Skip to content
Home » Four Types of Organic Compounds and Their Functions

Four Types of Organic Compounds and Their Functions

  • In this four types of organic compounds and their functions post we have briefly explained about carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids of organic compounds.

Four Types of Organic Compounds and Their Functions

  • Because of their relationship with organisms and the fact that they include carbon, the chemical components of living things are referred to as organic substances. Organic chemistry deals with organic chemicals, which are substances that are involved in biological processes. Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids are four major kinds of organic molecules that are found in all living things.


  • Carbohydrates are used as a source of energy by almost all organisms. Carbohydrates also serve as structural materials in some cases. Carbohydrates are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules with a 2:1 ratio of hydrogen to oxygen and carbon atoms.
  • Simple carbohydrates, sometimes known as sugars, are either monosaccharides or disaccharides, depending on whether they are made up of one or two molecules. Glucose, a carbohydrate with the chemical formula C6H12O6, is the most important monosaccharide. In living organisms, glucose is the most fundamental form of fuel. It is soluble in multicellular organisms and is delivered to all cells via bodily fluids, where it is digested to release energy. Glucose is the principal result of photosynthesis and the beginning substance for cellular respiration.
  • Maltose, sucrose, and lactose are three major disaccharides found in living organisms. Maltose is made up of two covalently bonded glucose molecules. The table sugar sucrose is made by combining glucose and fructose, a monosaccharide. Lactose is made up of units of glucose and galactose.
Four Types of Organic Compounds and Their Functions

Glucose and fructose molecules combine to form the disaccharide sucrose.

  • Polysaccharides are a type of complex carbohydrate. Polysaccharides are made up of many monosaccharides linked together. Starch, which is made up of hundreds or thousands of glucose units linked together, is one of the most essential polysaccharides. Carbohydrates are stored in the form of starch. Rice, wheat, corn, and potatoes are used to meet the energy demands of a large portion of the world’s population.
  • Glycogen and cellulose are two more significant polysaccharides. Glycogen is made up of thousands of glucose molecules, however they are connected in a different way than starch. The type of glucose stored in the human liver is glycogen. Cellulose is a carbohydrate that is largely employed as a structural carbohydrate. It is similarly made up of glucose units, but only a few species of organisms can release them from one another. Wood, like plant cell walls, is primarily made up of cellulose. Cotton fabric and paper are commercial cellulose products.


  • Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms make up lipids, which are organic compounds. In lipids, the proportion of hydrogen to oxygen atoms is substantially larger than in carbohydrates. Steroids (the building blocks of numerous hormones), waxes, and fats are all lipids.
  • A fat molecule is made up of a glycerol molecule and one, two, or three fatty acid molecules. Three hydroxyl (–OH) groups are found in a glycerol molecule. A fatty acid is a long carbon chain (from 4 to 24 carbon atoms) with a carboxyl (–COOH) group at one end. A fat’s fatty acids can all be the same or they can all be different. A process that requires the elimination of water binds them to the glycerol molecule.
  • Certain fatty acids have one or more double bonds in their molecules. Fats that include these molecules are unsaturated fats. Other fatty acids have no double bonds. Fats that include these fatty acids are saturated fats. In most human health situations, the consumption of unsaturated fats is preferred to the consumption of saturated fats.
Four Types of Organic Compounds and Their Functions

A fat molecule is constructed by combining a glycerol molecule with three fatty acid molecules. 

  • Because fats do not dissolve in water, they are retained in cells as transparent oil droplets known as globules. Fats are commonly stored in the seeds of plants, while fats are stored in huge, transparent globules in the cells of adipose tissue in mammals. Adipose tissue fats carry a lot of concentrated energy. As a result, they act as a source of energy reserve for the organism. In the human digestive tract, the enzyme lipase breaks down lipids into fatty acids and glycerol.


  • Amino acids, which comprise carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms, make up proteins, which are among the most complex of all organic substances. Sulfur atoms, phosphorus, and other trace elements like iron and copper can be found in some amino acids.
  • Many proteins are massive and complicated. All proteins, on the other hand, are made up of lengthy chains of relatively simple amino acids. There are twenty different types of amino acids. Each amino acid has three groups: an amino (–NH2) group, a carboxyl (–COOH) group, and a –R group of atoms (where R stands for radical). Depending on the nature of the –R group, the amino acids differ. Alanine, valine, glutamic acid, tryptophan, tyrosine, and histidine are examples of amino acids.
Organic compounds

The structure and chemistry of amino acids.

  • When water molecules are removed, amino acids are linked together to create a protein. The procedure is known as dehydration synthesis, and water is produced as a by-product. Peptide bonds are the bonds formed between amino acids, and tiny proteins are often referred to as peptides.
  • Proteins are required for the survival of all living beings. Proteins are the most important molecules in the construction of living organisms. Some proteins are dissolved or suspended in the cells’ watery material, while others are incorporated into the cells’ different structures. Proteins can also be present in tissues outside of cells as a supporting and strengthening substance. Proteins are found in bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Proteins serve as enzymes, which is one of their most important functions. Enzymes are proteins that catalyse chemical reactions within cells. They are not consumed during a reaction, but rather remain accessible to catalyse subsequent ones.
  • Every species produces proteins that are specific to that species. The information needed to make the unique proteins is stored in the cell’s nucleus. The amino acid sequence in proteins is specified by the so-called genetic code. As a result, the genetic code controls the chemistry that occurs within a cell. Proteins can also act as a reserve energy source for the cell. When an amino acids amino group is removed, the resultant molecule is energy-dense.

Nucleic acids

  • Nucleic acids, like proteins, are extremely large molecules. Nucleic acids are made up of smaller units known as nucleotides. Each nucleotide contains a carbohydrate molecule (sugar), a phosphate group, and a nitrogen-containing molecule that is a nitrogenous base due to its properties.
  • There are two important nucleic acids in living organisms. Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is one type. The other is ribonucleic acid, abbreviated as RNA. DNA is found primarily in the cell’s nucleus, whereas RNA is found in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm, a semiliquid substance that makes up the cell’s volume.
  • The components of DNA and RNA differ from one another. The carbohydrate deoxyribose is found in DNA, whereas ribose is found in RNA. Furthermore, DNA contains the base thymine, whereas RNA contains uracil.

Further Readings


Four Types of Organic Compounds and Their Functions