How Triglycerides Lipids Are Broken Down To Produce ATP

The major lipid metabolism aspects are engaged with fatty acid oxidation to generate energy or the lipid synthesis which is known as lipogenesis. The first lipid metabolism step is the lipid hydrolysis in the cytoplasm to generate fatty acids and glycerol. Glycerol which is a three carbon alcohol is readily metabolized in glycolysis into an intermediate dihydroxyacetone phosphate. The final reaction is highly reversible in case glycerol is required for the lipid synthesis. The glycerol generated hydroxyacetone is metabolized to generate two probable compounds. Dihydroxyacetone might be changed into pyruvic acid via the glycolysis path to generate energy. Moreover, the dihydroxyacetone might also be utilized in gluconeogenesis to generate glucose-6-phosphate for glycogen or blood glucose based on the body demand at that particular time. Fatty acids are oxidizedo aceltyl CoA by use of fatty acid spiral. This is then ultimately changed into water, carbon dioxide and ATP by use of the electron transport chain and citric acid cycle (Ophardt, 2003).

The triglyceride lipids contains three chains of 16-C fatty acid. In this the triglyceride can be regarded as four pieces in which one piece is a glycerol molecule while the other three are 16 C-fatty acid chains. The glycerol molecule can translated into pyruvate, which can the undergo pyruvate oxidation creating acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA can get into the TCA cycle which will result to the generation of one ATP, one FADH2, and three NADH. In this case one glycerol produces a total of 15 ATP. Each 16-C fatty acid chain will be oxidized to produce one FADH2, one NADH and one acetyl-CoA. Acetly-CoA will go through seven cleavages to ensure total breakdown of 2-carbon acetyl-CoA fragments which will eventually result in 8 acetyl-CoA, 7FADH2 and 7NADH. The last cleavage will dividea4-Cchain into 3Nadh, 1 ATP, and 1 FADH2 per acetyl-CoA. Thus for a single 16-C chain will produce a total of 131 ATP energy (Med.upenn, n.d.).

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