What Processes Use Fat for Energy

When we use fat (triglyceride) for energy, both the fatty acid and glycerol can be used in energy pathways. Fatty acids enter an energy pathway called beta-oxidation (p-oxidation), which takes place within the mitochondria. Beta-oxidation produces several molecules of acetyl CoA, which can then enter the Krebs' cycle. Also during p-oxidation electrons are removed and transported to the electron-transport chain by the special carriers mentioned previously and discussed in more detail in Chapter 9. Therefore, fatty acids require mitochondria and oxygen in order to be used for energy; they are completely aerobic. Meanwhile, glycerol's importance, from an energy standpoint, lies mainly in its ability to be converted to glucose in the liver during fasting or exercise.

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