Skip to Content

Face the Fats

The Biochemistry of Lipids


Author(s)

Nancy A. Rice
Department of Biology
Western Kentucky University
nancy.rice@wku.edu

Abstract

This clicker case introduces students to the biochemistry of lipids through the story of Pete, a college student who begins to consider his nutritional fat intake after watching a commercial for the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin. In this case, students learn to differentiate the chemical composition of steroids, phospholipids, and fats as well as how lipids affect our health, both in positive and negative ways. Additionally, students learn how trans fats are manufactured and why they can have negative health side-effects. The case is designed for use in an introductory biology course either for science majors or non-majors. It could potentially be further modified for use in an upper-level biochemistry or cell biology class. The case is called a clicker case because it combines the use of PowerPoint slides (~3.74MB) and student response systems ("clickers") with a case storyline and questions. The case could be modifed however for use without these technologies.


Objectives

  • Define lipid and biochemically differentiate steroid, phospholipid, and fat.
  • Explain the biochemical and nutritional differences between saturated and unsaturated fats.
  • Know how cholesterol and fats are transported through the bloodstream.
  • Understand how trans fats are generated and why they are unhealthy.

Keywords

Fats; lipids; fatty acid; HDL cholesterol; LDL cholesterol; saturated; unsaturated; trans-fat

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Clicker, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Biochemistry  |   Cell Biology  |   Nutrition  |   Food Science / Technology  |   Public Health  |  


Date Posted

6/20/2011

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

The following supplemental materials are recommended for use with this case study:

  Click-and-Learn: Molecular Structure of Fat hhmi/
  Click-and-Learn: How the Body Uses Fat hhmi/
  Poster: The Science of Fat hhmi/

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Videos

The following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.

  • Animation: The Fate of Fat hhmi/
    This short animation provides an overview of how dietary fat gets digested, packaged, and sent to various tissues for storage or energy. Running time: 2:08 min. Produced by: HHMI BioInteractive.

Comments


Sarah Spinette
sspinette@ric.edu
Biology
Rhode Island College
Providence RI
05/21/2015
I have made a modified form of this that incorporates Trans-fatty acids if anyone is interested.

-----------------------------