In details

Lipids (continued)


Prostaglandins - These substances act as chemical messengers in many human tissues. Its name derives from the fact that they were discovered in components of human semen produced in the prostate gland.

Terpenes - long chain lipids, biologically important pigment components such as chlorophyll (plant pigment participating in photosynthesis). A major category of terpenes is carotenoids (yellowish pigments), the most important of which is B-carotene (found in many plant foods such as carrots), which is a precursor of vitamin A (retinol). .

Steroids Some steroids are hormones (eg testosterone, the male sex hormone) and others are vitamins (eg vitamin D). Cholesterol, which for chemists is a complex alcohol, is another example of a steroid: it is an important component of cell membranes, although today it is feared to cause clogging in the heart's arteries.

Cholesterol does not "walk" alone in the blood. It binds to a protein and is thus transported. There are two main types of combinations: HDL, which is good cholesterol and LDL which is the bad cholesterol. These acronyms derive from English and mean High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL).

LDL transports cholesterol to various tissues and also to the arteries, where it is deposited, forming plaques that make blood circulation difficult, hence the name bad cholesterol. HDL, on the other hand, does the exact opposite, that is, it transports cholesterol from the arteries mainly to the liver, where it is inactivated and excreted as bile salts, justifying the term good cholesterol.

Cholesterol does not exist in vegetables, which does not mean that we should abuse vegetable oils, because ultimately, from them (fatty acids), our body produces cholesterol.