It is the 10th of May, the National Lipids Day. Let us take this as an opportunity to learn more about lipids and how important they are for human health.
What are Lipids?
Lipids include oils, fats and some steroids. They are a group of molecules built from fatty acids and are bonded to a variety of other compounds. They are of immense importance to the biological world. They have important cell roles in human body. They are one of the four molecules of life but they have far more variations in their structure than nucleic acids, carbohydrates and proteins. All lipids are insoluble in water. Since they are repelled by water, they are known as hydrophobic molecules.
Why are Lipids Important?
As mentioned earlier, lipids are vital for all forms of life on earth. They are one of the main molecules needed to maintain proper health of human body. Out of all the important functions it performs, the most crucial one is building the cellular membrane. The other functions it performs include insulation, energy storage, protection and cellular communication. Cells are the building blocks of all organisms and lipids are considered the building blocks of cells. Without lipids, your cells will not be able to survive.
One of the main functions lipids do is storing energy. If a person eats excessive amount of food, lipids help store the energy in the form of fat molecules in the body to use later.
Lipids are present in every cell of the human body and are the main part of the cellular membrane. It prevents the cells from being leaky by surrounding them the perfect way.
Lipids are also essential for the human body as they are a part of many hormones. They play a major role in regulating your growth and how your body works on a daily basis. The hormones of which lipids are an essential part include
Progesterone and Estrogen
These are produced by the ovaries are responsible for developing female sexual characteristics such as physique and menstrual cycle.
It is produced by the testes and is responsible for developing male characteristics such as sperm production.
Lipids also play an important part in the digestion of food. It is used to make bile acids n the stomach which is essential for dissolving fat from the food you eat. This is essential for the process of normal digestion of food and the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. They are also essential for the transportation of fatty acids in the body.
Insulation and Protection
Lipids are needed to protect and insulate your body. To keep your internal body temperature regular, there is a layer of fats just beneath the skin that is made from lipids. Similarly, there is a layer of fats also around your vital organs that keeps them protected from injuries.
Lipids are the building blocks of cells in your body. Therefore, it is important to ensure your body has the right amount of them to keep it functioning perfectly.