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Why does an animal or plant use different kinds of fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 26, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Why does an animal or plant use different kinds of fat?

Why are some animals higher in PUFA than others? And why are some higher in omega3 and others in omega6?

Why are coconuts and palmseeds so high in saturated fat?

And could the answer of the above questions mean something for the human organisms eating these animals or plants?

ps: these questions came to me while I was thinking about why some plants/fruits contain more anti-oxidants than others...

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 02, 2010
at 07:28 AM

This makes sense. Thanks

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 02, 2010
at 07:27 AM

That's great to know! Thanks. And do you think this has an implication for our diet?

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on April 29, 2010
at 03:12 PM

Cool question, love biology.

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3 Answers

3
7431586c21bca496c5a7ec7bd0ca4d6e

(974)

on May 02, 2010
at 04:15 AM

cold blooded animals have higher PUFA. warm blooded animals have higher saturated fat. Even within an animal, fat towards the center of the animal tends to be higher in saturated fat and fat towards the extremity higher in PUFA.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 02, 2010
at 07:27 AM

That's great to know! Thanks. And do you think this has an implication for our diet?

3
288146fe68d032ebc214ab466ea4dbee

on April 29, 2010
at 02:23 AM

It is not so much related to the fat being liquid but rather to it being stable. The nuts in warm climates have evolved to have oils that are more stable in warm climates, this leads to high saturated content and low polyunsaturated content (since in stability saturated > monounsaturated > polyunsaturated). The nuts in colder climates have not had this evolutionary pressure so you don't see high saturated content in most of those nuts.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 02, 2010
at 07:28 AM

This makes sense. Thanks

2
A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

on April 26, 2010
at 07:56 PM

I know with the situation of plants, colder climate seeds use PUFA as an energy source as it's liquid. Tropical oils can be saturated as they are liquid anyway in the warm climate.

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