I'm confused on what a triglyceride is, from what my text book it says its a type of gylercide, then from a website it said

Glycerides can be subdivided into two categories. The first group, the neutral glycerides are nonionic and nonpolar. The second group, the phosphoglycerides contain a polar region, the phosphoryl group.

Which makes triglyceride not a directly under a glyceride but under one of these groups. Then it says

Esterification may occur at one, two or all three positions producing monoglycerides (monoacylglycerols), diglycerides (diacylglycerols), or triglycerides (triacylglycerols). The most prevalent and most important are the triglycerides.

So does that mean that triglyceride can be produced by either of the two groups phosphoglycerides and neutral glycerides. And if that's correct then how are monoglycerides and diglycerides produced.


  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. Perhaps Chemistry.SE may be a good alternative SE to post this question. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 8 '15 at 2:59
  • $\begingroup$ @chris or the answer should be brought over here as a CW with a link to the answer on Chem as the original source identifying the author from Chem. Closing the question will just allow people to ask it again since we can't cross exchanges to mark as a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – dustin Feb 8 '15 at 16:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good point. I retract my close vote. $\endgroup$ – Chris Feb 8 '15 at 16:55

The following answer was giving by Michael D. Dryden from https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/24797/what-is-a-triglyceride/24799#24799

There is some minor argument as far as nomenclature goes for these lipids. Most sources I can find, including IUPAC have glycerides as only including esters of glycerol with fatty acids. Monoglycerides have a single fatty acid ester with two free OH groups, diglycerides have two fatty acid esters, and triglycerides have three. Phosphoglycerides are defined separately as esterified derivatives of phosphatidic acids, so you can think of them like glycerides where for one of the substituents, instead of a fatty acid, some derivative of phosphoric acid is present. However, the way the two terms are defined, they don't encompass any common molecules, i.e. there are no molecules that are both glycerides and phosphoglicerides and neither group is a subset of the other.

So: mono-, di-, and triglycerides are subsets of glycerides while phosphoglycerides are a different group altogether, though structurally similar.


Triglyceride. It has 3 fatty acids, which are non polar (water-fearing). so they are hydrophobic. These 3 fatty acids are connected to a glycerol molecule. This molecule is polar and is hydrophilic (water-loving). The glycerol is attached to the 3 fatty acids via a dehydration reaction. When they are connected, they loose a water molecule, and form an ester.


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