RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Triglyceride oleic acid molecule. Animation of the structure of a molecule of the triglyceride form of the fatty acid oleic acid. Atoms are colour-coded spheres: carbon (grey), hydrogen (white) and oxygen (red). Triglycerides are formed of three fatty acid molecules attached to a glycerol molecule. The fatty acids (here, oleic acid, C18.H34.O2) form the long chains. The glycerol (C3.H8.O3) component is seen in close-up in the middle of the clip. It has three hydroxyl groups to which each fatty acid chain attaches. This esterification process eliminates three water molecules to leave the triglyceride molecule shown. Triglycerides circulate in the blood, carrying fats and oils. They are also found in skin oils. Oleic acid is the trans isomer of elaidic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that is found in animal and vegetable oils and forms part of the human diet.
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