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Triglycerides, sometimes referred to as Triacylglycerols are esters which are formed of 4 components, these are: 1 Glycerol and 3 Fatty acid chains.

We keep fatty acids in this configuration as an energy store as well as a source of ATP, as a result of this when the body needs fatty acids as a source of energy/ ATP in cases of starvation then hormones (glucagons) signal for the breakdown of the triglyceride molecules back to 1 glycerol and 3 fatty acid chains. However we are presented with the problem that the Brain can't use fatty acids as a source of energy and depriving the Brain of either oxygen or energy can have serious physiological effects, therefore the glycerol part of the broken down triglyceride is converted into glucose in the process of glycolosis which the brain can use as a form of energy.

Finally, Triglycerides can either be unsaturated or saturated depending on the fatty acid chains, and this effects melting point[1].


  1. Alberts et al, p. 95, 96, 114
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