commercial and industrial substances ranging from oil paints to diesel fuel. These industrial usages are mostly derived from triglycerides contained in linseed oils and refined for more specialized use in machinery and artistry. This makes triglycerides a commercially valuable substance.