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Lipid digestion and metabolism

This set of exercises introduces the main pathways of lipid metabolism: beta-oxidation, fatty acid and triacylglycerol synthesis, and ketone body formation and metabolism.

The following exercises are available in this section:

Fats and oils - are all fats the same? (Triacylglycerol, phospholipids and steroids; saturated and unsaturated fatty acids)

Children with fatty diarrhoea (Triacylglycerol digestion and chylomicron formation)

Gripping abdominal pain and jaundice (Bile salts and gall stones)

Muscle weakness, heart failure and profound hypoglycaemia in a young girl (Carnitine and fatty uptake into mitochondria)

Muscle weakness and hypoketotic coma on fasting (Fatty acid beta-oxidation)

Do we need to synthesise fatty acids? (Fatty acid synthesis)

Is fructose fattening? (The source of acetyl CoA for fatty acid synthesis and the control of glycolysis)

Not an ounce of fat on her - and extreme emaciation in patient with advanced cancer (Triacylglycerol synthesis)

Two boys with profound fasting hypoglycaemia and no ketone bodies (Ketogenesis - the synthesis of ketone bodies.)

Two very hyperketotic children (Utilisation of ketone bodies in extrahepatic tissues.)


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After working through these exercises you should be able to:

Describe the main types of metabolically important lipids

Describe the processes involved in the digestion and absorption of dietary lipids, and synthesis and enterohepatic recycling of bile salts

Describe the utilisation of adipose tissue lipid reserves and the pathway of beta-oxidation of fatty acids

Describe the synthesis of fatty acids and triacylglycerol

Describe the pathways involved in the synthesis and utilisation of ketone bodies and explain the importance of ketogenesis in the fasting state