The Basic Structure of a Steroid Molecule
Steroid molecules are complex organic compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. They are widely present in nature, and found in plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria. The basic structure of a steroid molecule consists of four fused carbon rings and a single oxygen atom (Marnett, 2016). The four rings are referred to as the A, B, C, and D rings. The arrangement of the four rings and the oxygen atom gives steroids their characteristic three-dimensional shape. The different types of steroids differ from each other in the number of carbon atoms and the arrangement of the bonds between them (Fahy et al., 2020). The most common type of steroid molecule is cholesterol, which is a key component of cell membranes. Cholesterol plays an important role in the transport of nutrients and waste products throughout the body and is a precursor for the synthesis of steroid hormones (Prusty and Singh, 2021). Other examples of steroids include bile acids, which help to break down dietary fats, and steroid hormones such as testosterone and estrogen, which play a role in sexual development and reproduction. Cont…
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