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How are fats absorbed and transported by the body?

Last updated date: 14th Jun 2024
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Hint: Neutral fat or triglyceride, consisting of a glycerol backbone with each carbon connected to a fatty acid, is the bulk of the dietary lipid. Phospholipids, sterols such as cholesterol and many minor lipids, including fat-soluble vitamins, are also usually present in foodstuffs. Finally, the tiny intestinal contents contain lipids from sloughed epithelial cells and significant bile cholesterol.

Complete answer:
Neutral fat or triglyceride is the bulk of the dietary lipid, consisting of a glycerol backbone with each carbon bound to a fatty acid. Usually, foodstuffs also contain phospholipids, cholesterol sterols, and several small lipids, including vitamins that are fat-soluble. Finally, the tiny intestinal contents contain lipids from sluggish epithelial cells and significant cholesterol from the bile.

Fatty acids and 2-monoglycerides, the primary components of lipid digestion, enter the enterocyte by easy diffusion across the plasma membrane. Via a particular fatty acid transporter protein in the membrane, a substantial fraction of fatty acids also join the enterocyte. Via a process distinctly different from what we have observed with monosaccharides and amino acids, lipids are brought from the enterocyte into the blood. Fatty acids and monoglycerides are transferred into the endoplasmic reticulum once within the enterocyte, where they are used for triglyceride synthesis.

Note: In lipid assimilation, by encouraging emulsification, bile acids play their first critical function. Bile acids have both hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains as derivatives of cholesterol (i.e. they are amphipathic). The hydrophobic portions of bile acids intercalate into the lipid upon exposure to a large aggregate of triglycerides, with the hydrophilic domains remaining on the surface. Such a bile acid coating helps to break down huge aggregates or droplets into smaller and smaller droplets.