5 Major Compounds That Make Up the Human Body

2581 Words Oct 21st, 2010 11 Pages
The Five Major Compounds That Make Up the Human Body

The human body is one of the most complex and fascinating things on this planet. There are five major groups of compounds that compose the human body. These are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleotides, and water. These compounds are all very important to humans and without them humans would not be able to survive. Compounds have many functions that encourage a human cell and a human body to function.

Compounds are pure substances made up of atoms of two or more elements chemically combined together in fixed ratios determined by mass. When a compound is formed from its components, a chemical change takes place through chemical reactions. Elements form compounds to
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The lipid molecules are most well known as forming basic structures of cell membranes and as energy storage molecules as well. There are various types of lipids, three main types include: true fats (triglycerides), phospholipids, and steroids.

Lipids are also described as fatty acids. Fatty acids are merely carboxylic acids with long hydrocarbon chains. The fatty acid structure is one of the most fundamental categories of biological lipids, and is commonly used as a building block of more structurally complex lipids. Fats that include these molecules are unsaturated fats. Other fatty acids have no double bonds. Fats that include these fatty acids are saturated fats. In most human health situations, the consumption of unsaturated fats is preferred to the consumption of saturated fats. Like carbohydrates, lipids can also be categorized into simple and complex.

Simple lipids are defined as those that are on hydrolysis yield at most two types of primary product per mole; complex lipids yield three or more primary hydrolysis products per mole. Hydrolysis is a “chemical process in which a certain molecule is split into two parts by the addition of a molecule of water”. Alternatively, the terms "neutral" and "polar" lipids respectively are used to define these groups, but are less exact. The complex lipids for many purposes are best considered in terms of either the glycerophospholipids which contains a