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Triacylglycerol Breakdown and Re-synthesis


In the body, lipolysis of triacylglcerols (TAGs) releases free fatty acids (FFAs). However, many of these FFAs are not catabolized, but are instead re-esterified back into TAGs, even during starvation. The movement of fatty acids to and from esterification can be termed the flux of FFAs.

When a compound is simultaneously being synthesized and catabolized, this is known as


The percentage of FFAs that are not used for fuel but rather re-esterified is

. This re-esterification occurs in both the

and the


Additionally, the absolute number of FFAs in flux changes; however, the percentage of recycled FFAs


Although the reason for this breakdown and subsequent reformation is not well-understood, speculation is that this process occurs, even in starvation, because