Basic Molecular Structure



Three fatty acid molecules bound to a glycerol molecule

Most common lipid in the body; stored in fat tissue as an energy supply; fat tissue also provides insulation beneath the skin


Two fatty acid molecules and a phosphate group bound to a glycerol molecule (may also include a nitrogen-containing molecule attached to the phosphate group)

Used as structural components in cell membranes; large amounts are in the liver and parts of the nervous system


Four connected rings of carbon atoms

Widely distributed in the body with a variety of functions; includes cholesterol, sex hormones, and certain hormones of the adrenal glands

Shier-Butler-Lewis: Human Anatomy and Physiology, Ninth Edition

I. Levels of Organization

2. Chemical Basis of Life

© The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2001

R group

Amino group H Carboxyl group

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

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