Nutrition Assignment-PHOSPHOLIPIDS

Nutrition Assignment-PHOSPHOLIPIDS


Phospholipids

The human body produces the phospholipids naturally. Eating particular dietary sources also boost the presence of phospholipids in the body. Phospholipids are mainly found in foods that contain lecithin, which is a component of bile that is produced by the liver and helps in the process of digestion. The foods that are rich in lecithin include the egg yolk, wheat germ, milk, meat that is lightly cooked, some fatty foods and some vegetable oil. Krill oil is also a good source of beneficial phospholipids.

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Phospholipids carry out essential bodily functions. They support all the cognitive functions, the cardiovascular health, the nerve health, liver functions, and also in the process of digestion.

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During the process of digestion, the phospholipids form clusters which aid in the movement of vitamins, nutrients and the fat-containing molecules throughout the body.

Phospholipids are also the essential building blocks of the cellular membranes. They are the major constituents of the plasma membrane that forms the outermost layer of the animal cells.  The fluid nature of cell membrane allows for the changing of the cell shape so as to compensate for change in the cellular volume or also to adapt to the physical constraints. Phospholipids aid the cell in maintaining the internal structures and the environment, in a process called homeostasis.

They are also the major part of suficant. This is the film which occupies the air or the liquid interfaces inside the lungs. The selective nature of phospholipids pertaining what enters and exists the cell allows for the free diffusion of small molecules which include oxygen, hydrocarbons, and also carbon dioxide.

Chemical structure of phospholipids

A defining feature of the chemical structure of the phospholipids is that it is an amphipathic molecule. This evidenced by the molecule having a hydrophobic and also a hydrophilic component. A single phospholipid molecule possesses a phosphate group on one of its ends, which is referred to as the head. It also contains a two side-by-side fatty acid chains which constitute the lipid tails. The phosphate group has a negative charge, which in turn makes the head to be polar and hydrophilic, or “water loving”. This makes the phosphate heads to be attracted to water molecules in the nearby environment.

The lipid tails are not charged, or are unpolar and hydrophobic. This is termed as “water fearing”. The hydrophobic molecule repels and is also repelled by water. Some of the lipid tails have saturated fatty acids while some have unsaturated fatty acids. This combination has the effect of adding fluidity to the tails which are always in motion.

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