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A lipid is a organic compound which is generated from an esterification process of alcohols with fatty acids . Esterify is the action that takes place when an alcohol (or a phenol) and an acid come together and form an ester.

There are different kinds of lipids. The phospholipids are those who have phosphoric acid in its composition. These lipids are found in the active membranes of the cells and they are very relevant for the organism.

According to the structure that is bound to phosphoric acid, it is possible to differentiate between the phosphatidylinositol , the phosphatidylserine , the phosphatidylcholine , the phosphatidylethanolamine and other types of phospholipids. One of the peculiarities of phospholipids is that they are amphipathic : their molecules they have a water soluble part (i.e. hydrophilic) and one that is not (hydrophobic).

It is important to keep in mind that foods rich in phospholipids, such as milk, butter (butter), almonds, peanuts, wheat germ, liver, nuts, soybeans and egg yolks, provide various benefits to the organism In general, it can be said that they contribute to regulate the cholesterol They help the lung function and allow the activation of enzymes.

Phospholipids are usually called lecithins . However, lecithin is a specific phospholipid: the aforementioned phosphatidylcholine . Lecithin is key to transforming fat into Energy , since it allows to conserve it in small particles that are burned quickly by the organism. These phospholipids, on the other hand, act as natural diuretics (prevent fluid retention) and have antioxidant properties.

In a large number of foods We can find phospholipids, more precisely in their cell membrane. The amount in which we usually ingest them is between 2 and 8 grams per day, a value that represents approximately 1.1 percent of the total consumption of lipids within the normal diet of the human being.

Returning to the concept of lecithin, we can say that it is used very frequently as a additive , either as an emulsifier, dispersant or stabilizer and this can be applied by intravenous or intramuscular injections, for example. In the specific case of margarine, this phospholipid acts as an emulsifier, giving the product its characteristic texture and consistency; If we focus on chocolate, on the other hand, it serves to assist in the dispensability of food powders.

Through the action of phospholipases A1 and A2, two enzymes in the pancreas, phospholipids are digested in the intestine by an average of 90%. Said enzymes act by hydrolyzing the fatty acids of the glycerol molecule selectively, and thus generates those of lysophospholipids. It should be noted that these phospholipases act in an exclusive manner: if one performs hydrolyzing, then the other will not exert any action on the product resulting.

A concept used in this context is that of bioavailability : it is the speed at which a nutrient is absorbed from a food, and the proportion at which this occurs in our organism to then be used in its normal functions. Several studies carried out in children indicate that in a normal diet phospholipids are better absorbed than triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood).

While the triglycerides they cannot dissolve in water but require laborious enzymatic processes and the intervention of bile salts to form micelles that can be absorbed by the small intestine, phospholipids do not present major complications for digestion and distribution in the body of the being human. Another of the benefits of phospholipids can be seen in the treatment of inflammatory processes, where they offer a significant reduction of symptoms.

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