Oxidation of Fatty Acids

Oxidation of Fatty Acids:

In the small intestine the digestion of fats begins. Fats are emulsified via the bile salts and hydrolysed via the pancreatic lipases to create free fatty acids.  These free fatty acids joints with glycerol (generated via the glycolytic process) to create triglycerides. They join with proteins to create lipoproteins and enter in circulation to carry out several biolological functions like oxidation, storage and formation of new lipids. So the several fatty acids may present in the free form also in the esterified form (Triglyceride) in blood.

Fatty acids are the instant source for oxidation of fats in several tissues that are:

  • Liver,
  • Adipose Tissue,
  • Muscles,
  • Heart,
  • Kidney,
  • Brain,
  • Lungs And
  • Testes



Fatty acids are oxidised to CO2 (carbon dioxide) and water along with the liberation of large amount of energy. Oxidation is brought approximately in the mitochondria since all the enzymes needed for oxidations are exist in the mitochondria. Oxidation of fatty acids is of 3 sorts, based upon the position of the carbon atom that gets oxidised (α, β and ϒ).

R – CH2 – CH2 – CH2 – COOH        fatty acid
       ϒ          β            α

Though β-oxidation of fatty acids is predominant and extensively prevalent and it gives large amount of energy as compared to α and ϒ oxidation.


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