The easiest fatty acids are unbranched, straight chains the CH2 groups attached by carbon-carbon single bonds through one terminal carboxylic acid group. The ax saturated suggests that the preferably possible variety of hydrogen atoms room bonded to every carbon in the molecule. Plenty of saturated fatty acids have a trivial or typical name as well as a chemically descriptive methodical name. The systematic names are based on numbering the carbon atoms, beginning with the acidic carbon. The table provides the names and typical organic sources of the most typical saturated fatty acids. Return the chains room usually in between 12 and 24 carbons long, several shorter-chain fatty acids are biochemically important. For instance, butyric acid (C4) and caproic acid (C6) space lipids discovered in milk. Palm kernel oil, an essential dietary source of fat in particular areas that the world, is affluent in fatty acids that contain 8 and also 10 carbons (C8 and C10).

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common saturated fatty acids trivial surname systematic name number of carbons in chain typical sources
lauric mountain n-dodecanoic mountain 12 palm kernel oil, nutmeg
myristic mountain n-tetradecanoic acid 14 palm kernel oil, nutmeg
palmitic acid n-hexadecanoic mountain 16 olive oil, pet lipids
stearic acid n-octadecanoic acid 18 cocoa butter, pet lipids
behenic acid n-docosanoic mountain 22 brain tissue, radish oil
lignoceric mountain n-tetracosanoic acid 24 mind tissue, carnauba wax

Unsaturated fat acids

Unsaturated fat acids have one or an ext carbon-carbon dual bonds. The term unsaturated shows that fewer 보다 the best possible variety of hydrogen atoms space bonded to each carbon in the molecule. The number of dual bonds is suggested by the generic name—monounsaturated for molecules through one double bond or polyunsaturated because that molecules with two or more double bonds. Oleic acid is an instance of a monounsaturated fatty acid. Usual representative monounsaturated fatty acids together with their names and typical resources are provided in the table. The prefix cis-9 in the organized name that palmitoleic acid denotes that the place of the dual bond is between carbons 9 and also 10. Two possible conformations, cis and also trans, deserve to be taken by the 2 CH2 teams immediately adjacent to the double-bonded carbons. In the cis configuration, the one arising in all organic unsaturated fat acids, the two adjacent carbons lie on the same side the the double-bonded carbons. In the trans configuration, the two nearby carbons lie on opposite sides of the double-bonded carbons.

usual monounsaturated fatty acids trivial surname organized name variety of carbons in chain typical sources
palmitoleic acid cis-9-hexadecenoic acid 16 maritime algae, jaw oil
oleic mountain cis-9-octadecenoic mountain 18 animal tissues, olive oil
gadoleic acid cis-9-eicosenoic acid 20 fish oils (cod, sardine)
erucic acid cis-13-docosenoic mountain 22 rapeseed oil
nervonic mountain cis-15-tetracosenoic acid 24 sharks, brain tissue


Fatty acids containing an ext than one carbon-carbon twin bond (polyunsaturated fat acids) are discovered in reasonably minor amounts. The multiple twin bonds are virtually always separated by a CH2 group (―CH2―CH=CH―CH2―CH=CH―CH2―), a regular spacing motif the is the result of the biosynthetic mechanism through which the dual bonds are introduced right into the hydrocarbon chain. The table perform the most common polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic and also arachidonic, along with several the are less common. Arachidonic acid (C20) is of particular interest together the precursor the a household of molecules, recognized as eicosanoids (from Greek eikosi, “twenty”), that contains prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes. This compounds, created by cell under particular conditions, have actually potent physiological properties, as defined in the section Intracellular and also extracellular messengers. Animals cannot synthesize two necessary fatty acids, linoleic acid (an omega-6 fat acid) and alpha-linolenic mountain (an omega-3 fat acid), that are the precursors of the eicosanoids and also so must achieve them in the diet from plant sources. For this reason, this precursors are dubbed essential fatty acids.

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usual polyunsaturated fat acids trivial name methodical name variety of carbons in chain common sources
linoleic acid cis-9-, cis-12-octadecadienoic acid 18 corn oil, pet tissues, bacteria
linolenic acid cis-9-, cis-12-, cis-15-octadecatrienoic mountain 18 pet tissues
5,8,11-eicosatrienoic acid 20
8,11,14-eicosatrienoic acid 20 mind tissue
7,10,13-docosatrienoic acid 22 phospholipids
8,11,14-docosatrienoic mountain 22
arachidonic acid 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic mountain 20 liver, brain tissue
4,7,10,13-docosatetraenoic acid 22 brain tissue
4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid 22 brain tissue

Trans polyunsaturated fatty acids, although not developed biosynthetically by mammals, are created by microorganisms in the gut that ruminant animals such as cows and also goats, and also they are also produced synthetically by partial hydrogenation the fats and also oils in the manufacture of margarine (the so-called trans fats). There is proof that ingestion of trans fats can have deleterious metabolic effects.