Phospholipids are a class of lipids, or fats,  and are a major component of all biological membranes.

All phospholipids contain a diglyceride, a phosphate group, and a simple organic molecule such as choline. They form a lipid bilayer within a cell membrane. They also transport DNA.

The ‘head’ of a phospholipid is hydrophilic (attracted to water) wheras the hydrophobic ‘tails’ repel water. When placed in water, phospholipids form a variety of structures depending on the specific properties of the phospholipid. In biological systems, the phospholipids often occur with other molecules (e.g., proteins, glycolipids, cholesterol) in a bilayer such as a cell membrane.

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J.M.Berg, J.L. Tymoczko, and L. Stryer, Biochemistry. 5th ed. 2002, New York: W.H. Freeman. viii, 974, [976] (various pages)

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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