AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between phospholipid and triglyceride?

Posted November 16, 2023


Basis of differentiation




A phospholipid is a lipid made of a glycerol backbone bound to a phosphate group and 2 fatty acids

A triglyceride is a lipid made of a glycerol backbone bound to three fatty acid chains

Function in body

Make up the cell membrane of cells and break down fats in the body

Act as fat storage in the body

Presence of phosphate

Has a phosphate group bound to the glycerol backbone

Has no phosphate groups bound to the glycerol backbone


Are found in cell and organelle membranes to form lipid bilayers

Are stored in adipose tissue and travel in the bloodstream (after combining with cholesterol and protein to form lipoproteins)


Have a polar head (phosphate group) and nonpolar tails (fatty acids)

Are non-polar

Additional resources

Lipid, Types, Structures

Plasma Membrane

iFluor® 488-Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) Conjugate

Cell Navigator® Cell Plasma Membrane Staining Kit *Green Fluorescence*