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Saturated Fatty Acids

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What is Saturated Fatty Acid?

IVSAT 2024

The fatty acid happens to be the long hydrocarbon chain. When there aren’t any unsaturated linkages but single bonds of carbon atoms, the fatty acid turns to be the saturated type. It’s in contrast to unsaturated fatty acids containing a minimum of just one double bond of carbon-carbon. Saturated fatty acids are the fatty acid type lacking unsaturated linkages between the carbon atoms.

Due to their lack of these double bonds, they do not absorb hydrogen. Saturated ones are found mostly in animal fats. They have 12-carbon that contain fatty acid, 14-carbon myristic acid, lauric acid, 18-carbon stearic acid, 16-carbon palmitic acid, 20-carbon arachidic acid, 24-carbon lignoceric acid, 26-carbon cerotic acid, and 22-carbon behenic acid.


Examples of Saturated Fatty Acid

Saturated fat is the kind of dietary fat. It’s a form of unhealthy fat that comes in a solid form and at room temperature. Foods such as palm, coconut oils, butter, red meat, and cheese have a higher amount of saturated fat. A higher amount of saturated fats in an individual’s diet may lead to health problems and heart ailments. Saturated fats are made of two types of molecules – a glycerol backbone & fatty acids. Fatty acid chains comprise single bonds. 

Considering human beings, the suggested consumption is 10% of the calories each day. Too much intake of saturated fat has been associated with atherosclerosis and heart diseases. In general, saturated fats can increase LDL or low-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoproteins or VLDL. Some dietary sources of saturated fats are coconut oil, butter, peanut, meat, cheese, and butter.


Types of Saturated Fatty Acids

Fatty acids happen to be the long hydrocarbon chains discovered in the forms of lipids phospholipids, and triglycerides. They differ in the hydrocarbon chain length (ranging 4 – 24 carbons) & in the double bonds’ number. 

  1. Saturated

The ones that don’t possess double bonds happen to be saturated, and they have maximum H atoms number. They are linear in structure and mainly originate from animal sources (the fats). In addition, they are solid when kept at room temperatures.

  1. Unsaturated

Fatty acids containing double bonds are mainly known as unsaturated – either polyunsaturated (>one double bond) or monounsaturated (one double bond).

On the contrary, unsaturated ones are bent when it comes to their structures. They mainly originate from plant sources (oils) and are available in liquid forms at room temperatures. Unsaturated acids occur in two structural configurations – trans and cis isomers:

  • Cis: Hydrogen atoms get attached to carbon double bonds on the same side

  • Trans: Hydrogen atoms get attached to carbon double bonds on different sides

Talking about trans fatty acids, they don’t occur in nature and get produced by the industrial method, better known as hydrogenation. They have a linear structure (in spite of being unsaturated) and usually remain solid at room temperature.


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Here are the Types of Saturated Fats:


  • Palmitic Acid – 16 carbon long atoms 

  • Myristic Acid – 14 carbon long atoms 

  • Caproic Acid – 6 carbon long atoms 

  • Lauric Acid – 12 carbon long atoms 

  • Caprylic Acid –  8 carbon long atoms 

  • Stearic Acid – 18 carbon long atoms 

  • Capric Acid – 10 carbon long atoms


Demonstrating the Biosynthesis of Saturated Fatty Acids

Animals get fatty acids both from their diet, and parasitic organisms acquire from hosts. However, a majority of forms of life should synthesise all the fatty acids from the short-chain precursors. Given that they are numbered evenly, it can be easily deduced that the 2-carbon precursor shown to be acetate and accurately the coenzyme A ester got involved. However, when found, the reaction needed carbon dioxide. So, the experimental evidence pointed out malonyl-CoA as a chain-extender.

In the animals, maximum acetate gets derived from the glucose metabolism through pyruvate. And in the plants, it apparently gets formed in plastids. For others, acetate gets made from the pyruvate in mitochondria. And in such cases, it must diffuse to plastids prior to the CoA ester conversion. The following account presents the basic details only of the biosynthetic processes in different organisms. Here’s the process of biosynthesis of saturated fatty acids:

  • Glucose that enters a TCA cycle gets used for biosynthesis of saturated fatty acids. It converts a TCA Cycle citrate into acetyl coenzyme-A (acetyl-CoA). Upon then, it transforms it into malonyl~CoA that gets used for palmitate production.

  • The TGs glycerol backbone comes from the glycolytic glycerol-three-phosphate.

  • Triglycerides happen to be the primary lipids synthesized. They serve as the beginning point for lipids like phospholipids and steroids.

  • The biosynthesis method primarily happens in the hepatocyte cytoplasm.

  • Acetyl CoA & NADPH are necessary for the biosynthesis of saturated fatty acids PPT.


Oxidation of Saturated Fatty Acids

The oxidation of saturated fatty acid is initiated on the mitochondrial membrane’s outer part. Here, fatty acids like carbohydrates get relatively inert. And they must be activated by conversion to the energy-rich acid derivative of the coenzyme A known as CoA or fatty acyl-coenzyme A. The activation gets catalyzed by the acyl-CoA synthetase. For every molecule of it that gets activated, a single molecule of CoA and a molecule of ATP or adenosine triphosphate get used. That equals the net utilization of 2 high-energy bonds in a single molecule of ATP. Thus, it gets converted to the adenosine monophosphate or AMP instead of ADP or adenosine diphosphate.

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FAQs on Saturated Fatty Acids

1. What are some saturated fatty acids examples?

 Some saturated fatty acids examples are:

  • Caproic

  • Propionic

  • Pelargonic

  • Pelargonic; etc.

2. What are the functions of saturated fatty acids?

Fatty acids happen to be membrane constituents and energy sources. They comprise some biological activities, acting to influence cell & tissue metabolism, responsiveness, functions to the hormonal as well as other signals. Saturated fats include some antimicrobial properties that protect you against the harmful microorganisms in your digestive tract. They have a significant role to play in your bone health. For calcium to effectively get incorporated into your skeletal structure, a minimum of 50% of the overall dietary fats must get saturated.


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