Fatty Acids Composition in the Coconut Oil
Both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are found in coconut oil. Among the unsaturated fatty acids, there are further two categories which include mono-unsaturated fatty acids and the poly-unsaturated fatty acids. As a general trend and most frequent phenomenon, the fatty acids of animals are saturated and these are solid at room temperature. While on the other hand, the fatty acids of plants are unsaturated and, that is why, they are liquid at room temperature. But, here in case of coconut oil, the constituent plant fatty acids are mostly saturated ones and their percentage usually reaches that of more than ninety percent; in exact figures it is about 94%. That is the very reason, why you find the oil solid at room temperature.
While going deep into the molecular structure and chemical composition of the fatty acids, you find that these usually consist of either cyclic or acyclic non-aromatic biochemical compounds particularly given the name of aliphatic ones. These non-aromatic compounds are accompanied by a cyclic or non cyclic chain of carbon atoms which may, at times, reach a considerable length. However, the carbon atoms in most of the naturally found fatty acids are in even number which may vary between four and twenty-eight. These fatty acid molecules constituting various oils like the coconut oil present in the human body are of great importance as they after undergoing metabolism, liberate much larger quantities of energy in the form of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate or ATP as compared to that of other most commonly occurring organic compounds like carbohydrates and proteins. Regarding their energy yielding convenience and the instant availability, they can be compared with that of simplest forms of carbohydrates like glucose as various different kinds of cells in human body can utilize them as a direct source of instant energy. In this regard, the cells in skeletal muscles and heart especially prefer this fatty acid source of available energy for carrying out catabolism as well as the anabolic processes. Anyhow, the cells in your brain utilize either ketone bodies or monosaccharide molecules like glucose. These totally three in number ketone bodies, in turn, are obtained as by-product molecules during the catabolism of these fatty acids carried out in the kidneys or the liver.
The fatty acids may either be connected or bonded with other molecules or, at times, found in free state, thus given the name of free or independent fatty acid molecules. Various kinds of fatty acids present in the coconut oil are classified following different aspect and the criteria. As a general rule, on the basis of their size, the fatty acids may fall in any of the four categories which include the short chain fatty acid molecules, medium-sized chain fatty acids, long-sized chain fatty acids and, finally, the very long-sized chain fatty acids. The other criterion of their classification is based on their level of saturation. And consequently these are categorized as either saturated or unsaturated ones. Moreover, these are also classified on the basis of their need in the human body and thus are called either essential or non-essential fatty acids.