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Lipids Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

structure, use, and all that waffle

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Trigly­cerides have one molecules of glycerol with three fatty acids attached to it
Fatty acid molecules have long 'tails' made of hydroc­arbons. The tails are 'hydro­phobic' (repel water). These make lipids insoluble in water. All fatty acids have the same basic structure, but the hydroc­arbon tail varies.

Fatty acid

R changes

Trigly­ceride formation through conden­sation

A fatty acid joins a glycerol molecule. When the ester bond is formed a molecule of water is released- a conden­sation reaction. This occurs three times to form a trigly­ceride

(Un)Sa­turated Fatty ACids

Saturated fatty acids dont have any double bonds between their carbon atoms. The fatty acid is 'satur­ated' with hydrogen
Unsaturated fatty acids have at least one double bond between carbon atoms, which can cause the chain to kink


The lipids found in cell membranes are phosph­olipids
They're similar to trigly­cerides except that one fatty acid molecule is replaced by a phosphate group
The phosphate group is hydrop­hilic (attracts water). The fatty acids tails are hydrop­hobic (repels).