If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:5:43

Video transcript

what we are going to do in this video is talk a little bit about lipids now a lot of times lipids are strongly associated with fats and that's not incorrect fats are lipids but not all lipids are fats a better definition or a better Association for lipids would be a class of molecules that you often see in biological systems that are not so water [Music] soluble and I didn't say outright hydrophobic which means not attracted to water because there are definitely lipids that have parts that are hydrophobic that are trying to get away from the water and but there's other parts that are hydrophilic that like the water that would be attracted to water molecules now in terms of roles they play in the body and we can think of fat molecules here well they definitely play a role in terms of energy storage whenever I look at my belly I just like to think of all that energy that is there covering my six-pack they could be involved in signaling in future videos we're going to study hormones and hormones are nothing but molecules that help transmit a signal from one part of the body to another part of a body and many of these hormones are lipids they're also involved in membranes so a lot of the time in biology we're gonna talk about cellular membranes and how therefore they're formed with these phospholipids and we'll see these phospholipids in particular have one end that's trying to get away from the water and another end that is attracted to the water and that's actually what makes them good for membranes just going back to fats let's actually take a look at what some of these lipid molecules look like so this right over here is an example of a fat molecule but the general structure you're going to have is these three fatty acids so that's one right over there one fatty acid two fatty acids and three fatty acids that are connected to a glycerol and don't worry too much about the words here you'll study them more when you get to an organic chemistry class but that's where this word triglyceride comes from try for your 3 fatty acids and glycerol glycerol and triglyceride is in fact another word for fat and what makes a triglyceride not so soluble in water look at these long hydrocarbon chains where you just essentially have a bunch of carbons and hydrogen's those parts remember things that are soluble in water have they tend to be polar molecules things that have a partial charge on one end or another or even a full charge but when we look at these hydrocarbon chains they tend to not have these partial charges on one side or another and so that doesn't make them so soluble in water and another word that you sometimes hear associated with fats saturated or unsaturated fat that's really referring to what's going on on these hydrocarbon chains if the carbons are is bonded to as many hydrogen's as they can well then you're talking about a saturated fat it's saturated with hydrogen's if it's not bounded if it in theory it could bond to more hydrogen's because it has some double bonds in there well then it's unsaturated maybe in a future video we'll talk about the health issues of saturated versus unsaturated fat sometimes in popular culture fat gets a bad name because everyone's trying to get their six-packs or whatever else but it's very important to realize that without fats you would die many vitamins which are not so soluble in water making them in fact lipids need fat in order to be absorbed into the body properly but as I also mentioned all lipids are not fats here are more examples of lipids and I'm not going to go into detail into their molecular structure but you see something similar here they all have hue long chains of hydrocarbons that aren't so soluble in water these parts right over here would be hydrophobic hydrophobic but what's interesting especially about this sphingo myelin which is involved in your myelin sheath in the brain it helps electrically insulate neurons it's also involved in membranes it makes up a substantial part of the phospholipids in membranes is that this single myelin right over here has a part that actually is hydrophilic and as we'll see later on that's what makes things molecules like this plus phospholipids this is a fing gos phospholipid makes them good for membrane structures because the part that's attracted to the water could be on the outside and the part that's not attracted to the water could be on the inside and so you can form these membranes that a cross-section of which would look something like this where the circular parts are the part that want the parts that want to be around the water while these tails right over here these are the hydrophobic chains that want to go away from the water and this is in fact what cellular membranes actually look like if you were to zoom really really really far in I'll leave you there between lipids carbohydrates proteins nucleic acids we've really covered the major macromolecules that you will see in biological systems once again what makes them macromolecules well they can be composed of many many many many many atoms they aren't small molecules
Biology is brought to you with support from the Amgen Foundation