Types of fatty acids with Examples and Fuctions

Types of fatty acids
Types of fatty acids

The fatty acids are biomolecules lipid constitution constituting the elementary component of the fat. They are made up of carbon chains that have a carboxyl group, with a usually even number of carbons: generally from 16 to 22 carbon atoms.

This number of atoms contributes to the metabolism of eukaryotes since the fatty acid chains are synthesized and degraded by the addition or elimination of acetate units.

Fatty acids are present in food, in general, combined with another class of substances: free are rare and are usually the product of lipolytic alteration. However, they are fundamental constituents of the vast majority of lipids.

Classification: Types of fatty acids

When the bonds between the carbons are simple, always having the same distance between them, it is said that they are saturated fatty acids. The longer the chain, the greater the possibility of formation of these weak interactions, which at room temperature are usually in the solid-state.

When the bonds, on the other hand, are double or triple in character and the distance between the carbons is not constant nor are the bond angles, the fatty acids are usually in a liquid state and it is said that it is in the presence of unsaturated fatty acids. A healthy diet must-have fatty acids of the saturated type as well as the unsaturated type.

Importance in diet

Fatty acids are of vital importance in human nutrition as they contain a series of basic elements for the proper functioning of the body, such as various vitamins.

The creation of enzymes and cell membranes, including brain activity and cardiovascular health is highly favored when there is the regular consumption of this kind of food, which is further deepened in the case of children as fatty acids ensure growth and proper development.

Risks in excess

However, the consumption of fats must be properly ordered with respect to the aforementioned classification, because when it is done in excess it has some intrinsic risks: lipid metabolism disorders, such as cholesterol, may occur; it can contribute to overweight and obesity, or it can favor the production of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and thrombosis.

Some metabolic diseases such as diabetes are produced from excess fat consumption, which in many cases appear in foods with very rich taste and very attractive to consumers.

Usually, the recommendation of medical associations is that the daily intake of energy from fat does not exceed 30% of the daily diet and that these fat contain no more than 25% of saturated fatty acids.

List of fatty acids

In the following list, the first twelve correspond to the category of saturated fatty acids.

  1. Butyric fatty acid
  2. Caproic fatty acid
  3. Caprylic Fatty Acid
  4. Lauric fatty acid
  5. Arachidic fatty acid
  6. Behenic fatty acid
  7. Lignoceric fatty acid
  8. Cerotic fatty acid
  9. Myristic fatty acid
  10. Palmitic fatty acid
  11. Stearic fatty acid
  12. Caproleic fatty acid
  13. Lauroleic fatty acid
  14. Palmitoleic fatty acid
  15. Oleic fatty acid
  16. Vaccenic fatty acid
  17. Gadoleic fatty acid
  18. Ketogenic fatty acid
  19. Erucic fatty acid
  20. Linoleic fatty acid
  21. Linolenic fatty acid
  22. Gamma-linolenic fatty acid
  23. Stearidonic fatty acid
  24. Arachidonic fatty acid
  25. Clupadonic fatty acid

It can serve you:

  • Examples of Fats
  • Examples of Good and Bad Fats
  • Examples of Lipids

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